The first ever Yellow Pages was created in 1886 by a company called Donnelley. Since then, small businesses have been using Yellow Pages to promote their businesses locally. In fact, for over a century, it seems to have been the “go-to” advertising solution for businesses once they opened up shop. It’s one of those traditional things that the pre-Internet generation has been used to. Today, the Yellow Pages are at risk of going extinct.
Those same Yellow Page books that used to be thick and heavy are getting thinner every year. Also, less and less Yellow Pages are being printed and circulated. Add to that, the fact that more people are using the Internet than ever before, it’s no wonder that Yellow Page books are losing ground fast.
So, what’s going on?
- Web directories have essentially replaced the traditional Yellow Pages for business listings. Web directories are not only practical, but also much easier and convenient for searchers to use. In addition, web directories provide a lot more information about businesses than the Yellow Pages. For example… ratings and reviews, interactive maps, real-time hours, and other dynamic information.
- Business owners are finding out that they are getting a better ROI from advertising online vs spending a small fortune on a Yellow Page listing. A listing in the Yellow Pages can cost thousands per year with a one year commitment. With online advertisements, you’re not locked into a long-term contract. You have the flexibility to set your budget and stop your campaign at any time. Furthermore, you can optimize and measure your online ad campaigns. With a Yellow Page listing, you can’t.
- Mobile usage has surpassed desktop in the US, and a majority of users are performing local searches on their mobile devices. This means that you should be allocating a portion of your marketing budget on local advertising.
If you own a local business and you’ve been contemplating whether to advertise online or not, now’s a good time to try. If you stick to your comfort zone and never try anything new, you won’t ever know. Like I said before, sometimes you have to take chances to get to the next level.