RIP Yellow Pages – What does it mean for marketing?

A few days ago Yellow Pages announced the beginning of the end. There is now a deadline in place for the last ever printed edition of Yellow Pages, just over a year away in the start of 2019. After 51 years in print in the UK, and going through several changes of ownership, the vibrantly coloured tome will no longer be bundled onto doorsteps, or stacked up underneath the telephone.

For many, this is not hugely surprising, but this was a significant enough announcement to get attention in national news. For many, this may not be a hugely surprising turn of events. The once voluminous editions of the business directory have become increasingly leaner, most obviously as it’s often quicker to find pertinent information online.

Here’s a quick overview of what this might mean for your marketing

How will people find my business?

In short, people should already, and will continue to find your business online. For much of the population a smartphone is often at hand, meaning finding contact or other business information is just a few taps away. Yellow Pages came to prominence on the basis that it provided business information according to service, enabling people to easily review a selection of options when choosing who to go for. Now it’s possible to get this online by searching in Google, using language to describe what it is you need, whether it’s a 24 hour plumbing service, or a dry cleaners that can cope with flood damaged clothes.

On-page optimisation has changed

How many taxi services, cleaning companies and plumbers up and down have a name that starts with “A1” so that they are alphabetically first in their business section? Now the way to get to the top of the (web) page is different, getting found in Google is dependant on a lot more than the spelling of your business name. In fact it’s dependant on more than 200 factors about your website and online presence.

But being at the top of the list matters, if anything, more than ever. Google is a trusted source of information, so there is even less incentive for users to scan down the page. Data backs this up, telling us that a website in position 10, at the bottom of the first page of results, get clicked by around 1% of people on average.

Is print advertising dead?

In short, probably not. There are still plenty of opportunities to carry out marketing in the real world. Of course, the relevance of these types of marketing will depend on your business and your goals, and in many many cases, spending your budget on digital marketing is likely to be more profitable. But we’re confident that print isn’t dead just yet. There’s certainly still value in having a properly put together a proper brochure, do banner advertising and even the humble business card, so things aren’t complete digital. Yet…

If you’re looking for help handling the shift to predominantly digital marketing, get in touch today. From getting online in the first place by building a website, to getting to the top of search engine results.

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