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Are YP's Online Products Effective?

Posted by Casey Lewis on Tuesday, October 21, 2014

YP online advertisingFor years, the yellow pages were the go-to resource for local business listings, and therefore the logical place for local businesses to place advertisements. But during that era of yellow pages dominance, the internet began to flourish and has now overtaken the yellow pages as the best marketing tool for local businesses.

Because of their print dominance, the yellow pages were slow to adapt to the internet, and only recently have they tried to focus more on their online offerings. Now, YP.com is trying to get businesses to buy into their combined print/online offerings.

Unfortunately, YP’s internet offerings are inefficient and ineffective. Here’s why you shouldn’t bother with YP:

It’s not worth the money or commitment

Back when the print yellow pages were big, they got into the habit of requiring 12-month commitments; for a business, this commitment didn’t make a lot of sense. After all, if the yellow pages only come out once a year, why do you need to commit for 12 months? But because the yellow pages were the best advertising medium for local businesses, they signed on the dotted line anyway.

Now, without the need to rely on the print yellow pages, the 12-month commitment makes even less sense. Plus, the yellow pages haven’t reduced rates much since their age of dominance: some current customers are finding themselves paying nearly $10,000 per month. And what are they getting in return for all that money? An extra step in the customer’s journey. Here’s why…

YP just complicates the issue

Developing a lead, and converting the lead into a customer, is a delicate process. Consumers are more educated and intelligent than ever, thanks to the abundant information available on the internet. You need to take them on the simplest path to become a lead or customer.

The problem with YP is, it inserts an extra step into the process. YP needs you to need it, which is why it has an online directory in the first place. The online directory allows YP to insert itself into the process, which helps them and not you. Because the harder it is for a customer to get what they want from you, the less likely they are to follow through until the end.

You don’t need YP to be your online gatekeeper

With YP, what you’re essentially getting is an online gatekeeper to your website, which you definitely don’t need. By using sound inbound marketing strategies, you can bring customers directly to your site through internet searches. Through the use of blogs and other content offers, potential customers can find your site without the need for the YP middleman. This saves your business a lot of money.

If you wish to excel at inbound marketing, there is software you can purchase to generate more leads and keep them organized; but even then, that money is spent on your business, not given to YP so they can be the equivalent of an online bouncer.

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