Yellow pages, yellow book classified ads, I can’t believe they are still around. I haven’t used one in at least a decade, nor do I know anyone who has and whenever I see them, I feel bad for all the trees that have been wasted. When I get them, they just end up in the recycle bin, and I think I’m not alone in this.
Even our clients, 80% of whom are over 65 years old in Southwest Florida, they all have tablets, iPhones, and computers; and they all use them. News Flash: The Yellow Pages are dead.
I can’t remember seeing or hearing about any of my clients bust out a yellow book, yet the solicitors still come to my office, and I respectfully decline their offer to advertise in the big yellow book. I see that other home contractors, plumbers, roofers, service providers and contractors still buy placements and they spend (for a full page to be in the yellow pages), around $10,000 in my area, it’s ridiculous!
The New Yellow Pages is Google AdWords
The new yellow pages are Google AdWords: you’re much better off throwing $10,000 into AdWords. When you want to find a service provider you pick up the phone, Google it, and call whoever is at the top listing. With AdWords you can target specific locations, such as demographics and most importantly you target these ads by keywords.
You can choose the keywords based on what your customers are searching for online. You can even exclude certain keywords (like the DIY niche) and this way you can eliminate people that are looking for DIY information online. I do that with my campaigns.
Exclude Negative Keywords
If someone is looking for DIY screen enclosures, I exclude those keywords so my ad will not pop up when they perform this search. A DIY client is clearly not looking to have to pay for a service as they want instructions on how to do the project themselves. I’ll also exclude the key terms “how to”. These keyword targeting choices let me be in front of people who are searching for my services, and no one else.
Pay Per Click Basis
AdWords campaigns also allow you to pay on a cost-per-click basis, which are relevant clicks, taking me one step further. I also do call tracking and conversion tracking, which every contractor should be doing. You can set up Google AdWords to bid on a per conversion basis so you’re only paying when someone becomes a lead, aside from anyone who just clicks. The Google algorithm will do its magic and show your ad to people who are likely to convert.
By paying per click, you’re not paying for extra waste on a print ad. You’re paying for people who are actually interested in your products and services and want to learn more about your business.
AdWords Campaigns Are Flexible
There is also the ability to turn your ad campaigns on, off or even pause them. If you are busy with lots of projects, you can click on the pause button and not pay for more ads then you need to do while you are busy with your current clientele and workload.
You may agree with this; the biggest constraint in business growth is finding, hiring, and training people not only to sell but to do the work. There are times when I’m busy and most of all, focus needs to be on handling existing service quality and providing value.
With Google AdWords, we can choose what time of day to run the ads. We’ve found that our ads lead to much better conversions from 8am to 5pm, when we are in the office and answering phone calls. After these hours, you still get clicks but not a lot of leads. We run campaigns during business hours Monday to Friday. On Saturdays, it’s turned off, and Sundays we leave it on since clients don’t expect contractors to be open or for many people to call in, but they fill out contact forms. Being able to choose the time of day, target keywords and the flexibility of turning off and pausing campaigns are things that you can’t do with yellow pages.
Where is Your Target Market?
If you are actively doing content marketing, is your target market really still in the yellow pages? A lot of our customers, even the older demographic, are online using tablets and smart phones. The customers that are still looking in the yellow pages probably aren’t the most tech savvy or able to see value in the content you provide. As a progressive home improvement company, and we do all of our estimates online. Our business model uses electronic contracts, and we leverage our online content to build sales. We like customers to see our information online, browse our reviews and email or call based off of this information. Because of these reasons, the Yellow Pages, erm user is generally not a good fit for us, and likely not for you either if you are reading my blog and following my processes.
If you’re still advertising in the yellow pages, it’s time to switch to a much better and more active place for people that are searching for your business.