getFound SEM

Search Engines Have Replaced Yellow Pages

The Yellow Pages industry is becoming more and more irrelevant each time someone searches on the internet. Have you noticed that the Yellow Pages books are becoming thinner and thinner each year? Many consumers hate to see these big books dropped at their door steps because it is a waste of resources to print something that few people ever read. Even the Yellow Pages companies now offer customers the option of not receiving their publications anymore.

As consumers are moving away from the Yellow Pages, they are flocking to search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing when they need information on products or services. When you compare the two very different media, it is not difficult to see why search engines have many advantages.

Search Engines Offer Speed, Accuracy & Convenience

Ever wonder why most of those thick Yellow Pages books end up in the recycle bins as soon as they reach the consumers?

  • People will do what they think it is easy. Search engines make the vast amount of information easily accessible to users. You can do searches from computers and cell phones anywhere anytime. The amount of time for them to find such information is drastically reduced as search engines become faster and more accurate.
  • Search engines provide up-to-date information. The Yellow Pages lasts one year. During the year, the listed companies may have undergone dramatic changes. Such changes can make the Yellow Pages information outdated. In contrast, search engines constantly monitor the changes on the internet and those changes are reflected in the search results.
  • Search engines empower the consumers to evaluate various businesses. Consumers can learn little about a company through its Yellow Pages advertisement. All the ads look the same and use the same language. How can the consumers tell one from another? In contrast, at search engines, consumers are presented with web sites, some of which are good and some of which are not so good. Through these web presentations by the competing companies, consumers can make an evaluation as to which companies they prefer to do business with.

Why Search Engines Outperform Yellow Pages

Even as the Yellow Pages becomes less and less effective in attracting new business, many companies are still paying to advertise in this old print media. Some business owners are reluctant to switch to search engine marketing because of the fear of unknown. If you send the Yellow Pages a $100,000 check, you will get a full-page ad that lasts a year. It is something you can see and touch, regardless whether it offers any true value to your company. On the other hand, search engine marketing is gauged by rankings, web traffic and conversion which all seem very abstract and hard to grasp. However, to those business owners who had the courage to try the new way of marketing, search engines are as concrete as the Yellow Pages.

Compared with the Yellow Pages, search engines offer businesses unmatched advantages:

  • Search engines give your business more exposure. While the number of Yellow Pages users is shrinking, the number of search engine users is skyrocketing. Search engines allow users to find anything from anywhere within minutes, making the Yellow Pages obsolete.
  • Search engine marketing gives your business the total control. Your advertisement in the Yellow Pages is limited by the print space and you can’t tell your customers everything about your products and services. Plus, your message doesn’t change for an entire year while your business may have gone through significant growth or expansion. That limitation is wiped out on the web. You can provide all the information about your company on your web site and impress your future customers.
  • Search engines give your business a chance to stand out. In the Yellow Pages, the only way to grab more attention is to print a bigger, more colorful advertisement. In contrast, you can beat your competition on search engines with higher rankings, more useful information, better conversion, and more returning visits.
  • Your investment in search engine marketing is long-lasting. With the Yellow Pages publications change yearly, your hefty investment is only good for one year. In contrast, your investment in search engine marketing lasts as long as your web site keeps operating. When search engines rank a web site, the history of the web site’s search engine optimization is taken into account. Your dollars invested in search engine optimization today will benefit you 5 years or 10 years from today.
  • Search engine marketing is scalable. You decide how much you want to invest in your search engine marketing. You can adjust your marketing budget on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis. Your marketing results help you determine what the appropriate budget should be. If your business has a seasonal cycle, you can market more aggressively at the peak of your season. None of these options are available at the Yellow Pages.
  • Search engine marketing results are trackable. When visitors come to your web site through keyword searches, you can tell how long the visitors stay at your site, how many web pages they see and whether they buy your products or services. Based on the user feedback, you can further enhance your web performance to convert more visitors into customers. In contrast, you have little feedback from those who see your Yellow Pages advertisement.

The potential of search engine marketing is endless, with new options emerging as the search technology advances. The combination of organic search optimization and pay-per-click marketing provides businesses the most cost-effective way to reach out to their future customers. Harnessing the power of search engine marketing is the key to your business growth.

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