The Yellow Pages are Dead, Really? Well Maybe…

I have heard this more than once from clients – they have stopped or cut way back their Yellow Page advertising to fund focusing on web advertising or web placement.

When I managed a paint and wallpaper store years ago, it was not uncommon for us to spend over $5,000 each month for Yellow Page advertising. If you weren’t there (in the Yellow Pages), customers just did not find you. The $5,000 we spent (on Yellow Page advertising) was probably even on the low side. The web has changed all that. Now, the mantra is if you’re not on Google, customers just do not find you. Well, they can find you with sponsored search, but that in itself has truly changed how many firms choose to promote their businesses.

In fact, I was just searching for information and professional services today, and when I did use the yellow pages online, the results were so lame that I went back to Google for more research and review. I did find resources via the pay per click ads, but I started with the organic results rapidly scanning the descriptions for my top phrases, then used search and find to find my phrase in the actual document. Did I pick up the Yellow Page book from my cabinet – NO I was totally online.

I am just one of thousands of searchers using the same techniques. So, is it still viable and beneficial to advertise in the local Yellow Pages. I think that it depends on what you are providing and selling.

I look for beauty salons in the Yellow Page print version and not on the web as I want just local results. When local search results get better on all the search engines, I may fore go the print Yellow Pages all together. How about you? When do you use the print Yellow Page and when do you use online searching?

I think you will find yourself to be like me, for search and to find out of area resources I use Google.com. For local businesses, like hair salons, I like to see the print ads  in the print Yellow Pages and gravitate to the larger ones, bypassing the small ads. I typically do not search the local online search engines for purely local business results. As local search results get better this is sure to change which will nail the coffin lid on the Yellow Pages for sure.

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2 thoughts on “The Yellow Pages are Dead, Really? Well Maybe…”

  1. Interesting, but small businesses need help developing sites and ofter aren’t able to manage them. Last year US consumers referenced the print YP over 13.4 billion times and these same YP publishers provide a lot of online content for both their sites and Google, Yahoo, etc. It’s important for business owners to accurately track where their business comes from and YP, both print and online, gives them that ability. Full disclosure, I work for the Yellow Pages Association and aditional information about YP can be found at ypassociation.org.

  2. Yea, I did the same thing. I wrote an article about how the yellow pages are dead, and then found myself using it to find a local bunch…I emphasize—- complete list….of stores I wanted to contact.
    Even if the local search gets pretty accurate, will it list all stores? I believe it will be local websites that all business will want to be in and this is what will be valuable for the consumer. It will be the local webmasters job to make sure the consumer will turn to them first.

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