Finally, Telstra have admitted that Sensis the division that manages Yellow Pages directories is in sharp decline. While they haven’t said exactly how fast the decline is, they have started to put employees off.
12 months of Google local search and the fast growth of smartphones to access the Internet has seriously dented yellow pages once powerful control of business advertising. Businesses are stopping their yellow pages phone book ads in droves.
Yellow pages ignored the ominous warnings over the past 2 years as Web access kept growing and people’s usage of search engines increased.
In fact, it has caught out many businesses small and medium. While many businesses have or will stop their yellow pages ads, many are not re-allocating those advertising dollars elsewhere of value.
Only 54% of small/medium sized businesses have a website. And even those that have a site, very, very few of them appear or will ever appear on page 1 of a search engine.
Business owners and managers have failed to keep up with the change in consumer use of the Web. Even though they are using the Web in much the same way, they have not acknowledged virtually every one of their prospective customers has also changed.
Many business owners have thought the 15-29 year generation is where most of the change has been happening. What they haven’t realised is the biggest changes have been in the over 40’s. In the space of barely one year, these consumers have gone from using local phone directories to searching exclusively online for products and services in their local area.
And its’ not just searching from a computer. Many consumers now use their iPhone or smartphone to search the Web to compare prices, to check reviews or just to find a business that provides a product or service.
Business owners must realise that in the post yellow pages age, having a website is only one small step.
The opportunities are there for switched on business people to build their online marketing or risk being left behind by their competitors.