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Search Engine Marketing
 Copywriter: Matt Roberts, Group Account Director, YouCom Direct


Imagine, the ultimate bet.  Everything you have on either black or red.  You either lose everything or win it all.  They say you cannot beat the odds and you cannot beat the casinos, but there is one way.  Roulette.  The bet to end all bets, a straight simple bet either the ball lands on red or it lands on black.  Minimal skill required, just luck and in casino parlance, a lot of balls.    

Ashley Revell's bet it all Idea  

For one man it all started in the pub. Mr Revell was drinking with friends after work when one of them said “wouldn’t it be great if we went to Las Vegas and bet everything on one spin?”  

Then the next day Ashley Revell couldn’t get the idea out of his mind.  At the time he wasn’t married, he didn’t have any kids, he realised if he was going to do it, he had to decide now.  

Everyone he knew said it was a stupid thing to do. His mother naturally said it was a silly idea and he should be thinking of his future.  His father’s advice was the same.  

But unable to stop thinking about it and unable to make the decision, he began the process of selling everything he owned.  Ashley didn’t own a house but he had about £10,000 in savings towards his first mortgage.  He had indulged in a Rolex watch and a BMW during his early work years plus a set of golf clubs.  All the things that were the trappings of a single life.  He sold them all.  

Ashley sold the more expensive items and set up a car boot stall for the smaller things.  He sold sentimental things like his first XI school cricket jumper and two football ties.  He instantly regretted losing them, but he knew he had to have nothing remaining otherwise it wouldn’t feel like gambling everything.   

After six months he was ready to go.  At this stage, the story had become widely known and Sky began filming his experience.  He flew out to Vegas owning absolutely nothing, even his tuxedo was rented.  

Reflecting on the experience afterwards, Ashley says it was crazy but he felt totally convinced he was going to win. He felt he was just going to Vegas to collect his winnings.  

When he woke the morning of the big bet, Ashley went down to the Plaza Casino and Hotel.  He had transferred £76,860 from his UK bank and the Vegas casino gave him a large stack of chips.  

At the Roulette table in Vegas  

At that point he didn’t know whether he was going to go for red or black.  He still hadn’t decided.  

When he arrived at the Roulette table, the croupier explained: “It’s simple, when I spin the ball, if it goes round more than three times before you say red or black, you can’t place a bet”.  

Suddenly the croupier began to spin the ball.  The crowd had gathered behind Ashley.  The atmosphere was electric.  Everyone had heard about this crazy man from Europe who had sold everything he owned to bet on one spin of the wheel.  
As people pressed closer, Ashley in his black tuxedo watched the ball spinning round once, twice and then the first thing that came into his head was red.  So he pushed all of his chips forward on red.  

That spin was the most amazing moment of Ashley’s life.   He is quoted as saying time stood still.  He felt calm.  He had no possessions, he either returned a winner or with nothing, not even the (rented) shirt on his back.  

The ball began to slow.  It wobbled around and then landed in what he thought was red but it disappeared slightly from view.  

Later that year, Ashley met a girl in Holland and is now married with two children.  As to what happened that night, remember Sky was there and you can watch the moment live: (requires sound).    

Gambling is like any industry, there are many casinos, online gambling sites and betting shops.  Business directories are perfect for advertising a brand or company to a large amount of potential customers.  YouCom Direct understands directory advertising isn’t just about, or  There are many geo-location friendly sites.  Which is why YouCom Direct has a diverse range of clients across many industries offering pay-per-call or pay-per-lead advertising, in many instances exclusive to our agency.  

The Directory Critic is a gambling directory ranked 6,000 by Alexa with a PR 5 and often number one for keyword searches.  It takes a lot of time to search and select good gambling directories to submit a branch details to.  The company also needs to go through each directory, find relevant categories, enter the titles, the descriptions, handle the administration etc.  YouCom Direct offer directory advertising management for local search to take care of the work for you.  Our advertising delivers more calls with a higher call to lead conversion rate and lower CPA.  

Dedication: This story is dedicated to Mr and Mrs Lecrinier of Belgium who were married in Vegas in 2016 (hopefully with less media attention and less stress than Mr Revell).  

Disclaimer: YouCom Direct and our parent agency YouCom Media does not condone the actions of Mr Revell nor promotes irresponsible gambling.  Gambling can be addictive and users should only gamble what they can afford to lose. 

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Glossary: CPA – Cost per Acquisition  

Required reference: YouCom Direct News Article, Oct 2019, London, ‘The Ultimate Bet’


Content Marketing
Copywriter: Matt Roberts, Group Account Director, YouCom Direct


This article contains bullet point tips for getting more calls and more clicks and more footfall than your competitors and it’s all free by the way.  YouCom Direct are an advertising agency who advise clients how to turn around their campaigns.  But we provide that advice freely and it’s available here too.  

Creative Marketing Tips by YouDirectories

Your website, social media platforms and online business directory listings should all be working hard to help you stand out from the competition.  Because your digital footprint is what will help you sell.  But not every company does that well. Everyone’s looked at their own websites and wondered how is it that the competition is getting better search results, better call volume, better footfall?  The answer in the main is because many brands assign social media or business directory advertising to someone in their organisation who is simply putting content out there and doing little else.  But that would change if they followed this free advice.  

There is so much more they could be doing to get their story and their message noticed.  YouCom Direct are a local search advertising agency that specialises in getting brands noticed in local searches and we have identified the following ‘tips’ for digital marketing staff;  


Focus on tags
Our clients outperform their competition. Period.  Their call volumes are higher than before they worked with us, their stores are more sold out than their competitors and there are many things we add but tags are the quickest big difference we can make.  If you do a Google search on ‘YouCom Direct’ and go to Images what do you see?  The same applies to our clients and should apply to your company or you as an individual if you’re writing posts and blogs.  You can’t just throw a lot of tags in there, there is some science behind it, but broadly speaking, any tags are better than none.  Place search tags on all your images.    

