Are the Yellow Pages Dead?

Published by Nadeem Muaddi on July 21st, 2011

Many business owners tend to believe so. However, new research shows that the Yellow Pages are still the most trusted source of information on local businesses – off and online. So if you cancelled your ad in the big yellow book, you may want to reconsider.

Research firm Burke conducted the study on behalf of the Local Search Association. It found that “print Yellow pages and white pages still outrank search engines in terms of trust, accuracy and ease of use,” reports Business News Daily.

Folks are also referencing the Yellow Pages more often than you might think. Business News Daily explains:

More than 8 out of 10 people used either print or Internet Yellow Pages to find a local business in the last year and more than three-quarters used a search engine. Though search engine usage moved slightly ahead last year, reaching 76 percent of consumers, 74 percent of U.S. adults used a print Yellow Pages directory to find a local business. Nearly 8 in 10 print Yellow Page lookups resulted in a purchase or purchase intent.

While the usage of print Yellow Pages has declined as local media information has become available in more places, U.S. consumers still look up information in a print directory billions of times per year. In 2010, consumers generated 11 billion references to print Yellow pages. The digital marketing research firm comScore found that Internet Yellow Pages generated 5.6 billion searches in 2010. [more]

That’s not to say auto upholstery shops shouldn’t advertise online. On the contrary, Burke‘s findings clearly show a significant and growing trend toward online sources. Twitter, Facebook and other social media tools may not carry as much credibility as the Yellow Pages brand, but they soon will.

Smart auto upholstery shop owners will place ads in print and online versions of the Yellow Pages, while simultaneously pursuing strategies based on social media. That way, when print-reference guides become obsolete, their shops are already ahead of the curve.

Besides, most social media tools are free – so there really isn’t much to lose.




3 Responses

  1. KEM says:

    It may depend a whole lot on where you are. When I dropped my “business card sized” ad, it was costing over $500 a month. It was not bringing in anywhere near that much money, gross, a month. So I figured I would be ahead (saving gas and time), just sitting at home.

    When I dropped my ad, I still wanted a business presence, so I got a business number (my old ad featured my mobile phone). This got me a listing in the white and single line in the yellow page. The vast majority of calls I got were from people wanting to sell me credit cards, insurance, etc.

    For me the primary source of work is
    a) repeat business b2b
    b) referrals, including reviews such as Angie’s List.
    c) myweb page

  2. Nadeem says:

    Hi KEM,

    I agree, the Yellow Pages are far too expensive. I would have imagined that their prices would have dropped by now – especially since there are so many other places to list your ad for free.

    $500 per month for a card-size ad is ridiculous, especially if it’s not generating more than double that in revenue. I think you did the right thing.

    I tend to agree with you that the best form of advertising/marketing is b2b and word of mouth. However, a follower of ours on Facebook raised an interesting point. He said that the majority of his older, less internet savy customers still use the Yellow Pages, and since that’s most of his clients, he can’t do without an ad in there.

    The best thing, I suppose, is to know your customers. However, I can’t imagine the print version of the Yellow Pages being relevant in another 10 years. Everything will be online sooner or later.

    Thanks for reading The Hog Ring!

  3. 8-track 8-track says:

    For the money it costs for a business card size listing per yer, $6000.00 you can put up one hell of a nice website for less that.


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