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Online Exposure to Paying Customers—With The Yellow Pages

Sarita Harbour

Sarita Harbour

Sarita Harbour is a Small Business & Entrepreneurship Columnist at Fundera and a freelance writer and entrepreneur specializing in business and personal finance. A former financial advisor, Sarita has over a decade of experience in banking. Her work appears online at sites such as Forbes, Investopedia, Yahoo!, Capital One Spark Business IQ, and Business News Daily. Connect with Sarita on Twitter @saritawrites.
Sarita Harbour

If you’re old enough to own a business, then chances are good that you remember the YellowPages phone directory that sat on your parents’ kitchen counter. Back in the day, if someone needed to find anything—from a local restaurant to the closest plumber—the YellowPages was the place to look.

Times have changed, and now we look for these services online. Is the YellowPages even relevant to today’s small business owner?  

Absolutely.  Here’s why.

Small Businesses Get Big Online Exposure

Today, consumers are more connected than ever before.  They hop across multiple sites and apps from different devices and locations to find information about the products or services that meet their needs. And YP has done a great job of keeping up with how customers search for what they want.

According to a study by International Data Corporation (IDC) on behalf of YP, nearly half of local consumers looking for national brands conduct four or more search activities.  For small businesses trying to compete in this landscape, it can be challenging to have an online presence everywhere consumers look, and to also provide the kind of information consumers want.  

“Not many people know this, but YP has nearly 70 million users across its online and mobile properties, and research shows consumers initiating a search on YP are 20% more likely to make a purchase,” says Jeff Biesman, Vice President of Customer Acquisition and Retention Marketing for YP, in an email interview.

A Strong Tradition of Connecting Businesses With Local Customers

YP focuses on helping local businesses reach customers across the mobile and online platforms as well as through their traditional print directory.  What sets YP apart from other online marketing directory services? Their wide range of marketing solutions, online and offline, are built on over 100 years of experience working with hundreds of thousands of local businesses.

“We provide local businesses with access to a unique, ready-to-buy audience,” says Biesman. He explains that another important difference setting the company apart from competitors is that they partner with local businesses to develop tailored marketing programs.  “This includes everything from establishing a digital presence to promoting their business through search engine marketing and expanding their audience,” he says.

Strong Local Digital Search Presence

According to YP National Search, over 50% of local searches end in a purchase, while 80% of mobile local searches result in a purchase. And since “local search” is a cornerstone of the YP print tradition, it follows that it’s a strong pillar of their digital marketing solutions as well.

Current search products include ypSearch, which offers keyword-based online and mobile ad campaigns, while a YP.com subscription gives businesses a variety of ad packages, graphics options, and placements on the YP.com online directory. Listing Management services lets business owners manage their YP ad content across a network of over 45 search engines, directories, and mapping services.

A Constantly Evolving Marketing Suite

Though business owners might still associate the phrase “Yellow Pages” with the traditional yellow phone directory, the company has worked hard to become associated with the more modern “YP,” which better suits their constantly evolving and expanding digital marketing solutions.

“For decades, we had one product: the print book known as the Yellow Pages. And it was the best way to connect local businesses with consumers,” explains Biesman. “ We’ve evolved to offer local businesses a full suite of digital marketing solutions that span all the devices and media people use.”

Free Business Listings

Even if you feel your company website provides all the online marketing your business needs, it doesn’t hurt to get a YP listing—and you can’t beat the $0 price tag. While YP offers a wide variety of paid digital advertising, businesses with even the smallest advertising budgets can get listed on the digital directory. YP’s free business listing lets you ensure that your small business shows up on their site. And with millions of users visiting YP or using their app monthly, why not?

Massive Marketing Engine Driving YP Online

It’s not just the number of YP users that’s huge.

“One thing that often surprises people about YP is that we’re a multi-billion dollar business, with more than $1 billion in digital revenue alone,” says Biesman.  “We’ve been in the midst of a digital transformation, and we’re proud of the fact that IDC has ranked us among the top five in mobile search revenue, behind Google, Microsoft, Twitter and Yahoo!”

Another big number that might appeal to business owners is 4,000. That’s the number of people working to develop, manage, and optimize specific needs, goals, and budgets of customized ad campaigns for business customers.

“Customers tell us that one of the things they value most about YP is the personal touch and expertise we provide through our local sales experts,” says Biesman. These experts help educate and guide decisions, along with providing ongoing support as customers manage and grow their marketing program—and their businesses.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
Sarita Harbour

Sarita Harbour

Sarita Harbour is a Small Business & Entrepreneurship Columnist at Fundera and a freelance writer and entrepreneur specializing in business and personal finance. A former financial advisor, Sarita has over a decade of experience in banking. Her work appears online at sites such as Forbes, Investopedia, Yahoo!, Capital One Spark Business IQ, and Business News Daily. Connect with Sarita on Twitter @saritawrites.
Sarita Harbour

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