Why OFCOM changes to 08 numbers affects Local Search

On 1st July 2015 Ofcom enforced “The biggest change to telephone calls in years, affecting 175m phone numbers”.

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(Is your NAP Mobile Friendly?)

On 1st July 2015, Ofcom enforced “The biggest change to telephone calls in years, affecting 175m phone numbers”.

The good news is that mobile phone calls to 0800 numbers are now FREE, instead of the exorbitant costs that Telco’s have charged previously.

The bad news is that mobile calls to 0845 and 0870 numbers could increase!

What has 08 numbers got to do with local search?

MiShop.local conducted a survey in 2014 to find out what people are looking for when they search for a local business. In the survey, 78% of people said they were looking for a telephone number to call. 50% said they use “click to call”, but less than 10% said they would call an 08 number from their mobile phone.

Considering that most local search is done on a mobile phone, just think about the implications to your customers if you’ve listed an 08 number. They are looking for your details from a mobile device – which means they are literally one click away from calling you, yet you have put an obstacle in their way… they do not want to call an 08 number from the mobile phone.

They now have a choice; they either write down the number and call from a landline (if its convenient), or they call someone else, or the very begrudgingly call you and resent the fact that they are paying an exorbitant fee for the privilege of calling to give you some business!

We were hoping that the new OFCOM ruling would make it cheaper for mobile users to call all 08 numbers. Unfortunately, this does not appear to be the case.

We don’t encourage businesses to change their phone numbers, but If your branch is listed with an 0845 or 0870 number, now may be the time to think about your number strategy and whether it right for your customers. It won’t affect your local search performance, but it may determine whether a customer calls you or the next business in the search results who does have a mobile friendly number.

MiShop.Local can advise you on what numbers to use as part of a local search strategy.

If you’d like to read more about the OFCOM rulings and how they affect call charges, here is a good article written by Paloma Kubiak, from MoneySavingExpert.com: 0845 and 0870 number price hike warning as Ofcom changes rules on call pricing

You can also read more about the OFCOM ruling by visiting their website at:  http://www.ukcalling.info/

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