Should I Choose the Yellow Pages? A Digital Strategist's Approach

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Should I Choose the Yellow Pages? A Digital Strategist's Approach

Digital Marketing for Your Business

Chances are you’ve been approached by a Yellow Pages (YP) consultant if you own your business or have any sort of marketing title. Whether it’s the first or tenth time you’ve heard the pitch, questions arise as to what are they selling and should you be buying?

Their sales pitch is essentially this…

  • Getting your site to rank online is hard
  • Getting customers to interact with your brand is critical
  • You don’t have time to master the tech skills needed to keep up with the ever-changing landscape

While we can agree on a few of those points - that search is indeed ever-changing and creating online interaction is critical to your brand’s success - we disagree on the approach and the scare tactic.

Let’s look at a few of their strategies more closely:

Campaign landing pages

YP Says:

Yellow Pages pushes campaign-based landing pages with call-tracking. While running campaigns for a limited time isn’t a bad practice, you are losing critical ground on branded keywords and url.

Our stance:

Before launching campaigns or landing pages, focus your energy and digital marketing dollars on achieving critical rankings for branded and service-specific keywords.

Make sure your brand website is fully optimized with meta tags, page descriptions, image tags and more. If you aren’t ready to commit to a full digital marketing retainer each month, you may consider a one-time or initial optimization of your website. Our team of digital strategists can help you make sure that beautiful site you’ve built is searchable by Google and Yahoo’s standards, and will easily convert interested visitors into customers.

Call tracking

YP says:

Call tracking is critical to any YP spend. This will be an additional charge per month for the phone lines and minutes, but you’ll need to qualify the leads as they come in to refine what’s being sent your way. YP reports back on how many calls they brought you, but not necessarily how qualified those calls were or their success in relation to your business.

Our stance:

As a marketer and someone who loves to dig in on analytics, I am in favor of call tracking for all marketing efforts. Having used call tracking for several projects on both the corporate and small business levels, there are some pros and cons to consider before jumping into any plan.

The Pros:

  • Turning on call recording gives visibility into staff/customer interactions. How well did your staff answer their questions? Did they move them further into the sales cycle?
  • Call tracking provides details on peak hours or days for calls to allow better staffing.
  • Access to a dashboard for qualifying details of each call.
  • Data, data, data - if you like to dig in on a variety of metrics, call tracking can provide you with lots to see.

The Cons:

  • Additional time spent managing another system
  • Whisper features that state to the caller “This call is being recorded” can turn some away.
  • Qualifying calls can be tedious if you aren’t the person taking each call.
  • Paying for minutes used by robo callers and “junk” calls.

Personalized service

YP says:

For many nationally-owned, corporate entities like Yellow Pages and Yext, the local consultants are salesmen, first and foremost. While they may know enough about digital marketing and SEO to sell you on the services, they don’t typically have years of expertise working to produce results in the SEO/SEM field. The team “doing the work” is based in another city, and you likely won’t ever have any direct contact with them.

Our stance:

Truly personalized service happens when you can partner with vendors and cultivate long-standing relationships. Building a partnership requires you to educate them on what’s important to your business, who your customers are and your sales goals and processes.

Partner with a local digital agency, not a large corporate firm. Choosing a local provider allows you to meet with your contacts face-to-face on a frequent basis, find out who makes up their team and their experience in the field, review their most recent results (good and bad), and ask how much interaction you’ll have with the team handling your digital marketing.

At Speak, our digital marketing team works closely with our design and account management teams before a website launches, so we get you started on the right foot. Then each month, the same core team works to push you to greater results online. Your monthly reports are digestible, and reviewed with you one-on-one. Questions you have are answered by real strategists, not just someone who knows how to smooth things over and gloss over issues.

Results focused

YP says:

A common complaint from YP customers is based on a failure to produce results. Many customers see less new business than they had previous to their YP contract, and a rep who is hard to reach. Or, they feel pressure to spend more to see the results they were originally promised. Don’t fall into this trap.

Our stance:

A reputable digital agency will quote you a monthly price based on how much time they need to spend to move your business forward, pushing your brand into higher ranking/higher conversion keywords and increasing your social engagement. You should see new business leads and calls, along with higher organic search rankings and more social media followers.

There should be an open dialogue with your digital agency about what is working and what isn’t, the quality of the leads you are receiving and what you’d like the focus to be. While a good digital agency will always push you with solid recommendations, they should be listening to what you want, and together, you can adjust the tactics as you go.

Final thoughts

In the end, choose the vendor that you have the best connection with, and who offers you a plan designed to meet your individual business goals and budget. There is no one-size-fits-all program when it comes to online success. Choosing the right vendor - someone who is responsive to your requests, provides you with actionable plans each month, and digestible reports showing progress - is critical to seeing a return on your digital marketing spend.

Have you had experience with Yellow Pages marketing or another similar ‘all-in-one’ provider? Tell us about your experience below. If you’d like to learn more about our services, visit our digital marketing section or contact one of our digital strategists to learn more.

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Posted by Amanda Evans at 8:22 AM