Creative Marketing Tips By YouDirectories

Focus on Keywords
It sounds obvious but marketing staff don’t do it enough or as well as they should.  YouCom Direct have taken on brands as clients who only had their store address, phone and URL data on their directory business listings (think  What about the keywords? How do they expect to stand out online and achieve that digital footprint they want?  The first thing we do is a full review and identify the keywords the brand should have.  Digital marketing staff need to do the same.  Use the business description, use the heading, use the photos, even use the URL.   There are many different ways to add keywords and alter the local search results in your favour.    

Creative Tips by YouDirectories

Content Curation (show the love)

This is the next big marketing term.  We had content marketing and everyone was talking about that.  Now it’s content curation.  This is where you find another piece of content that you feel is great for your brand and your business or that you feel your customer audience will benefit from possibly unrelated to your business and you share it. You make your social media channels a place where people go to for the best news regarding your industry or their interests.  And that’s the key.  Use good data-marketing techniques to establish the interests of your customer audience. Always make sure you give credit to the source.  This is a new world with an old word and that word is love. Share the love, gain traffic for someone who wrote some great content (if you wish to share ours / this news article, click on the links at the bottom).  


Almost always forgotten, almost always not used well enough.  Many brands have an in-house member of staff, sometimes even an agency, who does some really good writing and engaging content, they put it on social media and it’s lost in space. For Twitter, Google Places, Tumblr, LinkedIn and even directories, if you use hashtags, you’ll gain traction. The main purpose of hashtags is to highlight the relevant local search word in each tweet or post. With the right research, all brand marketing staff can find the highest searched hashtags for their industry.  

Creative Marketing Tips by YouDirectories


The headline serves as the single biggest factor determining whether your reader will click to read your article or post.  You have to have a headline that draws them into your marketing message. Make it A.I.D.A. related (see glossary at the bottom of this article). Give readers a promise or promotion. Think about what will they learn by reading your message? Why should they bother? Becoming really good at writing headlines is one of the most important skills a digital marketing person can gain and this is one of our most important creative marketing tips.  


Use different formats

Creating quick social media posts is easy, blogging is also pretty good for content creation, but what about video?  What about research studies?  Surveys? White papers? infographics? There are many ways to reach your customer audience. The biggest mistake a digital marketing person can make? (Or rather the biggest mistake senior management can make when they appoint them) is allowing the company to focus on using the platform they are most comfortable with rather than the platform where your customer audience spends most of their time.  

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Glossary: A.I.D.A. – Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action (marketing model)  

Required reference: YouCom Direct News Article, Sept 2019, London, ‘Be More Dog’.


Brand Marketing
 Copywriter: Matt Roberts, Group Account Director, YouCom Direct


For Marketing staff to reach their audience effectively it is necessary to categorise people into age groupings.  Here is a brief history leading up to Generation Z and why companies need to change their marketing to focus more on review management, online directories and social media marketing;  

The Lost Generation by YouCom Direct 

The Lost Generation

Also known as the Generation of 1914.  This is the age group who fought in World War I. The members of the lost generation were born between 1883 and 1900.  This was the first of the marketing categories created.  Sadly, none of this group are alive today.  

The Greatest Generation by YouCom Direct 

The Greatest Generation

Also known as the G.I. Generation.  This includes the veterans who fought in World War II. The members of the G.I. Generation were born between 1900 to 1924.  This group required intelligent marketing, editorials, localised Direct Mail works well.  They are of high morality and ethical.  They fought, they served, they gave us our freedoms we enjoy today.  

The Lucky Few by YouCom Direct 

The Silent Generation

Romantically known also as the Lucky Few.  This includes men who fought in World War II, the Korean War and many who fought during the Vietnam War.  Similar to the Greatest Generation, the Lucky Few respond well to localised direct mail and (formal) personalisation.  The members of the silent generation were born between 1925 and 1945.  

Baby Boomers by YouCom Direct 

The Baby Boomers

This is the generation that was born following World War II.  Members of the baby boomer generation were born between 1946 to 1964.  At this time due to the end of the World War, there was a marked increase in birth rates and prosperity.  This generation is the generation still alive today which common consensus agrees has the most wealth for brands marketing products and services to sell to.  They are also widely regarded as the most educated and self-motivated.  The baby boomer is most likely to own more than one home in more than one country with more than one car.  They worked hard and saved for a good pension.  

Baby boomers respond well to localised direct mail and personalisation, catalogue marketing, coupons and voucher marketing, cinema advertising, billboards, signage, TV advertising, editorials, radio advertising and PPC.  Baby Boomers are less knowledgeable for online marketing (unless their career required later learning), so PPC to this group is simply the first results on the search page and more effective than natural search results.  Directory marketing works very well for this generation and most would use their local Yellow Pages rather than look for a business online.  

Generation X by YouCom Direct 

Generation X

Usually abbreviated to Gen X, this generation were born after the baby boom and retained a lot of their parents’ traits.  They also desire to exceed their parents’ achievements.  Generation X are highly educated, active, balanced, happy, and family-oriented.  They were the first generation to have a great surge in entrepreneurs.  These are the go-getters and self-starters.  They are ambitious and were the last generation to have a good attention span.  

Generation X are the greatest group for multi-channel marketing, able to process the editorials effective with the Baby Boomers, yet still be at ease with mobile app advertising and natural search results.  Cinema advertising works well with this group the most frequent audience and radio advertising also.  Localised direct mail starts to become less effective with this group and personalised mail whilst still effective is starting to become less able to stop the journey from the letterbox to the bin.  

Outdoor advertising such as out of home and alternative marketing like guerrilla marketing is effective for Generation X people.  TV advertising is still effective but less so as people can now pause live TV and turn to services such as NetFlix and Amazon TV.  Generation X looks past the PPC results for the natural search results.  In some studies, participants ignored PPC completely beginning their reading at the first natural search result. 

Printed directories are less effective for this generation although the earlier members still use them.  Online directories are however highly effective because of how they filter through into the natural search results on Google, Yahoo and Bing.  Members of Generation X were born between 1964 and 1980.  

