It’s the old-school method so many businesses are in the habit of doing, but does a yellow pages ad really pay for itself in business?
According to MSN 70% of Americans never open a phone book. A yellow page ad will get a business about 80 calls annually, at a cost of about $10 per call.
Display ads bring in more calls for an expenditure of about $18,800 annually. The conversion rate is less than 1%.
Using yellow pages advertising isn’t going to increase contractor SEO. When a representative for yellow pages advertising contacts you, they promote paid advertising with the promise of getting you onto the top of the search results.
Your mind interprets that as Google search results. What they’re promising is yellow pages search results.
Yellow pages don’t provide top Google SEO, but what about in general? Is advertising in the yellow pages beneficial to contractors? Keep reading to find out.
It’s Not Grandma’s Yellow Pages
Many of us remember getting a huge yellow pages book every year. It was massive, the yellow pages indicating the business section. It was the bible for finding any business or service you needed.
Yellow pages advertising has moved into the 21st century with an online directory. It contains the same sub-categories the older generation is familiar with—dentists, attorneys, restaurants, grocery, etc.
We are an internet society. Ninety-seven percent of Americans own a cell phone. Fifteen percent of those are “smartphone-only” internet users.
To find information, most people grab their smartphone and “Google” what they’re looking for. How does Google link their search to your yellow pages ad?
How Yellow Pages Advertising Works
Yellow pages is an online marketing agency. They offer two advertising methods, priority placement, and free listing.
When you use yellow pages, priority placement gets your business to the top of a specific category or keyword search. The ranking is only within the YP website. The YP sales agent makes this sound impressive.
What you are not told is that getting to your listing requires several steps.
- Potential client searches for a contractor using Google
- One of the Google results is a YP category related to contractors
- The potential client clicks on the YP search result
- The client is taken to the YP website to see your business listing
The YP category on the Google search results page does not bring up your business name. With a priority placement ad your business will be near the top of that page and will show “sponsored” above the listing.
Continue scrolling down the business listings, and you get to the free listing section. You have visibility in the yellow pages directory but are not prioritized at the top of the page.
A free listing is the best option. You are not at the top of the page. You will show up for people scanning down the page for contractor marketing of specific services.
When you use the yellow pages free listing option, you save your business the high cost of advertising. You will likely receive solicitation calls from sales representatives pushing you to move into the priority placement level.
Should You Pay For a Yellow Pages Ad?
The recommendation for contractors is to use the free listing option. Concentrate on increasing SEO on your contractor’s website. Getting your own website ranking high on search engines will provide you with more “hits” than paid yellow page advertising.
These advertising solutions will lower your advertising costs while putting more clients on your work schedule. Clients learn more about your company by landing on your website, not a yellow pages ad.
Use Yellow Pages Wisely
The key to contractor marketing is to use a yellow pages ad wisely. Promote your business with a free listing, but invest money into building SEO on your business website.
We invite you to check out our other blogs for more great tips on moving your business ahead.