A question we are often asked is “Is Yellow Pages online worth it?” Within our post, we will try to shed some light on this topic. Our goal as always is to provide honest information to help guide and provide clarity to help you make some of your decisions easier.
So, let’s get started!
Phone books are a thing of the past
We all know that phone books are a thing of the past, but that isn’t stopping Yellow Pages. As they continue to work their way into the online marketing world they offer services like Google AdWords advertising, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and priority rankings within their online directory.
Of course, it makes complete sense that these companies have to try to stake out their claim in the modern world of internet marketing. Yellow page directories know they have to evolve or else face the possibility of extinction. This is no different than the newspapers that had to quickly learn to adapt to their reader's migration to the web.
Using Strong-arm Tactics
Yellow Pages are not internet scammers, but they tend to use strong-arm tactics. For example, if you’re a new prospective client you’ve probably been told that your website will not be found in the search results and if you don’t use their online marketing services your products or services you won’t rank high in their directory. This is because the top spots in their directory are for their paying clients.
They also say that if you decide not to use Yellow Pages online services your site simply won’t appear at the very top of the Yellow Pages directory – remember this is not the SERP (Search Engine Results Pages), it’s only the Yellow Pages directory. It will however still appear in their respective spot within the directory, just not at the very top. This has little to no effect on the main search engines. If they try to tell you that without their services your site will disappear from the search results and no one will find your website don’t believe it as this is another one of their strong –arm tactics.
Can Yellow Pages Still Be Beneficial?
Yellow Pages may not have the power that they once had, but they are not completely irrelevant yet. They can still assist you in getting in front of the people that are still using Yellow Pages as a source. If you do a search for a product or service that you offer and a Yellow Pages directory ranks high in the SERPS for a particular term, then it may be beneficial to pay a small amount for getting your business listed in the directory. (Just a business directory listing)
It seems as if phone directory companies are now proclaiming themselves SEO experts and behaving just as badly as many of the other self-proclaimed gurus. They have ridiculous monthly fees and scare people about losing their position in the search results if they stop paying.
We wouldn’t recommend using Yellow Pages for anything other than a directory listing. Even though they offer SEO and AdWords, for us the biggest concern is their lack of SEO knowledge. Search engine algorithms are changing continuously and it’s extremely important to stay up to date and educated on the latest trends and best practices to offer a solid SEO strategy. You can’t operate competitively using outdated principles.
Let’s just think of this for a brief second. The majority of people that are searching for products or services aren’t directly going to the Yellow Pages directory to do their search. Majority of searches are completed within the search engine (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) So, are you really missing out on that much?