By |Published On: July 30, 2015|

Yellow Pages is constantly being pitted against online marketing as less effective. Learn about online vs. print and why you need both.

In April 2013, Street Fight Mag published an article titled, “When Will The Last Yellow Pages Book be Printed?” Several experts weighed in:

The print YP are no longer a local advertising medium catering to local business. – Mike Blumenthal

… I’d expect that by December 31, 2015 we will see many of the books gone … – Tim Judd, CEO, eLocal Listing

Fast-forward to July 2015, where they’re telling a different story. Based on a recent media usage study, Street Fight Mag reports that the medium consumers use to find a local business depends heavily on the type of business.


Where Online Wins

For years, restaurants was the most-used heading in the phone book. Today, 71 percent of consumers turn to a search engine to find one.

In categories like hotels, travel, clothing, retail stores and car dealers, online also wins.


But Here’s the “Surprise”

As the article points out, “not all searches are created equal.”

Physicians, the third most popular search category, win a remarkable 33% of search volume from the print yellow pages, second only to search engines at 54%. Several other categories give print yellow pages an even bigger piece of the pie.

It goes on to say that we see this trend for “service oriented businesses that involve a large expenditure, or where the consumer may want to do research in order to select a service professional with whom to have a long relationship.”

Category Print YP Internet
Air Conditioning 41% 46%
Appliance Repair 43% 50%
Attorney 45% 56%
Auto Body 37% 64%
Auto Parts 35% 57%
Auto Repair 33% 54%
Carpet Cleaners 34% 53%
Computer Repair 37% 25%
Dentist 33% 58%
Electrical Contractor 45% 44%
Florists 29% 65%
Fence Contractors 39% 54%
Funeral Director 40% 45%
General Contractors 40% 46%
Landscaping 30% 49%
Locksmiths 38% 58%
Optometrist 37% 57%
Pawnbrokers 40% 50%
Plumbing Contractors 44% 45%
Physicians 33% 54%
Roofing 43% 46%
Taxis 45% 42%
Tree Service 39% 54%
Veterinarians 38% 53%

Is your business listed here? If so, then at least a third of your potential customers use the Yellow Pages to look for the product or service you offer. Can you afford to miss out on 30 to 45 percent of your market?

The Bottom Line: You Need Both

This confirms a previous study showing that consumers use a combination of both Yellow Pages (74%) and search engines (76%) to find a local business. The author concedes that …

This will seem counterintuitive to many of us who no longer keep a print telephone book in the house and have come to rely on digital search for almost all local information needs. However, we know that rural communities and older demographics have retained a connection to print.

flicking through the yellow pages

Consumers Use a Combination of Both Search Engines and Yellow Pages to Find a Local Business

Find out more in our free ebook: How to Get Found by Local Consumers. Get your copy today.


Want to Get More Tips from Haines?  Subscribe to Our Blog