Yellow Pages Local Advertising – Is it worth it?

Just received, this morning, new edition of our local Yellow Pages covering the Edinburgh postcode area which includes Central Borders and Livingston areas.

Edinburgh Yellow Pages

Edinburgh & District Yellow Pages Directory

If you have received your own you will have noticed that it is advertised on the front cover as New look, New content, New handy size.

It is indeed a new size and if handy means smaller, it is about a third smaller in page size, then yes ‘new handy size’.

Not sure about the new look as it looks very much like the old one although a new Local pages section has been added at the beginning but that looks about it!

As far as new content is concerned, checking a randomly opened Floor Cleaning & Treatment category there were 4 display ads in old directory but only 3 in the new one (25% less).

Comparing another randomly selected category Carpenters & Joiners there were in the old directory 78 mixed style display ads and 55 in the new one (30% less). So, not a lot of new content either!

So, what does it really mean?

The overall effect this has had it that the type size of entries is smaller and the relative size of each ad has been reduced. Given that a standard lineage ad with a bold heading + 1 text line costs £269/annum (in the above directory) does it still represent the best bang for your buck in the digital age.

If, and assuming, there is a corresponding reduction in a large number of categories, will consumers still continue to consult their Yellow Pages to the same level as we are told they have done in the past.

My main reason for highlighting the above is to emphasise the past, present and future importance of local search and the impact the internet has had and is continuing to have on the expansion of local search. It is estimated that:-

  • 86% of every search for local products and services in the UK is performed online (The Kelsey Group)
  • Local search is projected to increase by an astonishing 400% by the conclusion of 2010
  • 90% of online searches ended in offline activity within a radius of 20 miles from where the searcher lived or worked
  • 61% of these online search activities resulted in an offline final purchase (TMP Directional Marketing Source)
  • It is not even necessary to have a website to benefit from local search

Google Places Local Advertising model

With the introduction or more accurately, the amalgamation of Google Maps and Google Local, into the new Google Places format, and the real estate they can take up on the first page of SERPS, pushing organic results further down and even off it onto page 2, the importance of local search marketing cannot be overemphasised for local bricks & mortar businesses.

The question is how best or better could the equivalent of £269/annum, for a small Yellow Pages ad, be spent in attracting more potential and highly targeted customers?

One option is sitting back and letting your customers’ fingers do the walking as Yellow Pages tv advertising used to suggest but for how long will it continue to be of real value to retail and bricks & mortar businesses.

An alternative is to ensure that your business is properly registered and optimised for Google Places search and the corresponding services provided by the other major search engines.

Have any other suggestions? Let us know!

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