Yellow Pages – So Not Over!
Search Engine Land website recently published an eye-opening article and confession from one of it’s bloggers who’s plotting the Yellow Pages’ imminent demise. After a household emergency, he changed his mind, acknowledging there were times when a Yellow Pages ad made sense. And, in fact, shares some very interesting facts about the Yellow Pages return-on-investment (ROI)
From his article, he said:
- 75% of YP advertisers are service businesses or installed product (think floor covering) businesses. The more service-heavy, the more valuable the directory.
- Businesses that have large, infrequent sales (roofer, divorce attorney, windshield repair) are very likely to receive a big return compared to a donut shop. A roofing customer is out of the market for 20 years after a purchase. That’s a lead worth capturing.
- When the customer’s location is the work site, local SEO is exceptionally difficult to optimize and a directory can assist in exposing a business to their desired service area. About 35% of YP advertisers are home-based businesses that need visibility. The print directory can act as one of their store fronts.
- Categories that are dominated online by national brands and deep pocketed lead generation companies are also big beneficiaries of local directories. Examples are insurance (your local agent can’t outspend GEICO online), pharmacy, finance, real estate and educational institutions.
- But print YP ads aren’t for everybody. Gas stations generally aren’t good YP advertisers because the decision to purchase is habitual, opportunistic, and more driven by price than research.
- Another rule of thumb is research. The more a decision is researched, the better the ad return is.
The instinct of small business owners these days is to join the land-rush mentality of social media, search engine optimization and paid online advertising. All of those are certainly valuable marketing tools. But, don’t get swept up in them and then rush to dump your Yellow Pages.
At least, track your results. Perhaps the biggest point in the article is how infrequent, high-dollar purchases benefit from Yellow Pages. When it comes time to buy these types of products and service, the prospect start anew with a vendor in mind. Scanning the Yellow Pages refreshes their memory and let’s them know who the current players are. If your prospective customer is in the habit of keeping their Yellow Pages, you’ll be in the running. That means, in buying a Yellow Pages ad, you MUST know the profile of your ideal customer in order to decide what to do the next time your contract is up for renewal. Or, you’re wasting money all over again.