Why Do You Advertise in the Yellow Pages? 


Websites VS Yellow Pages by Page 1 SEO ServicesThat is the question I often ask my clients; it puts you right next to everyone else in your category and forces you to compete for either a bigger ad or a lower price for your services.

The answer often is, "because everyone else does".

Yellow page advertising for the past 100 years has been the first, and sometimes the only thought when a small business owner considers his or her marketing plan.

Times have changed and nowadays, people's first reactions when they need information is to look online. 

If I need someone to work on my yard, I look online.  If I need someone to work on my roof, I look online.  If I need a mechanic for my car, I look online.

Lots of businesses do not have a web page, but instead, have yellow page ads, unfortunately, the majority of the public will not know about their businesses,  since most people are now using the Internet to search for local businesses and NOT the Yellow Pages.

There's just not enough information to make an informed decision, especially in such a small limited space in the Yellow Pages.

Did you know that a match-box sized ad in the Yellow Pages to put it in perspective is about the same as being on page 10 (position 100) of Google's search results… which is quite useless, to put it bluntly, since it is hardly visible.

Here is a recent 2014 survey asking, Which of the Following On-Line Sites Have You Used to Find a Local Business?

Survey - Which On-Line Sites Do We Use To Find A Local Business - Page 1 SEO Services in Dayton Ohio

Usage:  Yellow Pages:

When was the last time you scrambled around to find the yellow pages to find the phone number of a local business to call?

I can't remember the last time I did that.

As a business owner, the last thing that I would want to do is give my prospects a detailed list of my local competitors, including addresses and phone numbers. 

But that is exactly what the yellow pages do.


Most searches now begin online, and people's first reactions when they need complete information is to look online.

Using search engine optimization, you can differentiate yourself and your business from everyone else so that when a potential customer is looking for what you do, they find you, and not all your competitors.


Yellow Pages:  Yellow page ads are static.

Unlike a web page, you cannot update your ad to add something important or highlight a special new offer.

Once the ad goes to print, you're stuck with it for a year, mistakes or not, and those do happen, until the next year's ad cycle.


With a website, you can promote yourself and show off your business to its best advantage. 

No size, color, or media limitations.

Try putting a video in a yellow page ad.

Update at any time, make special offers, let visitors know about new products and services or special promotional offers, such as seasonal or holiday specials.

Once your prospect is on your site, you have 100% of their attention.

Future Marketing Potential:

Yellow Pages:

Hanging onto a yellow page ad in the age of the Internet is like continuing to make horse-pulled buggies back when automobiles were gaining popularity.

Sure, people will still want buggies, but a lot more people want cars.

Now that 75% of Americans have access to the Internet, and more than 80% of those people turn to the Internet first before making a purchase, it's no surprise that the print yellow pages are becoming a thing of the past, like the typewriter.

A yellow pages ad is no longer a cost-effective advertising option and its appeal and use is continually spiraling downward.


More and more small local business owners are catching on to the Net's potential to grow their local businesses, steal their competitors' customers, and add brand new revenue streams to their businesses that they would have never thought possible.

Regardless of the size or nature of your business, it is now possible to compete on the same footing as the largest of companies.

The Internet has leveled the playing field for even the smallest of players.  What other form of advertising can do that?

There is no longer a need to  buy expensive yellow page packages or multiple half-page ads in order to get "full coverage" across several business categories or geographic regions.

Cost Considerations:

Yellow Pages:

Expensive!  Hundreds, if not thousands of dollars a year per listing, per geographic area, per category, for each 2" x 4" space.

One of our clients recently mentioned she had paid $6,000.00 for a three-color ad and was very disappointed with the result since it had been placed next to a similarly colored ad that was larger.   Her very expensive ad blended in like it was a part of the neighboring advertisement and no, that cannot be changed after printing and distribution.

Unfortunately, she got lousy results while still having to pay for it every month until the next year's printing.

The use of color and how the yellow pages charges monthly additional fees for the use of it, is pretty unbelievable, I mean how much does a different colored ink cost?

Yellow pages also charge more for the use of white or lack of color, even as much as 40%.

There are too many telephone books.

Advertising in multiple books for different geographic areas is too expensive.

If advertising in one book has a bad ROI, advertising in 3 books will only compound your loss 3 times.

Neighborhood books are ineffective, a waste of money, and were only established to bring in more revenue for the yellow pages.

And how about downsizing?

Never mind that you've paid for a bigger ad for 10 or more years.

When you decide to downsize to a smaller ad because the cost for the same ad goes up EVERY YEAR and keeps escalating, they'll reward you by putting you at the END of the smaller ads, even though you may have been first in the larger ads. 

That's the reward you will receive for being a good customer all those years, and that's how much they actually care about their loyal customers after making a downsizing change.


A website, on the other hand, after a modest investment, allows for product differentiation.   It provides you the opportunity to showcase and highlight the benefits of your products and services without your competitors being on the same page; the show is all yours.

If that yellow page ad is not bringing in customers or converting readers into customers, you are still stuck paying the monthly bill for a year, no possible testing or tweaking for better results available there.

With your website, it can be changed, tweaked, or altered as much as you would like through the year until you find the right combination's that WILL convert those searchers into paying customers for you.

With a website, you can create as many pages and as much content as you like, with no additional costs for that content space.

Actually, the more quality optimized content you have on your site, the better it is for your search engine rankings.

Your website can be optimized to show up for multiple keywords related to your specific business, and also in multiple categories, at no additional cost.

Try listing your business under 10 -20 different categories and see how much that will cost you!

Instead of spending all your hard-earned advertising dollars on a static, limited ad that may or may not yield any results for your business, why not implement an online advertising campaign?

All is Not Lost for the Yellow Pages.

Yellow page books are great for lifting your computer monitor to a more comfortable height. 

That is one thing that a web page simply cannot do.

All kidding aside.

Page 1 SEO Services would like to offer you some suggestions about how to reallocate your advertising dollars for a better ROI for your business advertising dollars:

We do not recommend totally abandoning your yellow page ads unless you are ranked on Page 1 of Google and the other search engines. 

Many businesses, however, are saving considerable amounts of money and achieving better results and more revenue by slimming down the costs of their yellow page presence and investing the money into a website, if they do not already have one.

Additionally, buying SEO services accomplishes the much-needed rankings in the search engines for their website. 

Your marketing dollars can generate a much better ROI when you focus on providing relevant, optimized quality content that converts your visitors into customers.

Look at the yellow pages as an investment for your business.

What did it cost you last year and what business came directly from it?  If the numbers work, keep doing it.

However, if your answer is "I don't know", we have a suggestion for you.

Keep the yellow pages ad;  just make it 50% smaller.

Take the 50% you saved and use it to directly drive online prospects to your business.

If you are satisfied with the results of your yellow pages, take only 20%-30% of your current budget to create an online presence or improve the rankings of your current website.

Consumers will continue to accelerate their use of Web content search tools for local search tasks as convenience and accuracy in those engines increase.

Through this process, the importance of quality optimized content and websites for your business operations will also continue to grow.

Goodbye Yellow Pages - Hello Google!Regardless of the size of your business, your growing Internet presence, led by the search engines' time-saving convenience and search accuracy, is driving the web to become a local community information phenomena and your advertising tool for your community.

Don't let your competitors take away your customers, optimize today!

Call Page 1 SEO Services today at (937) 830-6108 and let us help build new local business for your company and bring your competitors' customers to you through the use of our unique search engine optimization techniques.

You'll be glad you did.