Yell and Thompson are both well known for their printed directories. Historically these were the go-to tools for people looking for a service or business. If you wanted to find a painter in your local area, you would leaf through one of these directories. But it’s been a long time since this was the case, you may have noticed that these directories have been physically shrinking in recent years and Thompson may even stop printing their directory in the near future. The reason for this change is the vast increase in the use of online searching.
With that in mind, the printed directories are pretty much redundant, so how do you make the most of an advertising budget? Firstly, it’s worth thinking about where people go to search for businesses or services online. Around 90% of all searches are on Google. So only a small percentage of people would search through a directory like Yell or Thompson. Yell.com however, has a lot fewer users than Google, with far fewer searches for specific terms, actually giving them a much higher conversion rate than Google. People who do use these directories are in ‘shopping mode’, actively searching to find contact details for a service provider and as a result click through to websites more often. So while having a listing may be worthwhile, remember where most searches are taking place.
Like Google, both Yell and Thompson have paid advertising options, but which would be more worthwhile? If you do a bit of research online, you will see many disgruntled customers, complaining about the extremely high cost of Yell advertising. Yell actually uses Google in their advertising searches, something you could do directly through Google. People report that the adverts are unfocused in terms of targeting, difficult to review and with no option for keyword input in the first place. Keyword selection seems to be vague and imprecise and the reviewing system for adverts seems to be poor, unlike with a Google AdWords campaign.
Working out what would be best for you, depends a little on your target market. If your clients are older and more traditional a Yell or Thompson listing online, or in the printed directory may be a better option for you. We would recommend listing your salon for free on Yell or Thompson anyway for the small percentage of people that may use it, but not for paying for advertising with them. Your money would be better spent on Google AdWords or PPC advertising or even an advert through Facebook. Make sure your salon also has a Google+ business page, with a local listing, as these pages are automatically indexed by Google, ensuring they appear higher in search engine results.
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