This entry is part 1 of 21 in the series Marketing Your Business On The Internet

Consumers Continue to Move To Online Search

Local search is growing–more than 20 percent of all searches have location terms. In April of 2011, comScore reported that Google delivered almost 11 billion searches. That means more than 2 billion searches were local searches.

Those number increase every month. Consider this: In April, 2008 Google served 6.5 billion searches, or around 1.3 billion local searches. More consumers everyday are using local search.

And one of the advertising mediums that is being hit the hardest by this move online is Yellow Pages directories. Traditionally, the Yellow Pages has been the “go to” source for local businesses, and as a result if your business wasn’t listed in the Yellow Pages, you would be missing out on a lot of potential customers.

But with the transition to internet-based local search, those searchers are becoming less and less likely to use the Yellow Pages. And not only because of the convenience and speed of the internet – they’re also looking for reliable sources for reviews and other information about the companies they’re considering which isn’t possible with print advertising.

The Yellow Pages Dilemma

Yellow page providers realize that they need to do something to keep from becoming extinct in a few more years. One of the solutions they’ve attempted is internet-based Yellow Page be directories.

These directories work much like the printed version. Your ad gets placed in whatever business category is applicable, on the assumption that people will use those directories to find local businesses. But the reality is that those sites have very little traffic – Google, Bing and Yahoo are the places that people turn to when they’re looking for local businesses.

This is good for you for several reasons:

  • You have much more flexibility in how you present your business through the search engines than you do with online Yellow Page directories.
  • Your costs will be much less than what you would pay for an ad in the print version of the Yellow Pages, particularly compared to larger ads.
  • With local search marketing, you can update or make changes to your ads as often as you want. Compare that to a print ad that can only be changed annually.

And on top of all those things, the internet gives you a much larger reach. Yellow Pages directories generally get distributed once a year, and only to households that have landline phones.

According to a study that the Department of Health and Human Services at the National Center for Health Statistics ran from January to June, 2010, approximately 24.9% of all adults live in households with only wireless phones. They have given up landlines completely.

That means nearly 25% of your target market may not even receive a Yellow Pages directory. They rely on the internet for virtually 100% of their searches.

And interestingly, even more children (29%) live in households with no landline phone. So as those children become adults and move out on their own, these numbers are expected to grow.


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Joe Ditzel is a copywriter, marketing consultant and award-winning public speaker. He is the founder of Vast Media Empire, a network of technology, business, information and entertainment websites. Contact Joe at or connect on: LinkedIn Facebook Twitter Google+

Search Engine Marketing: The Yellow Pages Question
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