Millennials by YouCom Direct 


Often known as the Millennial Generation, or Generation Y. The Millennials are generalised as having traits of greater confidence and tolerance, but also a new sense of entitlement and narcissism that wasn’t seen in such numbers from the previous generations.  

In the millennial generation this group are a mix of those still with traits of generation X and those whose attention spans were beginning to shorten.  By the end of the millennial period, attention spans had shortened by a significant 11 seconds.  This has had a great impact on advertising campaigns to this audience and many brands were too slow to adapt their marketing.  

Advertising messaging needs to be much shorter to this group with more imagery.  Millennials have a sense of being let down, that the world isn’t the way they thought it would be.  The entitlement factor mostly isn’t met by reality.  

Offer based advertising, money off, price match advertising all works well to this group.  Aspirational advertising and advertising better suited to storytelling using real-life examples of other customers work best. Channels such as radio isn’t suited to that.  Cinema advertising works, Mobile apps, outdoor, out of home and natural search including online directories all works well for this generation group.  Signage is less important as this group are less brand loyal and drive vehicles less than previous generations.  Members of Generation Y were born between 1980 and 2000.  

Generation Z by YouCom Direct 

Generation Z

This generation follows generation Y (the millennials).  They are occasionally referred to as Generation Alpha.  Generation Z is highly skilled with technology.  But they are also under more social pressure than any other generation before them.  Their lives are all shared and online.  Society has moved toward expectations for all young people to aspire to University education while apprenticeships and early employment are all but unheard of.  

Unfortunately, due to the changes observed in the millennial generation, the average Generation Z member has a documented attention span of only 8 seconds (for context; a goldfish has an attention span of 7 seconds.  Although this is amusing, there are serious implications for our future).  Members of this generation were born from 2000 and the category won’t close until 2025.  

Generation Z

How to Advertise to Generation Z and to prepare for when they form your main customer audience

Generation Z are most notably at ease with today’s communications.  They have grown up with the internet and social media.  They are familiar with viral videos, virtual interfacing, international gaming, and comfortable with technology in general.  Unlike previous generations a greater than average proportion of their social interactions is from social media websites.  

It is a widely held view that growing up through the crisis or recession of 2008 has given this generation a feeling of unsettlement and insecurity.  This combination of social factors makes Generation Z one of the hardest to advertise to.  They are clued up and will switch off from traditional advertising.  With today’s options to pause live TV they have more resource to remove themselves from brand messaging.  

Indeed, Generation Z watches more YouTube and online video than traditional TV (and TV advertising or sponsorship).  In a way, this shows how brands must change how they organise their advertising and marketing (more emphasis on digital, social media, video, imagery and reviews).  

Generation Z - Images Are Important

Advice 1 – Images Are Important

Generation Z has grown up with visual communications. Every one of them has tablets or big screen smartphones. They can filter and edit pictures and have entire conversations with just photos (think Pinterest, Instagram or Snapchat).  We advise clients to keep imagery as a constant central theme through their messaging to this generation.


Generation Z - Short Attention Span

Advice 2 – Short Attention Span

The average Generation Z member has an attention span of only 8 seconds (a goldfish has an attention span of 7 seconds).  Generally, attention spans have decreased by 11 minutes since the Millennials (Generation Y) who were the last to actively challenge the world around them in a way where they were forced to memorise, learn, adapt and multi-task without the help of an electronic device or peer sharing.   Therefore, Generation Z marketing must maintain short, snappy content.  Reach out and yank their attention fast or they will be past your content and on to other brand messaging.  

Generation Z - Real Life Reviews

Advice 3 – Real Life Reviews

Generation Z is the social media generation.  They will share content and therefore will more quickly identify advertising.  If brand messaging is or appears to be genuine advice and useful guidance (or just interesting to their group) Generation Z will retweet, repost, or share it digitally or by word of mouth.  This increases importance to review management and review gathering (services offered by YouCom Direct).  Good Google+ reviews will increase your brand engagement with this generation.  

Generation Z by YouCom Direct 

Advice 4 – Hunt Them Down

Facebook is now more popular with the previous generations (including the baby boomers).  As it becomes populated with mum’s and dad’s, Generation Z are turning to other channels such as Twitter or Tumblr. 

Social Media Management will become increasingly important for your brand as this generation Z gets older.  Remember, the first of this generation Z (born in 2000) are already 16 years old now.  In a few more years they will become your main customer audience, looking to move out, requiring driving lessons, insurance, storage, banking, finance, car rental, solicitors, and with increasing disposable income for opticians’ products, mobile phones, clothes etc.  

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Required reference
: YouCom Direct News Article, Aug 2019, London, ‘Generation Z .’


Data Marketing
Copywriter: Lee Bratton, Account Manager, YouCom Direct


Have you ever seen your business listed on a directory site and wondered how it got there? Perhaps the information is wrong and you correct it but it reverts back to the incorrect data again? It will help if you understand the origin of that information. The national database known as OSIS.    

In this article, YouCom Direct will share;

– What is OSIS?
– Why you can’t change your business details on the directory site displaying the wrong data.
– How you can change your business details on OSIS.
– How do you find OSIS?
– European OSIS
– Alternative databases.

As a directory agency we manage a company’s details for their stores across all print and online directories. It is our knowledge together with buying power that makes us a valuable partner. But we don’t just keep our knowledge to ourselves. OSIS is not widely known but equally it’s no secret either.  

What is OSIS?

“OSIS” stands for Operator Services Information System and is a stream of seemingly endless data flowing along corridors of database servers.


Like all large datasets, OSIS is much in demand and has never lost its popularity. It is a database of directory data managed by BT Wholesale Directory Services. The data is used to populate the BT Phone Book printed directory and is bought by other companies such as Thomson Local, Yellow Pages (once owned by BT), the 118 telephone directory companies and a large amount of online directory sites.   

