Considering a Yellow Pages Website? Think Again…
The Yellow Pages? Yes the Yellow pages. It’s hard to believe they keep showing up in the mailbox—only to be recycled immediately (they don’t make it in the door)—every year, but they do. Do people still use them to find businesses, doctors or other services? Who knows. What I do know is that some businesses still advertise in the book and online. They offer a nice free listing that is really easy to use—a great way to give your site a local SEO boost as well!
However this post isn’t about the book, it’s about their website service. Recently, because of my free listing, I was contacted by a YP salesman who had noticed my new ad (created 6 months ago) and wanted to know if I was interested in “expanding my marketing efforts!”
With the “Yellow Pages?” I said, “No.”
“Well what about your website?” he inquires.
“I have one” …silence… “It’s what I do, have a nice day.” Click.
Note to telemarketers: If you’re going to call a company and offer to sell them a service that they probably don’t want, at least have the common courtesy to do 5 seconds of research on said company before making your call.
The call did get me thinking about their website service though—we’re competitors in a sense—so I did some research and it seems their “Small Business Website” service isn’t all that dandy. Here are some of the red flags we found:
It’s Expensive: Owning a yellow page website means having to pay for the initial cost for its creation, hosting and a yearly fee to ensure that you stay enrolled in the service. Price is subjective and YP’s on the service may seem OK at $89 a month, since a decent sized site, hosting and domain registration would probably work out to be somewhere around that number. It’s the 13th, 14th, 15th month and so on, where this becomes somewhat expensive for what you seem to get.
Website Ownership Issues: The biggest and most important disadvantage of “owning” a yellow page website is that you do not actually own it—essentially rent it from the yellow page company. In other words, you are paying a yearly rental fee to the yellow page company to host your website. Moreover, if you were to drop out of this program, you would lose your website.
Domain Name Ownership Issues: When registering your website through a yellow page company, you are not the owner of your domain name. Like your webpage data the yellow page company owns your domain name and leases it to you with yow. This becomes a huge factor should you choose to discontinue their service, as transferring the ownership of the domain name may come with additional costs as well as potential legal complications when you’re ready to move.
..should you choose to discontinue their service transferring the ownership of the domain name may come with additional costs as well as potential legal complications...
Website Design: This services is designed to mass produce websites for YP’s clients—design and content are secondary aspects. Design features and functionality as well as overall user friendliness are sacrificed for the ease of duplicating the templates. It is essential to understand that the mass production of these websites leads to the inability to customize the design to suit your individual needs.
Content: With respect to content, it is important to note that such websites primarily do not allow for much content to be uploaded. Moreover, such websites sometimes make it difficult to update your content regularly. Under these circumstances, it is obvious that search engine optimization, especially under the newer rules governing SEO, is sadly lacking. Moreover, the limitations with respect to coding and the ineffectiveness of the overall design add to the lack of appeal of such websites to various search engines, making it an ineffective way to promote your business.
Rate of Conversion: With an unappealing design and layout, it is difficult for many such websites to attract and retain visitors. While traffic entering such websites is usually minimal and the rate of conversion of idle traffic into loyal customers is even lower. Given the same reasons, it is often hard to measure ROI of such websites.
Inability to include Social Media Marketing: Social sharing through popular sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others are great ways to market or promote your business website and your social media profiles. However, according to experts, it is not possible to use these methods to market your yellow pages website.
Poor Customer Support: Customer support is the best way to retain customers and convert them into loyalists. While customer support can be actively extended through a self owned website, it is difficult and nearly impossible to do so with a yellow pages website. Lack of active communication with customers can result in loss of business.
Considering a Yellow Pages Website?
Considering a YP website? Perhaps you should think again–do it yourself website are usually not such a great idea anyway. Have experience with them—good or bad—let us know in the comments.
Image Credit: Flickr. Some text and information form studio1c.com