Once upon a time when you needed to find a local business you would pick up the super thick "yellow pages" or "superpages". Today, print directory advertising can no longer compete with web generated results. Most print directories have migrated to the web and introduced new features, but still both traditional and online versions are struggling to adapt to a changing market. So how exactly do people find your business?
Unlike Yellow Pages or Superpages which are projected to see a decline of 39% over the next four years, Search Engine Optimization is on the rise and SEO spending is set to hit the $23.4 billion mark by 2013. Today search engines are the primary source for local business search queries. This trend is showing no sign of slowing down. In 2007 Bill Gates was quoted saying that "Yellow Page usage amongst people below 50 will drop to near zero over the next five years."
The cost of advertising with the Yellow Pages varies depending on the package and options selected. Online directory listing rates for some of our clients here in Canada were reaching up to $1500/month. Not only is Search engine optimization a fraction of the cost but businesses are unrestricted and marketing potential is limitless. When companies invest $1500 - $2500/month into search engine optimization instead of the Yellow Pages they are guaranteed a much greater ROI.
Although SEO is no longer an unfamilliar acronym, many business owners are still unsure about the real value of search engine optimization. With over 80% of internet users finding products and services via a search engine it's crucial business owners not bypass the long term benefits of SEO.
Should businesses maintain a presence in Yellow Pages & Superpage Directories?
There are certain types of businesses that still get calls/sales as a result of a directory listing. People ages 65-80 are more inclined to refer to the Yellow Pages than Google (in most instances.) In smaller more rural communities people would not expect a local Plumber, Electrician or Mechanic to have a website--but they would expect them to be listed in a local print directory.
As long as the cost of directory advertising does not exceed revenues generated by the listing(s), there is no harm maintaining a presence in print and/or online directories. But be sure you can qualify from which sources your leads are being generated.