YouDirectories-OSIS-the-origin-of-directories-4       YouDirectories-OSIS-the-origin-of-directories-Yalwa  

Directory sites like are very well established, has 10.9 million monthly views, but how did they begin? Look at, see how different they are to Yalwa currently have 82,000 monthly views (a far cry from 10.9 million), yet they already seem to have a lot of businesses listed on their site.  

This means when your customers search for your business, one of the Google search results could show a Yalwa URL link. But the information could be incorrect. Perhaps your telephone number is wrong on Yalwa, or the address inaccurate.

So how did they obtain their data and your business details specifically?  

BT Wholesale is obliged to make OSIS available to any organisation who wishes to pay for it, specifically under Universal Service Condition 7.4 (USC7.4) which states that

“BT shall supply [the contents of a directory information database] on terms which are fair, objective, cost-oriented and not unduly 
discriminatory…”. A condition frequently challenged by those who pay to rent it. 


The OSIS database contains more than 26 million residential and business names, addresses, and telephone numbers supplied to BT by over 80 UK Communication Providers and sources such as Companies House.  

When an individual requests a new telephone line and agrees to be listed in the telephone directory, the data will be entered into BT OSIS. When a new business starts up, the data will be entered into BT OSIS. This makes the BT OSIS database very accurate and up-to-date (The database is updated 6 days a week).    

There are three types of entry on the OSIS database:

Directory Entry – The printed phone book is comprised of these records. A telephone number can be appended to a name and address that matches to a directory entry record on OSIS.

Directory Enquiries Only – These listings are not present in the phone book, but are made available to directory enquiry 118 services. You can append a phone number from these entries where it matches the name and address on your record.

Ex-Directory – Ex-Directory listings are only available in telephone directory enquiry 118 services. Don’t worry, only the fact that the record is ex-directory may be provided.


Why can’t you change your business details on the directory site displaying the wrong data?

Type your business brand name and the town of your store location into a search engine like Google. If you see an incorrectly listed entry for your business on an online directory like Yalwa, why can’t you contact them and change it?  

The short answer is, you can. You can also pay them for a paid-listing to feature more prominently in their search results (the fundamental service of YouCom Direct as an agency). But the next time that online directory uploads a new data feed from OSIS, all the non-paid for listings will be replaced by the OSIS data. In other words, although you’ve changed the incorrect data, the change is overwritten by the old incorrect data from OSIS.

You can’t stop the waves and you can’t surf against the tide either…    


How can you change your business details on OSIS?

Keeping it simple, there are two options.

One, contact BT Wholesale and make a formal request to amend the data. This process can take between three to six months. You will need to check it afterwards to ensure there isn’t a duplicate data entry still containing the old incorrect data.  

Secondly, you can take the stance of the larger advertisers and pay a specialist directory agency like YouCom Direct to do it for you. YouCom Direct will reach out to BT OSIS and change your data as quickly as 1-2 weeks. We see it in all walks of life that businesses respond quicker, to other companies whom they sell to (in our case, BT sells directory advertising to us for paid listings and paid classified adverts).  


How do you find OSIS?

You don’t find OSIS.  OSIS finds you. 

But you can change their data.

BT Wholesale Directory Solutions (BTWDS) is a ring-fenced unit within BT Wholesale. They aggregate telephone number information from Communication Providers (CPs) in order to produce an accurate central telephone number database historically referred to as the OSIS database. Under OFCOM regulations, all UK CPs that have signed a Schedule 11 agreement have to provide BTWDS with their customers’ name, address and telephone number information. At present there are over 80 CPs in the UK e.g. BT, Virgin Media, Cable & Wireless etc.  

OSIS data can only be used in Directory Products and Services by companies who wish to produce Directory Information products or services, who agree to their pricing terms and gains authorisation from BTWDS to receive OSIS data. OSIS data is sold under specific terms and conditions including the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Information Commissioners Code of Practice on Telecommunications Directory Information covering the Fair Processing of Personal Data and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003. – Licensees must agree to abide by these within the terms of the Directory Information Licence Agreement. OSIS cannot be used for Validation and Verification of individuals or in associated Validation and Verification Services.    


European OSIS

Operator Services Information Systems aren’t only peculiar to the UK of course. YouCom Direct talk with media owners across Europe and manage listings in several EU countries. In Sweden these are primarily Eniro and Rejta businesss directory websites, Din Del and the 118 118 directory assistance service. In Norway, Proff and the 1880 directory assistance are the main directories. Danish search services are marketed under the (now owned by Eniro), Mostrup and Den Røde Lokalbog brands plus several others, while Panorama Firm is the brand in Poland. Finland customers encounter the 0100100 brand.

All take their data from OSIS equivalents such as Factual, a database of 75.8 million local business listings in 50 countries. Or Schober, a B2B data provider in Germany.    

Alternative databases

There are other data sources also, OSIS shouldn’t be the only place you look.  

The Postcode Address File

(PAF) is a database of every address in the UK to which mail is delivered, together with its appropriate postcode. This database contains over 28 million addresses of residential, business and other organisations. The PAF is produced by the Royal Mail and is updated quarterly.

The National Change of Address register
(NCOA) records individuals and businesses when they relocate. CRM practices teach all marketing mangers that to retain existing customers is often more cost-effective than acquiring new ones. With the NCOA register you can maintain contact with your customers when they move home, saving cost and increasing profits via an elongated customer life cycle.

The Gone Away Suppression
(GAS) File from The Data Agency uses both public and private data sources and is a compiled list of individuals at addresses they are known to have moved from. In every case, each move out is qualified by a move in to ensure accuracy.

Despite the other data sources, OSIS is certainly the most powerful database storing data on your business and if you don’t ensure its correct (and remains correct…), then every other organisation and directory site renting their data, will broadcast incorrect details about your brand and ruin your SEO.

Follow the YouCom Direct news posts to see the next developments.

