Digital Marketing: Why Your Businesses Phone Number is Crucial to Success (Part 1)

“Name, Address and Phone Number, oh if you have a website or social media page you can add that two, but we don’t care” the Internet!

Phone Numbers are Crucial to Success!!! They are more important than domains!

It used to be you used a fancy 800 number to look impressive or to develop branding, take 1-800-FLOWERS for example. 1-800 Flowers was a great branding campaign that generated massive brand recognition for a referral service.

Google really brought the attention back to local when it launched Google places. Google used both the local phone number and the address to enhance its search results to bring business back to local merchants and while it sent SEO professionals scrambling, local business owners were thirsty to learn more.

The PhoneWhy Phone Numbers are Crucial!

Take any listing service or data set and you’ll find three consistent elements to how it organizes its data, first is the name, second the phone number and third is the address. Website domains and social media are nowhere to be found now, nor will they in the future. In fact, when Patch Media launched its local directory for Merchants and Business Owners the AOL local sensation had one problem, no address no listing… Google places needed that three digit identifier to decide if the address matched phone number, and Yelp listed businesses by name, phone numbers and address.

Branding Trend: It’s All Local!

In a time when people are being frugal with their money, they’re a lot quicker to call a local number then an 800 number. The fact is people actually avoid 800 numbers because they prefer to have someone local and hesitate at the thought that the number will be routed to India. Local is the big Brand in the United States right now, take a look in both Traditional and Digital Media and you’re bound to see the word Local at just about every other turn.

Phone Numbers: How Do I Get Them, Use them, Keep them?

There are a few tricks that can help local business owners stretch their influence and presence. Take MagicJack, a nifty little device that sells for $20 and provides phone service for $20 a year! After Google Places launched black hat SEO professionals started buying these as fast as they could. You see they take the MajicJack, register the phone number and then connect a local name to the local number and give it a local address through something like a UPS Store.

i.e. The Actual business is a plumber in Parkland, Florida with a 954 area code number. The blackhat SEO Pro would buy (5) five MagicJacks with local phone numbers, then open a UPS Box in towns around Parkland that the plumber served. Five Splash Pages later, that plumber looked local in English: Google Nexus S - Samsung Android Phonesix locations but really only existed in one.

If you’re a digital or virtual business, then the issue is the same. The phone number is crucial to looking local and you may be in NYC, but with the right number you now appear to be in LA, Moscow, Paris, Chicago, Miami etc. If your using a service like Regus and their Virtual Office, you can set the Magic Jack or Vanity number to forward to that location until you have an office or employee to forward it to later.

Port a number! Always Port a number, I inherited a phone number 4 years ago and I still get calls for children’s clothing from some company that had it before I did. If I sold children’s clothes I be rolling in free leads.

KEEP YOUR NUMBER!!!! The Android and Mr. Number Effect

Want to know what’s really pissing off telemarketers and collection agencies?

Android and Mr. Number! Android phones from version 1.5 have had a feature that allows people to save a contact and set the contact to forward directly to voicemail. Mr. Number is an application on all devices that blocks suspected spam (set by community feedback), unknown numbers and numbers you blacklist! So before you give up your number and get a new one, better think twice. If you do get a new number check it against the Mr. Number database, if its listed as a spam, credit collection or telemarketer get rid of it!

(Part 2 – Using Phone Numbers to Track Marketing Success)




  1. Joy hits another grand slam with this point about something as simple as a phone number. Thank you Joy, you are a treasure of basic yet invaluable info today. I am going right to my site now and adding my phone number. Perhaps it should be on my blog and facebook biz pages too. What do you suggest? Should I even list it here? Someone actually comment on a post of mine last week and offered his phone number should I need help.
    In fact, one of the things that I do not like about cell phones is you can not figure out where someone is located. I always like to know where the people and businesses I encounter are.
    Again, another outstanding post. Thank you.

  2. This was an absolutely fantastic piece of information. As a screenwriter, I can’t but agree — live in L.A. or not, that 310 area code goes a long way to establishing industry cachet, particularly for a freelancer who just might need to fake it ’til he or she makes it.

  3. Great idea! What I hate is numbers like 800-GET-SATISFIED. There are only seven digits in a phone number (minus the area code). If you can’t make a word in seven letters, DON’T MAKE A WORD!

  4. I agree phone numbers are critical in business. A well written article.

  5. Thank you for sharing Basil. Never personally thought about this issue before. Good information to have.

  6. The phone number is so important. I rarely get a call to my 1-800 number, but people don’t hesitate picking up the phone and calling my “local” google voice number. Funny how that works. People really want to talk to people, not a phone bank and not a menu. Thanks for sharing Basil, good stuff.

    • Thanks, yes people got so tired of machines and outsources call centers that the 800 number has gotten a real negative stigma, now that doesn;t mean you can’t take a local number and forward it but I don;t think thats the message you want to send clients

  7. Basil, thank you very much for this outstanding article. So much useful information here, local phone numbers are often taken for granted in the equation, never realized how crucial it really is as far as ranking for Google local is concerned.

  8. I absolutely agree with you,Basil.I was recently going to switch to a 1-800 number for my business but since I try to relate to customers,I thought “when I think 1-800…I think AVOID” so that gave me my answer and you just confermed it for me. I stuck with my local number even though I could earn extra income by using the 1-800…but I could also lose customers that way too…arrrgg !..I have to admit that 1-800 numbers kinda rank along side of Unknown name and number…honestly,who wants to talk to someone that refuses to give their name or number ? And who is going to want to do business with you if they can’t even reach you by phone ?I think that going without a phone number is as risky as going without a business name…Thanks for the advice,Basil !

    • I actually have gone as far to blobk 800 and unknown from my mobile, both my bank and alarm company sent letters they could not reach me about something, I had to go back and whitelist them, but yea if you don;t call from a local number your not getting me…

  9. It’s not because of the mission I’m leaving it here, I really liked your site, will read everything, thanks!

  10. Totally agree… but I will say our 877 number 877-543-GRAD has helped a ton.

  11. Well written article. I actually hadn’t even considered phone numbers in the context of SEO… but will always port my number! 🙂

  12. Yes,phone numbers are crucial to business, especially for self employed individuals. Well written article and thanks for sharing!

  13. Didn’t know about the android app. Nice piece with plenty of info. Thanks much.

  14. A Google Voice number has served me well.

  15. I have found this article very informative as it provides all the necessary information related to vanity phone numbers.As vanity phone numbers are also called as toll free numbers and are easy to remember.These numbers plays an important role in the generation of leads which results into increase in sales and revenue..

  16. Absolutely right!

    Member or not, you can always post a message for free at the community:

    Cheers John

    CEO #EAv Venture Capital Index


    Have a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

  17. Yes, phone numbers are crucial, although Skype is a good alternative

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