Case Study: Yellow Pages & Print Advertising vs. Internet Marketing

If you own a small home improvement business that has been around for longer than 10 years, you probably can remember a time when most of your new business came from the Yellow Pages and other print advertising.

If you are still relying on those old advertising media for business, you are probably wondering why the results aren’t what they once were.

50 Year Old Business Moves from Traditional to Digital

Van Beek's Original Website

Original Website Prior to working with WSI

Van Beek’s Garden Supplies started in business in 1962. Here is a screenshot of the website they had until 2008. In May 2008 WSI Milton launched their first website and internet marketing system.

Their 2008 season was tremendous with the addition of pay per click marketing to their new website, and after seeing these results, they decided to invest in search engine optimization (SEO) leading into the 2009 season.

This profile video was created in 2010.  40% growth during a recession!

 

Vanbeeks 2nd generation website

New site launched May 2008

The company realized that most of their business was being driven by internet marketing and began questioning the worth of traditional print media, especially Yellow Pages advertising.

They decided to test the Yellow Pages results by having a unique tracking phone number inserted into their Yellow Pages ad.  This experiment proved to them that they were getting very little value from the $60,000 that they were investing annually for multiple print directories.

Yellow Pages’ traditional business model has been collapsing for years, and they are currently scrambling to reinvent themselves at digital marketing experts, but beware-in my opinion, they have very little to offer in this area.

Van Beek's 3rd Generation site launched Feb 2012

3rd Generation Website launched Feb 2012

The Yellow Pages have been offering more online marketing to offset their lost revenue from print, and they have a strong sales pitch and years of loyal paying customers to support this initiative.

What the Yellow Pages fails to tell advertisers is that the link to your site from theirs is classified as a “no-follow” which basically means that it offers absolutely no value to your website from an SEO perspective. All the online marketing that they are “selling” their clients is in fact directing traffic to the Yellow Pages directory and not the client’s actual website.

Here is the actual comparison of yellow pages traffic compared to Google traffic, evaluating 4 and a half years of data for the Van Beek’s website:  approximately 236,000 visits from search engines compared to about 3500 visits from the Yellow Pages.

Do the math and you will see that they get 6742% more search engine traffic than Yellow Pages traffic.  Where would you choose to invest your marketing?

6742% more search engine traffic than Yellow Pages traffic

Van Beeks gets Six Thousand Seven Hundred and Fourty-Two (6742%) percent more traffic from Search Engines than from Yellow Pages!

If you’re having trouble deciding where to invest your marketing dollar to get the best return on investment, just ask us for help.

capturing better sales leads online

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About Jason Gervais

Jason has been helping grow businesses in Southern Ontario since 2005 when he started the WSI Milton. Together with his wife Denise, they lead a team of 9 full time staff who work together providing Internet Marketing Solutions driving lead generation and more sales with higher profits for dozens of their clients. Since 2009, Google has listed Jason at the #1-3 spots for the term Smartest Guy in Canada