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OSIS – Operator Services Information System

GAS – Gone Away Suppression

NCOA – National Change of Address register

PAF – Postcode Address File

B2B – Business to Business

YALWA – Yet another local web application

CP – Communication Providers

SEO – Search engine optimisation

BTWDS – BT Wholesale Directory Solutions

Data source:

OSIS Definition

BT Wholesale

Universal Service Condition explained within an Ofcom dispute raised by Thomson Local over costs of renting OSIS.

Ofcom dispute on OSIS rental costs between The Number (118 188) and BT wholesale proving that telephone directories like 118 118 also obtain their business data from OSIS

EU Factual Database

Schober Database

Required reference

YouCom Direct News Article, Jul 2019, London, ‘OSIS, the origin’.


Search Engine Marketing
Copywriter: Matt Roberts, Group Account Director, YouCom Direct

Every street is local to the people that live there

Every street is local to the people that live there. Focusing online content on local keywords generates more search results with Google’s algorithm favouring localised sites. This approach is required on each site that lists your store. Online directories are effectively duplicates of your own store pages. But, vary the content and these won’t be seen as duplicate pages, instead search engines will categorise them as ‘additional pages’ (new content). This means more search results for your brand on page one of a Google search and less of your competitors. Inserting local keywords into your store page’s title / meta description tags is the first step toward local ranking.

Your localised content should focus on long-tail keywords to delineate your site

Your localised content should focus on long-tail keywords to delineate your site. Long-tail keywords will help the store page rank higher than a generic keyword which have much more competition. ‘Storage Greenwich’ may describe your service and local area, but ‘Best storage company in Greenwich’ will have less competitor noise and be more likely to reach your sales market. Don’t forget the meta description tag is truncated in search results if too long, so for geographic keywords it is better to insert them as near the beginning of the tag as possible.

The Itsukushima Shrine (also known as the floating torii gate) is example of localised content

The Itsukushima Shrine (also known as the floating torii gate) is one of the most famous landmarks in Japan (shown above). Localised content that can be displayed on your store pages and your online directory listing pages alike should contain information relevant to the local area.  Detailing nearby local landmarks is perfect for this goal.  But content marketing management is (relatively) easy once you get going / have experience.  For instance, have you considered adding testimonials from local businesses you’ve served?  Suppliers or SME customers are often very willing to provide a testimonial and that is like gold to Google searching for local content in a search results page.

Before producing localised content for your store area, identify your target audience


Before producing localised content for your store area, identify your target audience. Ask your store managers to interview customers face-to-face. Those interviews themselves can provide additional local content for that store.  Google’s Keyword Planner is a great tool to measure search volumes for the keywords that were identified out of that customer research.   If you’re lucky enough to have people willing to link back to your store page either via their personal blog or review, make sure you have content that is worth shouting about to give them reason to do so.  Some tool that represents an advantage over your competitors or at least appears new to customers will do that job.


Such a tool for localised content could be a virtual tour where blog writers or reviewers can discuss your industry in general and then give an example of how people can now walk around a store to answer their questions without even visiting.  Such a tool is newsworthy and worth writing about, relevant to both the readers and to Google. 

Becoming active in your local town or village will also generate ideas for localised content, so you can be authentic in your writing (no one else will have that content and the same keyword search terms that you know your customers will use to find your service, will be ranked higher within that content due to its originality).

Hosting local events is one such example of being active in your local community

Hosting local events is one such example of being active in your local community.  If your store has a lot of space that will lend itself to the activity nicely.  If the local event is charity related you will also generate natural, original, localised content for your store page.  Attending local events or sponsoring local events are other ways to cultivate your community inclusion.  Now we know we are creating local content to rank better in a search engine.  But don’t forget, the main idea should also be to position your brand in the local community.  For that reason, it is essential to publish strategic content on different media channels.

Links to high page authority sites increase your ranking


Social media should be your main channel highlighting your community activity and linking back to your store pages that display it. But good high-ranking local landing pages will add to this and accelerate the results of your hard work providing excellent localised content.  YouCom Direct have a strong partnership with a local landing page company to achieve just that for our clients and priced on performance (so the only cost being when customers click through to your store page from the localised landing page or make a call to your store).


Local search marketing works best when utilising store page assets such as your own local research and statistics. For example, you have customers, right?  So, you record sales history.  From this you can glean sales patterns, data trends.  You are sitting on your own gold mine of data.  So, analyse this (or give it to an agency to do it for you) and put the resulting statistics on your store page (localised content derives from such data). By doing this you are creating the opportunity for bloggers and local media outlets to reference these statistics and create new backlinks for you naturally.

Our social media marketing gains 1,000 new followers a month

As a specialist agency in directory advertising, contact us for more information on building localised content, circulating localised content via online directory networks, connecting to high page authority bloggers for natural link building and for social media marketing that gains 1,000 new followers a month (see our own Twitter).  All of our services are paid by performance with a cost per customer lead or cost per click (i.e. pay-by-results performance marketing). So, you only have to supply an advertising budget when we perform.


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Required reference:

YouCom Direct News Article, Jan 2019, London, ‘Localised Content’.


Data Marketing
Copywriter: Lee Bratton, Senior Account Manager, YouCom Direct

Everyone wants to personalise their look


Everyone wants to personalise their look.  E-commerce has for a long time seen the benefits and value to data personalisation. Amazon and Tesco are famous online sellers who collect vast amounts of data on customer’s purchasing patterns. They analyse recency and frequency of purchase, behavioural trends and patterns. These are used to power their offers and suggestions to sell you more things. ‘Bricks & Mortar’ sellers, often struggle to replicate those successes (with exception to those that do well on both like Tesco). In 2018 we have identified a shift in understanding with physical retailers making changes to introduce personalisation practices.

70 percent of retailers are personalising the in-store experience


According to one research company, 70 percent of retailers with a physical store presence are now personalising the in-store experience to compete with their online counterparts. Let us introduce ‘Facenote’, a machine learning AI software that recognises your customers using face recognition techniques. By personalising the customer service, briefing sales staff to personal preferences and tracking their needs, such software can lead to greater customer loyalty and retention as well as upselling benefits.

