Milwaukee advertisers have a lot to choose from when it comes to advertising.
As a small business owner your phone rings with another advertising salesperson telling you that they are the best option for you, Newspapers and yellow Page companies have had dwindling usage in what was a robust market for businesses looking to be found by potential customers. In order to combat the loss of revenue these companies are experiencing, they have developed online local directories. But are they as useful as their old print products?
YP.com noted in a recent article by Greg Sterling on searchengineland.com that they were going to compete directly with Google as a general purpose directory. The problem is that it is an unrealistic goal. Google’s share of the local search market is just over 80% with the majority of their usage in print and online in the age group of 65 and over. They market themselves with a ton of print advertising, billboards and of course yellowpage advertising. If their target audience is over 65 then fine, but their audience is dying off.
People are already trained to blow by billboards and signage, we see popups online and we skip by commercials on our tv’s. There are a million apps available on our cell phones and creative marketing for directional advertising reminds me of a bus company advertising in an airport. Or in their case, a yellowpage directory advertising in a magazine. As a former Yellow page consultant, I can tell you that back when yellowpages were successful it was because directional advertising in my opinion is the best way to advertise. The customer needs a product or service, they just don’t know who to get it from. They would look in the yellowpages because at the time it was pretty much the only source available and found someone who provided that product or service for them. Yellowpages was a great source back in the day for both the advertisers and the people who used them. YP.coms problem is that the internet is now the source as it is available in every household, smartphone, and tablet, and they have become worse then a heading in this digital directory, they have become a subheading. And an expensive one.
Think about it, when you go online and look for a heating contractor, google, yahoo, bing, whatever search engine you use will give you local results on and organic results. These results already give you direct access to this companies website. I don’t look for yp.com when am looking for a furnace repairman.
Now, when it comes to your online marketing of your company, it isn’t a bad idea to have a presence on these directories. It helps your SEO and can aid in your placement on Google and Yahoo. A simple free listing will do that for you. The Algorithm for placement on directories like yp.com also are similar to that of Google, (some design aspects actually came from search engines) so you may find your free listing towards the top of their index anyway and could get more traffic to your website then the paid for banners on their directory. So again, why pay for it. Even with high placement and expensive advertising programs on these directories, you will notice that the vast, and I mean vast majority of your traffic is coming from your organic search results on Google.
The only way in my opinion Yp.com has any chance to bring back its old print yellowpages glory and value would be for them to develop their own Search engine and have users use that search engine instead of Google. Yahoo and Bing have already shown us how easily that can be achieved.