Over the last several months we have been working more and more on SEO for our clients. Today I had a realization why. I was talking to my wife and she mentioned that my mother-in-law's TV was on the fritz. Betsy (my wife) asked her mother, so how did you get things fixed? Her mother proceeded to tell her that she threw all her yellow pages away and that she just went on google to figure out what was wrong with her current model of TV. Then she found an article that talked about this same issue and confirmed what was wrong.
It sounds like her next step was to click a link that took her to a service providers directory of companies that fix these TVs. She found the one closest and had them come out and do the work.
The funny thing is I have been saying for a while that the yellow pages is dead except for industries similar to this one. You know plumbers, TV repair guys, HVAC companies, etc. I assumed that because most of these industries are more blue collar and less tech savvy. This may be the case for the most part, but I have several clients in this area and they are all doing inbound marketing. A few of them are also doing yellow page advertising. Being these are newer clients we will be testing their ads over the next year and see what the real performance is of these ads.
The main thing to remember is to make sure you're doing online marketing and being found in google as the main portion of future marketing efforts. If you're not getting found online, you're in trouble. My mother-in-law is part of the baby boomers, so this shows even baby boomers are switching to the internet as their connectivity to everything. They are shopping for TV repair companies, books, games and the like so you are no longer able to neglect online as a form of your marketing efforts. I still think some businesses can benefit from the yellow pages, but I would only use this as a supplement to their overall marketing budget.
Think about this… for some of those 70+ year old people, although they may not be as tech savvy I would bet there is a big number of these people that rely on their adult kids to help them find new providers. That means that the 100% users of the yellow pages are quickly going digital as well either on their own or by the help of their kids.
This is why a website alone is not enough! You not only need a website, but you need to get found online for all audiences. This is where SEO (search engine optimization) kicks in. Every page on your site needs to be optimized around a specific keyword or key phrase. Sounds like a lot of work right? It is. But the alternatives are lost business. If you can't do a website and SEO yourself, then you had better hire a professional right now. This is getting urgent since the yellow pages market is getting less and less everyday.