To register, brands invite their customers to be identified by texting their selfies


The software requires only a simple webcam or regular security camera.  Its algorithms allow for customer recognition and identification. Shoppers can then be welcomed by name, and staff on the sales floor can be briefed on each customer’s personal preferences and purchasing habits. In-store product recommendations can then be personalised in the same way that Amazon does to you online.  To register, brands invite their customers to be identified by texting their selfies or sharing Instagram images.

Amazon uses algorithms to personalise user’s homepages


A study by salesforce found that 52 percent of consumers would switch from a brand that doesn’t personalise their marketing communications.  This is why Amazon uses algorithms to personalise user’s homepages with product recommendations based on previous search and purchase history. When you read this, you think “makes sense”.  But the majority of retailers have a simple one-size-fits-all generic homepage for all logged-in users, irrespective of age, gender, behaviour, disposable income etc.

85 percent are likely to buy from a personalised mail order catalogue


The real winners in marketing are those who personalise a service or product leading to add-on sales, upselling and organic growth.  Scotts of stow are a growing mail order company who succeed with catalogues littered with the recipient’s name making various products more appealing.  Consumers will open the catalogue and see a doormat with their family’s surname on it for example and are 85 percent more likely to buy it as a result.  More than this, they do it extremely well making it seem less like a Photoshoped digital makeover and more like it is a real selling product that everyone else is buying.

Netflix know if you haven't seen this film


Netflix are one to do similar and of course they use the latest AI technology to assist their algorithm analysis.  For example, if they know you haven’t yet seen Knight and Day with leading actors Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz, but you have watched many other Tom Cruise films, they will tailor the film cover in their ‘recommendations’ to show Tom Cruise.

If you watch Cameron Diaz films, you will see the Knight and Day film cover with Cameron Diaz on it.  It is clever marketing that is (relatively) simple to do and (relatively) cheap (brands don’t need to buy billboard adverts for example, simply use existing data to personalise recommendations that lead to more new sales).

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YouCom Direct specialise in this same approach to business listings by personalising content based on geographic area and even consumer past purchasing history.  We use all the data our clients can share with us (after our usual NDA agreements to protect privacy) to tailor those natural search results showing in Google that originate from business directories.  We have seen a provable uplift in response rate as a result.  To discuss personalisation in more depth contact us on


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Data Source:



Required reference:

YouCom Direct News Article, Dec 2018, London, ‘Personalisation’.


Search Engine Marketing
Copywriter: Matt Roberts, Group Account Director, YouCom Direct

Recruitment agencies are a good case study to examine for successful keyword use


Recruitment agencies are a good case study to examine for successful keyword use.  When they receive a new job description (and a good recruitment agency will ‘obtain’ one), the first stage is to find suitable candidates.  Important to that is a good keyword search on your firm’s database of registered candidates, on LinkedIn via a Premium membership, job sites or even from social media.  Identify the keywords that describe those skills, qualities or experiences which the client states are required for the job.  The more accurate the keyword search, the less time you spend placing each candidate.  The quicker you place the candidate the higher the ROI for your agency.

The keyword search is necessary to find a ‘probable’ match


Once you have your list of candidates, the recruitment consultant must then begin to find a suitable match for the employer. The keyword search is necessary to find a ‘probable’ match, but to find a ‘suitable’ match the recruitment consultant now needs to assess the personality. The candidate’s personality must fit with the company’s culture. To begin, scan the CV’s for any pattern of regular job changing.  Someone who changes jobs regularly may take longer to place, or simply make your agency look like they do not propose high quality candidates.

Keyword searches increase profitability (speed of placing a candidate)


Scan also for candidates who have gaps in employment history to make a note to ask them the reason why (if they cannot provide a sufficient reason, the recruitment consultant must be prepared to move on the next candidate in the quickest way possible whilst observing minimum politeness). If the candidate’s address or location is known, then the recruitment consultant must also make a decision whether or not the job will be too far for them to travel to (this will increase probability of a quick placement).  This is another instance where keyword searches increase profitability (speed of placing a candidate).

When the recruitment consultant is ready to speak, they must ‘listen’


When the recruitment consultant is ready to speak to the candidates on their list, they must ‘listen’ to the candidates as they explain their salary expectations (if expectations are not met, it will be very hard to place them).  Ask the candidates questions about why they left their previous employment, try to encourage them to be honest about their past (it will help you know what challenges you may face with the interviewer).  Ask them about their hobbies and interests to assess culture fit with the client’s company.

With an understanding gained, it is time to call the client


When the recruitment consultant has an understanding of the candidates they will be proposing, it is time to call the client.  A good technique is to first write out keywords for each candidate that match various key qualities desired and preferred by the client’s job description (JD).  In your call, you can then succinctly say the candidate name, a short bio and your keywords.  For instance, “I have a great candidate, John Smith, he has a half hour commute to your offices, 3 years’ experience.  [and now the keywords] He is analytical, has good social skills, enjoys project planning and looking for flexible working”.  The keywords will form the ‘desire’ part of the AIDA marketing model.

Remember, when they fail to get out of bed, it is not just their future they’re blowing but your agency fee


The recruitment consultant then arranges the interviews, preps the candidates, reminds the candidates (remember, when they fail to get out of bed on time, it is not just their future they’re blowing but also your agency fee) and follows up after interview.  This dedication is typical in any agency and focusing on the client’s goals is just the same in directory advertising.  Post-interview, the recruitment consultant makes their after-interview phone call where they could be dealing with a dejected interviewee or an elated one.  Both situations will make it difficult to glean information.  So, have a list of questions that will ensure you get what you need for your call to the client later.

For every negative answer the candidate provides, have a positive keyword to match it


Depending on how their interview went, for every negative answer the candidate provides, have a positive keyword to match it, ready to volunteer to the client.  For example, if the candidate tells you “The interview went badly, I got caught up in the analysis and forgot how to present” match it with the positive keyword: Analytical: “sometimes he does such a great job in the analysis he forgets his presentation skills under pressure.  Is this something you could work on with him in the role?”

