Having your company in the yellow pages was once the best way to grab new local customers, but just as many other types of print advertising have taken a seat behind the Internet, the yellow pages are no different and quickly lowering in value. This then begs the question for many small businesses: Is it worth it to still put out an ad in the yellow pages, or is local SEO enough to give you real results?
Why Local SEO Is Replacing the Yellow Pages
The biggest reason that local search engine optimization is replacing the yellow pages is because they offer easier, faster, and better results for users as well as businesses. For those who are unfamiliar, local SEO involves optimizing local map listings so that people will be able to find your company and get step-by-step directions from their location. It also involves local directory submissions and organic SEO to help your company rank well on a Google search engine results page (SERP).
A few of the reasons that local SEO trumps this traditional form of marketing include:
- Local SEO is targeted. All search results are ranked according to what people are reading the most and what websites are the most optimized for Google (or quality in the eyes of Google).
- The Internet is easy. It’s easier for a consumer to type in a search into Google as opposed to flipping through a huge book and looking for a tiny result. This makes this outlet more popular.
- It’s faster to advertise online. If you needed to jump-start your advertising or slow it down to save money, you can do that quickly online. If you’re using the yellow pages you have to wait until a new book is published, which usually only happens twice per year.
- Local SEO is less expensive. When simply looking at two numbers, it may seem as though the yellow pages are less expensive. However, your return on investment is much higher with local SEO (because of the reasons described above), so you actually save quite a bit of money.
Local SEO will grow with your company and only improve as time continues (provided you are not following black hat tactics and don’t get penalized). Getting started with local SEO is usually done by hiring an SEO agency or an expert who would work in-house. You can learn more about getting started in our article “Should I Hire an SEO Company or an In-House SEO?
Should You Still Put Out an Ad In the Yellow Pages?
So it seems quite clear that local SEO is something that a small business should employ, but we all know that advertising isn’t done through just one medium. You want to spread your advertising budget amongst different methods and different places in order to get the best results; however at the same time you simply can’t advertise in every space all the time. So are the yellow pages something you should cut?
While the yellow pages are distributed to everyone in the community, it seems that you would be hard pressed to find more than a few people who still use the yellow pages to search for a business. Even if there were a few people, it isn’t guaranteed that they would see and call your ad aren’t guaranteed. You should research your hometown to determine whether or not people use the yellow pages more than the Internet for search, but because of the ease and popularity of the Internet, nine times out of ten you’re going to find that local SEO wins.
Does your company still advertise in the yellow pages? Do you feel that this is still valuable despite local SEO?