So for most of us it's clear that the yellow pages are becoming more and more obsolete but many don't realize this vital fact:
Local SEO has played a prominent part in its decline.
By understanding the reason behind the fall, small businesses can learn two important points:
- The replacement of Yellow pages with Local SEO helps in understanding the significance of local SEO process.
- It is a wake-up call to all those business owners who are still involved in yellow pages registrations.
3 Reasons Why Local SEO Has Replaced the Yellow Pages
Your first step in understanding the transition is to learn the SEO process. Simply put, local SEO refers to optimizing your web pages for local search queries. It works two-fold:
First, local SEO involves adding your NAP (name, address, phone number) information to your website and local accounts such as Google+, Yahoo Local, and Bing Local.
It is the information that users will see on the Google Knowledge graph that will show up on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP) for your company search result.Local SEO involves optimizing web pages for local search queries.
For example, if someone types in "best coffee in Memphis," that is a local search query. If you optimize for keywords "coffee" and "Memphis," or the entire phrase as a long-tail keyword, then you will be optimizing for a local audience.
Naturally, this deviates the users to move away from yellow pages. With a simple search, you get information about businesses in your area.
Now that Google is getting more advanced, you can even type in "near me" and the search engine will use location tracking to generate relevant results.
A few more reasons why local SEO took over Yellow pages include:
1. Local SEO is targeted
While the yellow pages are usually categorized and then alphabetized, local SEO takes one step further by offering more categories and keywords to rank results regarding relevancy.
Search results also appear based on what others are reading and linking back to online. You can be sure that what you're seeing are quality results. You don't always get this with the yellow pages.
2. Advertising is easier for businesses
Often advertising for local customers needs to be sped up or slowed down depending on competitor's efforts. You can do this easily with local SEO, but with the yellow pages you only have a new book published about twice per year.
3. Local SEO is less expensive than the yellow pages
Going along with the last point, while it isn't too costly to register yourself in yellow pages, local SEO will give you a better ROI. As more people use local search, you get the golden chance to earn more visibility. Mose visibility leads to more conversions.
Getting started with local SEO involves a lot of keyword research, relevant content, citation consistency, and more.
You will have a similar strategy to your current SEO strategy but with a few local tactics to keep in mind and master, you can learn the art of attracting the local customers with your SEO skills.
The Ball is in Your Court
As far as still using the yellow pages, it's up to you to research who is using them in your hometown. They are likely still distributed to those who participate in your community, but that doesn't mean that they're using them to look up local businesses.
A good way to do this research in your community is to ask loyal local customers or consider putting a survey on your website or at your office/ store.
Plain and simple, in the vast majority of towns, the yellow pages can't match the reliable and focused approach of local SEO. Even if people do find you in the yellow pages, there is no telling whether or not they will choose to call your business.
It turns out to be a risky roadmap for business owners. In the end, local SEO is the clear winner for most small businesses.
Are you still using the yellow pages to advertise your business? Let us know your thoughts and your experiences in the comment section below.