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Keywords clearly are vital to quick placement of the right candidates with a client’s role.  Quick placement is key to increased ROI and profitability.  Good directory advertising focuses on keywords in the same way as recruitment.  Many brands (and their agencies) focus on the same description for each store, when in reality each store has different content to contribute and different keywords that will help it display in the first results page.   The more accurate the results (in either candidates or a store wishing to be found by customers on Google), the more profit you will make in the year.


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JD – Job Description

ROI – Return on Investment

A.I.D.A. – Awareness; Interest; Desire; Action


Required reference:

YouCom Direct News Article, Nov 2018, London, Keyword Recruitment.


Content Marketing
Copywriter: Lee Bratton, Senior Account Manager, YouCom Direct

Content Marketing by YouCom Direct

Keeping good data records is it seems, important for all parts of life (even father Christmas keeps a list).  Yet, according to a CMI study, 40 percent of those businesses surveyed who stated they did not keep adequate records of past content marketing, experienced quite poor results. Whereas 53 percent of marketing managers who state their content marketing was very effective actually kept good documents recording previous campaigns. Keeping good records of your content marketing strategy will also help marketing managers justify their work and communication plans.  

A brand requires brand marketing and brand marketing relies heavily on credibility. Consumers are receiving thousands of marketing messages daily from other brands competing with yours. Therefore, if your content marketing lacks credibility, seems insincere or out-of-touch with your target audience, then consumers will not have faith in your brand. To have credible content marketing, your SMM should have fresh messages that are unique and address a real concern your target audience might have. Messaging should carry brand imagery to reinforce brand association and show you understand the needs your target audience has for your product or service.  

Content Marketing by YouCom Direct

Where you communicate is also an important factor in implementing an effective content marketing strategy. This is called a distribution channel or media channel. Again, good record keeping is vital to assess different media used, times of use, content trialled, response rates etc. Without finding the right media to distribute your message, even the best content will fail in delivering ROI. YouCom Direct are specialists in local search via business directory sites because we have good record keeping analysing each campaign for ROI. But also, because we have many local directories that deliver fresh content via media channels that work best for your brand and store location.  

Content Marketing by YouCom Direct

With the right network of local sites and page authority backlinks in place; With the right record keeping and reporting ready to analyse results; With credibility established via planned content along brand guidelines; It then comes down to how relevant the content is for your ‘local’ audience.  Many brands forget that whilst the target audience can be classified by demographics and social-economic grouping, consumers vary greatly by location. Two ABC1 25yr old females, one in Bow, East London and one in Middlesbrough, will not respond the same way to your message. The content of your business listing must therefore meet the needs of your ‘local’ audience.  

Registered Trademark

Good content marketing won’t happen overnight. But you can make measurable improvements if you ensure your agency is keeping good records of what content works and doesn’t work, if you ensure you have fresh content relevant to ‘localised’ catchment areas and if you adjust marketing budgets to fund the media channels that deliver greater ROI while withdrawing funds from underperforming media.  No local business listing campaign should have the same content for all stores.  Email us to discuss further.  

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Glossary: CMI – Content Marketing Institute SMM – Social Media Marketing ROI – Return on Investment  

Required reference: YouCom Direct News Article, Dec 2017, London, Content Marketing.


YouCom Chatter
Copywriter: Sam Jones, PR Assistant, YouCom Direct

Pumpkin Contest by YouCom Direct

There are a lot of talented pumpkin carvers out there and in this article we present some stunning and funny designs from our mystery shoppers and publisher/supplier contacts. 

First Place – “Mr K” is the cool superhero name of Eileen’s 9-year-old.  Mr K shown above prefers to do a monster face than use a template.  Excellent Pumpkin grimace Mr K.  We look forward to what you create next year.  But it wasn’t only Mr K’s Pumpkin that won the top prize…    

Pumpkin contest by YouCom Direct

It was a family effort again that won second place with Eileen’s original Tinkerbell Pumpkin created using a drill bit.    

Pumpkin Contest by YouCom Direct

And Eileen’s second attempt of a very pretty pumpkin (isn’t Halloween supposed to be scary Eileen?).  So, Eileen and Mr K win £15.00


Pumpkin Contest by YouCom Direct

Second Place goes to Dani for this Batman and Superman inspired effort with crazy teeth pumpkin in the background.  But this image alone wouldn’t have won without a little help from our furry legged friends as shown by the same picture in the daytime…    

Pumpkin Contest by YouCom Direct

Bat girl and Spider Dog to the rescue.  Dani wins £5.00  

Pumpkin Contest by YouCom Direct

Lucy and her son Tyler are missing Disney and carved a Mickey Mouse Pumpkin.  Mum and son also carved Goofy, but the photos didn’t come out so well.  However, this effort judged with photos that we can’t upload, wins a third prize of £5.00.  Well done Lucy and Tyler!    

Pumpkin Contest by YouCom Direct

Group Account Director Award
Louisa’s boys were very keen for her to send their pumpkin efforts again this year.  The glitter pumpkin on the left is the work of 3 year old Oliver.  The scary face on the right is by 5 year old Benjamin!  Well done Benjamin!  They win the special Group Account Director award of £7.00    

Pumpkin Contest by YouCom Direct

Louisa’s husband and Life-long Mansfield Town fan sneaked his own design in between the boys pumpkins late one night, a carefully crafted pumpkin showing he’s a real football fan (no prawn sandwiches for him on match day).    

Pumpkin Contest by YouCom Direct

One of our favourite pumpkins for cuteness factor was submitted by Petra having first been drawn all over by her 3-year old.  Very colourful.    

Pumpkin Contest by YouCom Direct

Laura’s daughter Sophie age 3 years helped her mum make the cat pumpkin and was very insistent on how it should look (an agency creative director in the making there).  Laura’s son Alfie, age 6 years, made the other pumpkin all by himself!  Well done Alfie!  And a very cute mini-pumpkin made by Alfie too.  We’ll be sending mummy some equally cute finger puppets because we’ve run out of cash prizes.    

