A Yellow Pages directory arrived at my Oklahoma City office last week. As I examined the book, it occurred to me that, while the directory was certainly slimmer than I remember as a child, there were still many full-page and double-truck ads in this printed directory.
Businesses are still buying great big ads in a book that spends more time as a doorstop than a trusted search resource.
Are these businesses simply renewing year-after-year because it is what they have always done? Are they impressed with the digital element that comes along with being listed on one of the plethora of Yellow Pages online directory websites? For the most part, I think that the answer is YES to both questions.
For many remaining Yellow Pages advertisers it makes more financial sense to redirect that budget into marketing methods like inbound marketing, search engine marketing (PPC) and search engine optimization (SEO) that actually mirror how people make buying decisions.
In fact, many of these legacy advertisers could put HALF of their yellow pages budget into more effective methods and generate more than double the leads and customers. This isn't a theory. We have done it.
Here is why it works:
People search for businesses differently than they did as recently as five years ago.
Digital search, SEO and inbound marketing's results improve over time.
People search for businesses differently than they did even as recently as five years ago
There are 2.3 million Google searches per second. Roughly 10% of all searches are transactional searches, meaning that they signal an intent to make a purchase. Doing the math: 230,000 people per second are searching on Google to make a purchase. If we add searches on Bing, Yahoo and other search engines, the number of transactional searches per second approaches 300,000.
The legacy yellow pages companies like YP & Hibu have tried to make a digital transition with their own web, search and Yellow Pages online products. Companies like ReachLocal and DexMedia have emerged to provide services designed to transition businesses away from the paper directory. All of these businesses lack the primary assets that the paper directory used to hold. Now, Google (and Bing & Yahoo) hold the power.
Digital search, SEO and inbound marketing gets better over time
In the old days, once the yellow pages directory was printed, the marketing message was set. If the creative and copy of the ad wasn't effective, you were still stuck with it for a year, at a large expense.
Inbound marketing, SEM and SEO can be measured, managed, improved and optimized so that every dollar spent, over time, brings more revenue back.
With the SEM+ SEO + inbound marketing mix, everything is accountable, because everything is accounted for. Every click, visit, conversion and customer is counted. Return-on-investment is easy to calculate.
Remember: the Yellow pages are just one example of the many ways in which the market has changed. Are you ready to take your business to the next level, and start catching the eye of 300,000 customers per second?
Call us to find out all you need to know about inbound marketing and how we can make it work for you.
Jake Fisher, a co-founder of Bridges, is a multilingual B2B entrepreneur. In 2012, Jake co-founded Bridges Strategies with Ashley Quintana, a former coworker at Tyler Media. Within two years, the partners scaled Bridges to more than one million dollars in gross revenue from a $10,000 initial investment. Combining business knowledge and insight with the comedy from his radio days, Jake regularly speaks at events sanctioned by organizations such as the American Marketing Association, Public Relations Society of America, and HubSpot.