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Finding your business on the web versus in the Yellow Pages

on in Internet Marketing



'Search-engine' versus 'print' advertising.

Since 2008 more customers have been using the web search-engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) than using the 'yellow pages'; currently over 2/3 of searches rely on the internet search engines.   Yellow page advertising may have been effective for your business historically, it may even be effective now; but have you reviewed and updated your advertising strategy and allocation of advertising dollars to reflect the changing dynamics of on-line search engines and how your customers use the web?  Consider if your businesses can afford to ignore 2/3 of your potential customers.  

Understanding user behaviors in each medium

The internet is quite a different medium than print, a website is far different from a yellow page add, and the actual process that users go through when looking for a business on the web is quite different than looking through the yellow pages.   Understanding those differences is important for success.   Let's compare, for example looking for pizza.  In the yellow pages, customers find pizza in an alphabetical list under restaurants.  They will turn to that page and scan the adds to look for the nearest, most appealing or whatever their criteria is at the time.  Yellow page shoppers will generally scan several pages looking for the right match; so just being in the right category in the yellow pages gives one a chance to be found.   

Web searches however, are not as straightforward as looking through the yellow pages. In fact different users may get different results typing in the same search criteria.  Search engines personalize their results; Pizza hunters on the web may be returned thousands of websites; sorted not only by the search criteria, but by previous searches, relevance, distance, Google does not use the same algorithms as Bing or Yahoo etc.; .   

Studies also find customers typically look at far fewer results on-line than with the yellow pages; rarely do potential customers go past the front pages; mobile devices narrow scan-ability even further by displaying far fewer results per page.  So just having a website does not necessarily put you in the game.   These trends should cause business owners to take a serious look at their website and marketing strategy.   We have some expertise here and would be happy to discuss options.

Tagged in: branding SEO Technology