This battle is a lot closer than most of you can imagine. I'm constantly hearing about how the Yellow Pages are dying and there's no value in them. While most may say that I'm biased because of the number of years I spent in the industry, the same cannot be said for Google Analytics.
Google Analytics cannot lie, it has no biases and, thank goodness for the Yellow Pages, paints a much different picture than many so called experts. You just have to know what to look for.
Below you'll note one of our clients Year to Date Analytics numbers. Most likely you'll instinctively focus on the 'Visits' column, marvel at the 5,504 visitors referred by Google Organic Vs 884 referred by Yellow Pages and call it day. I decided to take a closer look.
I knew that in Canada YellowPages.ca traffic is solid.
* 44% reach of all online Canadian
* 10.1 million Unique visitors in Q2, 2007
* Directory source for several online portals and wireless partners, including:
As a result, I drilled down on the Analytics and found the following following referring sites:
I credited Yellow Pages for the referrals, bringing the total traffic numbers to 5,504 for Google and 1,261 for Yellow Pages. I know what you're thinking, that�s not much of a difference. That's true until you look at the following four key metrics:
1. Bounce Rate
(the percentage of single-page visits)
Yellow Pages: 27.07%.
2. Pages Per Visit
(average number of pages viewed during a visit)
Yellow Pages: 3.93
3. Average Time Spent on Site
Yellow Pages: 2.29
4. Percentage New Visits
(percentage of visits by people who had never visited the site before)
Yellow Pages: 89.24%
Clearly Yellow Pages visitors are more engaged than Google�s. They're also 100% less likely to bounce, view 20% more pages, spend 12% more time on the site and, with almost 90% of the traffic being from people who'd never been to the site, reach a different audience!
If you slice the numbers even further, subtract the bounce rate from the gross 'visits' number to reflect the possibility that this audience didn�t consider the site relevant to them. This reduces the totals to 2,474 visitors referred by Google Vs 921 referred by Yellow Pages.
Next time a client asks you if they should pull all of their advertising from Yellow Pages, check your ego at the door, and take a closer look at the numbers. As I said at the outset, it�s closer than you think.
27 thoughts on “Google Vs Yellow Pages”
Google 411 – this information will be fed to Google by Yellow Pages.
Yellow Pages definitely has less traffic – this is better for the advertiser. Yellow Pages qualifies the user by “weeding” out anybody EXCEPT the end buyer. 95% of people searching on the web, use Google. However, Google is a SEARCH engine where yellow pages is a FIND engine. The buyer will go to Google first, research the products or services they are about to buy, then they go to YellowPages.ca and find the right match.
SEM stops those buyers who are looking on GOOGLE as a researcher, and puts a relative ad in their eye site. Its brilliant, however yellowpages is not even close to dying out, in fact their mobile application has be downloaded an excess of 2 millions times in the last 10 months.
Any information an advertiser has with YPG, gets sent to Google. As an advertiser wanting a complete advertising package; you need both to have a complete package.
-Good information though!!
The biggest down fall I see is not traffic, ROI, etc… it is the full year purchase commitment one must make. It is a common issue for my clients that wish to get involved. The other venues like google adwords offer a much more flexible financial arrangement. I know, I personally would be much more likely to test the yellow pages waters if they had a similar model for online and not force the print version payment model onto the online platform.
Time to revisit… my observations is that Yellow Pages Traffic was cut in half last year.
.-= Lawrence Winterburn recently posted: Did you buy your website from the yellow pages group =-.
when i am ready to buy I do not go to yellow pages online or print. I simply do all my research on company websites. I have no use for yellow pages online or print. Google rules the internet. Yellow pages isn’t even close
I recognize that Dave. Then again — and this may be a small town kind of thing — I do find myself still consulting the Yellow Pages for some local stuff. The pizzeria, hardware store, plumber etc. are all easier and faster to find there then via the web.
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