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Pros and Cons of Yellow Pages vs. Internet Advertising

A small business is only going to have so much available money to devote to their advertising. This is why small business owners quite often do a lot of research before purchasing advertising. Because they have limited funds, they want to make sure that they are going to get the best return on their investment for every advertising dollar that they spend. Many small business owners go as far as actually taking an internet marketing course so that they can try to figure out whether or not they should move their advertising money away from traditional advertising like the yellow pages and into new media on the internet.

First, let us look at the pros of Yellow Pages advertising. The distribution is excellent on this type of advertising. Essentially, everyone in your city is going to receive a phone book which is going to have your ad in it. This gives you good market penetration and allows you to reach a wide potential customer base. Another pro in favor of the Yellow Pages is that it is a trusted source. People feel comfortable calling a business they find in the phone book, and building trust is a key to making sales.

There are also several pros to be seen when looking at internet advertising. The most obvious of these is cost. Advertising on the internet is cheaper than anywhere else by far. For a much lower cost your ad has the potential to reach far more people. The other pro is that it is much quicker to get started on a marketing campaign. If you decide you need to ramp up business with an ad buy online, you can get moving immediately. Phone books ads are only available during the printing cycle of the book, so you can have a much longer lead time before any response is generated.

Now, for the cons of Yellow Pages advertising, the most obvious of these is the cost. The cost of an ad in this format when compared to an internet ad is not going to provide you with very good value for your dollar. If you were to compare the prices in terms of how many people would see your ad per dollar spent, the online advertising will almost always provide better value. Also, as already discussed, there can be a long lead time on getting your ad live when placing it in the Yellow Pages.

There are a few cons to internet advertising as well. One of the problems here is that it can be difficult to know where to spend your money online. As the web has grown exponentially over the last several years, it can now be almost impossible to know what the best way to spend your advertising dollars is unless you’re an expert in online marketing. The other possible con of purchasing online advertising of certain types has to do with the unpredictability of traffic online. Your investment may run out quicker than you anticipated, since ads are usually purchased on a per click or per impression basis rather than for a set period of time.

While these two types of advertising may at first appear to be somewhat balanced, there is a very large pro in favor of internet advertising which hasn’t been mentioned yet. This is that internet advertising can be cumulative. As your site spends more time online, and as you drive more traffic to it through your advertising, the search engine’s trust in your site will grow, and the benefits of each advertising campaign will slowly build upon each other. This snowball effect of advertising is not likely to be achieved through more traditional Yellow Pages advertising.

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5 Comments Published

Kelly Dear / 4 November 2010 / Reply

As for me, now a days Internet is really a good source for advertising your business especially if you are a beginner.We are now living in a virtual world, even a kid knows to use internet already. So there’s really a big chance that they can market well and get the best return on their investment.

A. Chuck Rowland / 1 December 2011 / Reply

Thank you for your well constructed article. I hope you do not mind me citing it in my website. The last sentence should be the best argument for online marketing. This article is Page1 Position1 on Google search and deservedly so.

Scott / 1 November 2012 / Reply

Another pro for Yellow Pages is the increased popularity of the mobile apps that they are continuing to develop. They are great for local search, and mobile apps are rapidly gaining in popularity.

Missy / 1 May 2016 / Reply

Didn’t know the forum rules allowed such briaillnt posts.

Cindy / 25 October 2013 / Reply

I advertised with YP I have tired for over a year to have problems corrected, on the Internet and the phone book listing doesn’t have area code for my number, plus it has the wrong address for the business.
Every month I have to pay so that my credit is not ruined. I have talked to everyone of supervisors, they always say it is being worked on.the phone book came out in April with the wrong address and no area code. Are we not a 10 digit phone system now. They have told me this for seven months now they are working on it and will get back with me.

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