Yellow Pages Used More Than Search Engines
One thing that we have been interested in and have monitoring in our own in house study is the marketing benefits of search engine optimization versus the benefits of yellow page ads. A recent post from search engine land sheds an interesting light on the subject.
A study of nearly 8,000 adults in the United States shows that during 2010 more people used print yellow pages for local searches than online search engines. Now how can this be? As someone than seemingly searches for hundreds of different topics a day, the results hit me as a bit hard to believe as well. But when you take a step back and analysis the data more completely it does begin to make sense.
The reason we began to do our own study is because when asking older customers how they found how of our client, a majority of them mentioned some sort of print advertisement. That is echoed in this study. It says that those over 55 are more likely to use print ads such as yellow pages or newspapers for finding local companies. This is something that isn’t to hard to believe but something an SEO needs to take into consideration when putting together internet marketing campaigns that cater to these audiences.
Another demographic component that affected the means of search is where the searcher was located. Those in more rural areas tended to search more with print ads as opposed to those in more densely populated urban communities. Additionally, men are more likely to use search engines than women.
There are a couple of things that are not added in the study which could truly skew the data. While more searchers said they used print ads over the course of a year, it does not mention the amount of searches performed on each medium. If I were to guess I would assume that people that did use search engines search locally at a much higher rate than those that used newspapers or yellow page ads. Another piece of data that was missing for this study is conversion rate. I would be interested to see which traffic converted more. This would be a great tidbit of knowledge for search engine optimization and internet marketing. This would be a hard study to produce because it is hard to tell exactly how many impression print ads are getting. But, if the information was able to be extract in a study, this would surly shed a lot of light on how each type of advertising effect purchasing decisions.
I think it is safe to say that search engines are certainly the key to the present and the future of advertising as told by the demographical data in the study but print ads are not to be forgotten. This could hold especially true if your product or service caters to an older or more rural customer base. Assuming that your marketing budget allows it, I would possibly suggest that you try some testing with a popular print advertising outlet and see how it works for your company.