Search Engine Optimization vs. The Yellow Pages

If you like the majority of established businesses out there, after many visits and phone calls you have at least considered advertising in the Yellow Pages.  If you are like many businesses, you have budgeted hundreds or thousands of dollars every year to advertise in the Yellow Pages with bold type listings, ad space and maybe even two colors.

So what is the hype with Google and other search engine searches.  Well, the truth of the matter is that it is anything but hype.  More and more people choose to search for business listings on their computers and phones using Google and other search engines rather than dragging out the phone book.  In fact, more and more, you find people who haven’t even cracked open their phone books for the first time.

What is the interest in Google?  Google makes it easy to look up just about any business by category or by name.  It is so much easier that people are putting their phone books to rest.

The bad news for businesses is not that people are migrating to searches rather than using the Yellow Pages, it is that people use them differently and that the way people use search engine results id much more competitive than the way they use the Yellow Pages.

When someone is looking for a listing in the Yellow Pages, say they are looking for pizza, they will look up the category and usually scan the entire column, maybe look for another category and maybe look at the ads on the pages before committing to a phone call.  That means that just being in the category may give you a fighting chance to attract some business.  When people search on the internet, on the other hand, they usually have thousands of results in their list.  Ironically, even with more results they tend to look at fewer.  Many people don’t even look past the first page of results if there is a listing there that satisfies their need.

What does this mean for businesses?  If people are choosing to use Google searches rather than the Yellow Pages and they are usually only at the first page of results, then you MUST be on the first page, which may only be 10 listings and perhaps a map with 10 listings (known as a ten pack).  And the only way to get listed in the top ten is usually, you guessed it, through Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or if you are willing to pay more, through payed placement using Search Engine Marketing (SEM).

The good news is many businesses have already budgeted hundreds or thousands of dollars for this exact type of advertising through the Yellow Pages.  If you have been spending big money on the Yellow Pages, then you might want to consider redirecting some of those valuable marketing and advertising dollars.

Contact for more information on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM).

Think Webstore is a Mississippi based company that specializes in website design and web technology, logo and business identity design, marketing and business strategy. Think Webstore is co-located with Advanced Microsystems (, who specializes in computer repair, networking and network administration.
655 Lake Harbour Drive
Ridgeland, MS 39157

Read more about SEO and SEM at
>>SEO. What is it and do I need it?
>>Search Engine Optimization and Search Engine Marketing. Are they the same?
>>Search Engine Optimization vs. The Yellow Pages