SEO vs. Yellow Pages – Where to Put Your Advertising Dollars

As an SEO Omaha Company, we know firsthand how effective a good search engine optimization campaign can be for gaining new business. Honestly, to us it would be ludicrous to market any other way. That’s why you’ll find us in the top results for keywords like “Omaha SEO”.

However, we know that not everyone thinks the same way. There are still a large number of businesses spending precious advertising dollars on Yellow Pages placement. And really, we can empathize. Even in 2013, much of the marketing world hasn’t figured out that digital marketing is both the now and the future of lead generation. But, instead of making you take our word for it, we’re going to let the numbers speak for themselves.

Yellow Pages Customer Statistics

We all know that print Yellow Pages are a dying medium, but just how close to that last breath are they? Here are some recent statistics about how current customers use Yellow Pages:

  • Almost 70% of the population “rarely or never” uses print Yellow Pages.
  • Even according to the more conservative Yellow Pages statistics, less than 50% of the population (and primarily ages 55+) has used a phone book in the last year.
  • Local governments spend an estimated $63 million every year disposing of and recycling unused phone books.
  • Digital yellow pages are also mostly pointless… Again, only the 55+ age group, and only about 50% of them, ever use the online Yellow Pages over Google.
  • Yellow Pages themselves admit that digital advertising is the future. By 2015, they estimate that 53% of their revenue will be from digital ad sales. But, if you’re advertising online anyways, why not spend your money on something much more cost effective and track-able, like SEO?

The only time that Yellow Pages is really viable is in very small towns with a predominantly elderly population. Even then, you’re leaving money on the table if you don’t use SEO. To rest my case, you’ll find some telling search engine statistics below…

SEO Customer Statistics

In contrast to Yellow Pages, search engine usage continues to grow every single year. Here’s where we stand in 2013: Almost 40% of new customers are estimated to come from search engines.

  • In 2012, almost 90% of Internet users above the age of 14 used search engines to find information about a product or business.
  • 79% of Google searchers claim that they ignore paid advertising and only click on organic search results. In other words, SEO reaches more customers than PPC advertising.
  • Leads gained through SEO convert into sales at a rate of 14.6%. Meanwhile, leads from print advertising convert at a rate of just 1.7%.
  • Even in the “age of social networking“, SEO and blogging still account for 3x as many sales as social media.

As you can see, you’d better have a really good reason not to pay attention to your search presence. From all these statistics, we can draw the following conclusions about fitting SEO into your advertising budget:

1. The statistics show that virtually everyone searches for products and businesses on Google.
2. SEO is more cost-effective than Yellow Pages advertising in every way. You’ll experience a greater return on investment, and you’ll be able to track that return instead of shooting blind like you do with YP.
3. Search engines are where your customers are looking for you. You’re leaving money on the table if you don’t make yourself available in the top results.
4. Chances are, your biggest competitors are using SEO. If you want to survive and thrive in an Internet-based economy, than you need to compete on the search engine front.

If you’d like to learn more about how an SEO campaign could get you more customers, feel free to contact us at Big Red SEO!  We’d be happy to talk about your business and how our SEO services can help it succeed.

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