With Yellow Pages Steady Decline In Overall Traffic for 2016, Is It Still Worth Running Ads on Them?

10/07/2016 05:02 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Back in the old days when before the internet became widely popular, most people had to rely on the yellow pages for their information. They used to check out job ads and other ads in the yellow pages and also look for people or companies' contact details. Nowadays, the yellow pages are actually becoming less and less popular since everything can be access through the internet.

Even though it is apparent that the internet has already trumped the yellow pages, there are still a lot of small, traditional businesses that stick to the traditional yellow pages ads and refuse to have a website. Here are a few reasons as to why this is a bad idea and what should be done instead.

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The Internet Allows You to Access Information Faster

In the old days, you had to scroll through thousands of pages before you can get a phone number or an address. This was very practical back then but things are very much different today. In 2002, the world already saw a decline in the use of yellow pages since the internet was becoming more accessible. This decline in 2002 all the way to 2010 lead to a drop in the international yellow pages industry from $15 billion to $10 billion in those 9 years.

You Can Get Access to More Features at Your Fingertips

Since the internet allows for more than one function in a website, you get to have a lot of features ready for you. For example, when you search for the contact details of a company, you not only get the phone number and the address, but you also get the exact location on the map. There will be an actual map connected to the address where you can see how you can get to the office and also the landmarks beside it.

With features like this, you literally have everything at your fingertips. No longer do you have to scroll pages to find what you're looking for. This makes it easier for your clients to get to you. If you have a website that contains all the information your potential clients need from you, they can get to you easily which will lead to some immediate sales.
You Get Better Quality Leads

As of last 2016, there are already an estimated 2 trillion searches on Google every year. This means that people are more adept at making use of Google nowadays. With this figure, it's pretty apparent that Google itself has already overtaken the yellow pages.

Now, let's say you have a website that is SEO friendly. This means that you can have access to the 2 trillion searches that are in Google. Your website could be a part of what people search. Also, this is on an international level which is something the yellow pages cannot reach.
You Save More Money Advertising on the Web In the Long Run

In general, print advertising is more expensive than digital advertising because of the space available. However, digital advertising can help you garner the same or even more traffic without having to spend as much. Social media marketing costs even less if you are interested in spreading your business in Facebook. As a whole, print advertising, especially in the yellow pages, is quite costly and digital marketing can save you a lot of money in the long run.

Conclusion

So with all of this in mind, are the yellow pages useless already? I wouldn't say so because the yellow pages companies are now going over to the digital world in order to keep up with the times. However, there are still a number of people who prefer the hard copy of their directories. For this, companies like Yellow Pages Goes Green would offer these people custom deliveries of directories. It also to helps reduce the use of paper for a cleaner and greener environment. According to Michael Keegan, CEO of Yellow Pages Goes Green, "YellowPagesGoesGreen.org isn't against the telephone books themselves, but the unwanted delivery of five pounds of paper to people's doorsteps. We believe that you shouldn't have to bear the cost of recycling something you didn't ask for in the first place. If we want a phone book, we'll ask for one".