Pumpkin Contest by YouCom Direct

Marie runs a creative and engaging blog and sent in the above.  Excellent effort by Marie and family and worthy of highlighting here.    

Pumpkin Contest by YouCom Direct

Jackie made her first pumpkin for ages after her children previously made them.  Placed at the entrance to her house by the looks of it, this spooky chap will scare off trick or treat visitors!    

Pumpkin Contest by YouCom Direct

Afra’s pumpkin is uniquely adorable.  Made with her 11 year old daughter who absolutely loves owls, this ‘Owl Pumpkin’ with it’s slightly odd eyes will bring a light and a laugh to even the darkest night.  And as Afra says, how many pumpkins do you see with feet?  Well done all!    

Pumpkin Contest by YouCom Direct

Hannah’s son Jaxon (with a little help from dad) carved this and clever mum made pumpkin soup for tea.    

Pumpkin Contest by YouCom Direct

We end this year’s competition with a simple yet slightly sinister pair of pumpkins from Laura B. Thanks to everyone who took part.  Always remember if you’re making something anyway, give a competition a go, you might just win!  

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Required reference: YouCom Direct News Article, Oct 2017, London, ‘Pumpkins 2017.


Brand Marketing
Copywriter: Matt Roberts, Group Account Director, YouCom Direct

Service Marketing by YouCom Direct

80 percent of people in advanced economies work in the service sector.  The marketing of services is therefore more important today than ever before. Any economic activity that creates value or some sort of benefit for people at a defined time and location, is a service.  The RAC, AA or Green Flag provide the service of car breakdown recovery.  Enterprise rent-a-car, Avis or Hertz provide the service of a car rental.  Boots, Specsavers or Vision Express provide the service of an eye health examination.  In some cases, services are coupled to products, so in the last example, an optician having performed an assessment of your vision can then sell you a pair of glasses.  

The way services are marketed will be different to how products are advertised.  The traditional marketing mix of the four P’s (Product, Pricing, Place, Promotion), is extended for service marketing with 4 more P’s (People, Process, Physical Evidence, Productivity). If your agency understands each of these P’s, the content for your local area business listing or local search result will have greater impact for SERP (search engine results page) success and generate a greater number of sales leads.  


In services, the ‘product’ is intangible. When you produce it, you also consume it, for in producing the service it is often at the time it is ‘consumed’ by buyers.  The service offered can be much more customised than a product therefore but brands are wise to maintain a consistent level of service offering to maintain quality and brand reputation.  


Establishing the price of your service is harder than creating the price for a product.  With a product, a company can calculate the cost of raw materials, labour, staffing, overheads.  With a service, the company must calculate a price for the intangible offering provided with that service.  For example, when choosing a restaurant, you don’t just want to be given a service of food delivery.  You also want an ambience, a view, a mood setting. Service managers seek to reduce the effort customers spend obtaining the service, including time, mental or physical effort and negative sensory experiences such as a noisy room, bad odour, poor queuing system etc. This impacts on marketing.  

Service Marketing - Place


Products can be sent to the consumer, but services are linked to their place of delivery.  A relaxing spa will portray a better service sensory experience (added-value) in a countryside place than in a busy city.  If the place of your service is different to competitors or enhances the service, then this also can be considered in the service marketing message.  

Service Marketing - Promotion


All marketing campaigns require promotion and education to succeed (see the blue box in the above image). Promotion persuades consumers as to the benefits of your service over the competition, encourages consumers into time-specific action and educates them with information and advice for which your service can deliver.  Services can be very quickly copied and supplied by another firm so promotion is more important in service marketing.  This makes your SERP’s more important and the right localised content on your business listing advertising is key to whether your service gains market share.  

Service Marketing - People


Brands must focus on reviews.  Many services depend on personal relationships between your staff and the consumers.  The type of interaction received by your customers will dictate if you can retain their custom and build your customer-base from word-of-mouth advertising.  Remember, customers largely judge the service received, by how your staff delivered that service.  Here is where an agency managing a Google Places review campaign is critical to marketing your service.  Also consider other review platforms such as Facebook, Feefo, Trustpilot and social-marketing channels such as a well-managed Twitter program (YouCom Direct have almost twenty thousand followers with high engagement for each tweet).

Service Marketing by YouCom Direct


A ‘process’ is a set of rules by which a service operating system works. A poorly created process will lose you customers by a slow, laboured service delivery.  Here is where our UX (User Experience) research proves useful.  Understanding how customers interact with you (and with your competitors) will identify weak areas in service delivery where your process can be revised and improved.  Remember, poor processes will also demoralise staff resulting in low productivity.  Pret have a very good process.  Rules for rules and all designed to ensure that the same standard of service is repeatedly delivered to each new (and repeat) customer.  

Service Marketing by YouCom Direct

Physical Evidence

Services are intangible, you cannot ‘hold’ them.  There is little to associate with them other than feelings.  Most companies therefore try to link tangible things to their service to enhance their perceived service quality. This could be the appearance of the building (the red bricks in Pret, the warm browns in Costa, the black wood in Café Nero etc); landscaping; vehicles (the bright orange of RAC, the bright yellow of the AA, the green of Green Flag etc); equipment; staff uniform; signs; promotional literature and many more. This is why your hairdressers will have a well-designed waiting area with magazines, drinks and comfortable sofas for customers waiting for the service.  


Improving productivity is vital to keep costs low and make your service more competitive.  Brands must trade productivity against making cost reductions that result in lower service levels resented by customers (and staff).  If your service inputs are transformed into service outputs that add value to the customer, then this is a good addition to place in your business listing on directory sites.  Have this productivity feature stand out prominently in your directory listing when it is pulled back by Google into the first results page.    

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Glossary: SERP – Search Engine Results Page UX – User Experience    

Required reference: YouCom Direct News Article, Jul 2017, London, ‘Service Marketing’.