Some businesses rely on telephone leads, either as the main source of revenue or as an important means of acquiring customers. This includes anyone from pizza and other delivery restaurants to tradesmen like home inspectors or home improvement contractors. This includes most service sectors, too. Are there ways to get a leg up on the competition?
Yes, and here are a few ways to do just that. Strictly speaking, these are not SEO techniques (more like TEO – telephone optimization), but if we broaden our definition just a bit, let’s file them under SEO.
1. TITLE TAGS… Place the phone number at the beginning of the title tag. So if your home inspection business is targeting “Chicago home inspections” and “Chicago home inspector” as the main keywords, try this title tag:
<title>312-555-5555 Chicago home inspections by inspector Rob Penfield</title>
Why is this such a clever strategy? Well, you should know that typically 40% of people click on the first search result…even after gazing down at lower results. Those people who click on another search result usually do so because:
- They are looking for multiple quotes.
- They are doing research.
- They tried the first result…and it sucked.
- The first result is clearly not right (They searched for “pursuit of happiness” and they want the band, not the movie or the constitution).
- A lower result is obviously better.
Read that last point again. Suppose I am looking for a home inspector in Chicago, and I notice that the third result has the phone number right in the headline. Wow! I don’t even have to click. I just pick up the phone and call. I might be lazy, in a hurry, multi-tasking or just typically modern…but you have just snatched a top-spot lead without ranking #1. Amazing.
2. DESCRIPTION TAGS… This is a variation on the title tag. Place the phone number in the description tag, right next to the main keywords. The description tag is often used as the explanatory text beneath the headline for search results. Although not as powerful as the title tag, this should help you secure some extra leads.
3. DOMAIN NAME… I know this sounds crazy, but if telephone leads really are your bread and butter, make your telephone number your domain name. Too crazy? Not for 1800flowers.com.
4. PROMINENCE… Websites typically place their phone number on a “Contact us” page, or if the website is really exciting, perhaps in the footer template in small letters. This is all fine and dandy if your market will hunt down your phone number. But if you are trying to urge people to pick up the phone and call, try something a little bolder. At http://www.serviceblocks.ca/ , a home renovations company, we placed the phone number in the upper right margin, with a big picture of a telephone so that it can’t be missed. At http://www.paramount-roll.com/ we placed the phone number right in the content box, so that it would be even more obvious. We also noticed that the most-clicked item on the home page was the “samples of our work” link (upper right), so we added the phone number to the funky slide show that visitors view at that link. Depending upon the nature of the product, you might even want to make your telephone number flash.
5. SOCIAL MEDIA AVATAR… Why show your face at Digg or FaceBook or Zoomit Canada, when you can be just a number.
6. USER NAME… A variation on the avatar them, if telephone leads are your bread and butter, make your telephone number your user name on social media sites and forums.
7. BACKGROUND… Both Twitter and MySpace allow you to create custom backgrounds. You know what to do.
8. FORUM SIGNATURES… OK, this one is obvious, but I am sure it would be even more obvious by its omission from the list.
Got some other ideas to optimize your website for telephone leads? Please share them with us in the comments field below.Written by David Leonhardt
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