How can a phone number make a difference to your directory position?

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The majority of our customers will be advertising in a directory of some description. Depending on what type business they are in, they’ll either go for an online directory, register with an 118 phone directory, or a physical paper directory.

Publications like the Yellow Pages and Thomson Local directories have been around such a long time. Some would argue that they’ve had their day, but there’s many of these directories going strong and are used by people throughout the country.

Years ago, before the Internet became the source for all our information needs, paper directories were the only place to find yourself a plumber, plasterer, carpenter, builder, vehicle hire, landscaper or electrician and competition, as it is still today, is fierce between rival tradesmen. It was this competition which created the A1 trick.

The A1 trick

The competition brewed something similar to what companies compete over for their websites today; 'Search Engine Ranking'. The higher your website appears in the search results, the more likely someone will click and visit your site. This was very important with paper directories as well, but historically, paper directories were always listed alphabetically, as Adam's Architect's would have found out. Very quickly, people cottoned onto this, and started change their trading names to get higher up the page. The ace card was to add "A1" to the start of your name, for example "A1 Hire Cars".

Now-a-days your placement in a paper directory is a little less uniform, so the A1 trick doesn't necessarily guarantee you best placement on the page, but there are several other things you can do to make your listing more effective.

People like Local Numbers

From recent research 77% of people prefer to ring a Local Geographic number (starting 01 or 02) with an area code which is familiar to them. As an example; People in Reading like to ring Reading numbers, rather than an 08 number, or even mobile numbers. The familiarity and the sense that the person you are is local suits consumers and their demand to know the origins of their products - this all stems from the "Where does my food come from" idea which has become very popular in the last few years which have seen a drive in demand for locally produced foods and goods. Providing a local presence with your business phone number is a key step in someone choosing to ring you.

Make it a memorable number

At TTNC, we've recently been experimenting with print advertising in magazines and we've learnt a lot of new things. When people read publications like magazines or directories, they are generally scanning, looking for key words and phrases which are to do with what they are looking for, which can unfortunately lead to them glossing over you directory placement without really noticing it. The key here is to break their scanning behaviour with something. Sometimes you can catch their eye with an image, or a catchy tagline, but occasionally the listing you have may be quite restrictive on these things. You need something to break the flow on the page when they scan over your listing, to make them pay attention to you. More often than not, a eye catching telephone number can do this, from our research, 60% of the time, it works, every time*.

Our memorable numbers start at £95+VAT and we have every single area code in the UK covered - ready to go on instant activation. Why not give it a go on your next directory placement?

  • No real research was conducted. These figures are for comical purposes only.