Monday, March 18, 2013

Does Digital Marketing Produce Improved Marketing Over Yellow Page Ads?

Does SEO & SMM yields improve marketing over Yellow Page ads
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media Marketing (SMM) are newer marketing tools than yellow page advertising.  While all three have the potential to reach a diverse audience, which is the best suited to accommodate the morphing attention spans of consumers in this digital age? A recent report by analyst firm Gartner predicts that digital strategies like social and mobile marketing will influence at least 80 percent of consumers’ discretionary spending by 2015.

To get started I wanna make sure we all understand the same definition of SEO, SMM, and Yellow Page ads.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
The process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine's "natural" or un-paid ("organic") search results.[jargon] In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine's users. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image searchlocal searchvideo searchacademic search,[1] news search and industry-specific vertical search engines.

Social Media Marketing (SMM)
Marketing programs usually center on efforts to create content that attracts attention and encourages readers to share it with their social networks. A corporate message spreads from user to user and presumably resonates because it appears to come from a trusted, third-party source, as opposed to the brand or company itself.[citation needed] Hence, this form of marketing is driven by word-of-mouth, meaning it results in earned media rather than paid media

Yellow Page Advertising
 Traditional paper phone book that is distributed freely. Also, there are numerous directories of phone books on the web for free that act a an online yellow pages.

There are three reasons that any financial investment you make in SEO and/or SMM will yield higher results than spending money in yellow pages. Why? The internet is causing people’s habits to change. Two examples of these changes include more print publications go out of business (ADAGE) and, most recently, more than 50% of all Americans get their news from the internet, not television news (PEW).

1. Larger 7/24 audience
The online audience is growing by leaps and bounds over all age segments. It is easy to access the development of cell phones and mobile devices. Most homes, schools, businesses have internet service. What is easier, go to your favorite search engine and google ‘your city name plumber’ or go find a phone book and look it up. First you would have to remember where the yellow pages are instead of pulling our your phone or opening your computer.

Who Uses Internet?
The majority of employed adults (62%) use the internet or email at their job, and many have smart phones that keep them connected even when they are not at work. (PEW)
What is Audience of Social Networking?
Internet users under 50 are particularly likely to use a social networking site of any kind, and those 18-29 are the most likely of any demographic cohort to do so (83%). Women are more likely than men to be on these sites. Those living in urban settings are also significantly more likely than rural internet users to use social networking. (PEW)

Internet users

What do internet users do?
Internet users

2. Make Lasting Impressions
SEO and SMM make lasting impressions. They are not a publication that comes and goes. When SEO and SMM are done correctly, they continue to expand your web presence.

Reports indicate that users of search engines most often click links that are not ads. Those non-paid links are called “organic” links. In order to be visible on the first page of search results you have to take appropriate steps - read this link - to establish your web reputation

The time proven test for making yourself visible as an organic link on the first age of search results is to 1) managing your meta tags, 2) create relevant links to your site (back links), 3) establish a web reputation using internet media and social networks, and 4) be an active blogger. If someone tells you they are going to do SEO for you, that plan best include those four activities or else you are going to be scammed ... so shame on you because you have been warned in advance.

3. You Own Your Results
Its your business, so it follows that you need to have 100% ownership of your marketing resutls. This is the beauty of SEO and SMM. Your web site directly benefits from all online material: other web pages, articles, blog posts, posts in social marketing sites, and so forth. When you place an ad in the yellow pages your exposure is limited to the printed publication. In some cases yellow page ad folks say they will place a free web site for you or charge you an extra fee to produce and maintain that site. You have to ask your self, “What good is a web site unless it can be found in the search engines?” With that understanding you can ask them how they will specifically accomplish those steps to create organic links I mentioned above. 

Make no mistake about it, unless you have an active plan to create organic links on the internet to your site; you are a boat without oars, no engine, and no sail. Get my drift?

In summary, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social Media Marketing (SMM) increasingly show improved results that demonstrate they are valuable methods to marketing your products and services. In any online marketing endeavor you are enhancing your web reputation when your marketing plan includes creating organic links back to your pages or blog. Compare the facts and services of SEO, SMM, and yellow page advertising to better understand what you are paying to receive, how long those benefits will last, and the reach to potential customers you will achieve.

Steu Mann is an SEO Specialist. He has been successfully working with online technology since 1997. Follow him on Twitter at @EzWebManifest. If you enjoyed this article, you can subscribe to receive Free Web Site Tune Up Tips at

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