Yellow Pages

Yellow Pages have recently been trying to sell me an advertising package. I actually never go to Yellow Pages, I just go straight to Google and search from there for a particular service or product. I know that Yellow Pages has changed a lot over the last few years, I used to advertise with them about eight years ago.My question is do you find Yellow Pages effective or is it a waste of money? I actually run a Google Adwords campaign and I am comparing the cost and it seems quite high!I am sure that this subject has probably been talked about before on LJN. Any thoughts appreciated, thank you for reading.

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  • Surely word of mouth and refferals offering the customer a bonus are the best. A friend of mine runs a business taking exotic animals into schools, birthday parties, church events etc. He has been in business for six years, paid for advertising in the first two years and has done no paid advertising in the last four years but has so much work he has to turn down some customers. Just a thought.
  • The yellow pages / ppc is awful compared to a decent self run google adwords campaign....

    Had a ppc campaign, no support or help to narrow down what I was advertising so got everyone looking for some sort of garden clearance.

    I was meant to have reviews etc but got nothing after I agreed to sign up. Total waste of money for me.
  • PRO

    Yellow pages is a complete waste of time. It will be dead within a few years.

    For local work (which I presume you are) all you need is a website with 'Gardening services in [your town]" for a title. Do a really good job and give each customer a few cards, asking them to please hand them to their friends. Way more cost effective than ad words. Ad words is great if you are selling mail order widgets and need to compete with every other company selling widgets in the UK. For a local gardener it's pointless.

  • PRO

    The Yellow pages seems to have shrunk considerably in size , mine came through the letterbox and went straight into the recycling bin . 

  • PRO

    There are several parts to yellow pages:

    1. a free listing on

    2. a paid for "priority listing" on

    3. an entry in the paper version

    4. support with a pay per click campaign to overlay on google adwords.

    I guess if they are offering a package then it's all 4.

    I would question the value compared to google adwords. I do items 1 & 2 for minimal cost then add in combo with our own  google adwords campaign and that works well for us as it also helps to bring us up on organic searches.

    If your happy with your own google adwords, then augment that. If not, then fix it, then augment. Wouldn't use yell to do that as I think others will do it better without trying to sell you add-ons. Certainly I'd recommend the person I've used.

    • PRO

      I found google adword expensive certainly in the beginning having to pay more to get my business further up the listing , I did not feel it was relative to a small gardening business , perhaps more suited to a larger set up with several employee's .  Most work comes from word of mouth now and from being spotted just working in a neighbourhood until eventually you establish a base of regular clients and you can then cherry pick new work or projects which interest you . 

      Strangely i have discovered many gardeners stop advertising over winter especially in the free publication ( free to the household ) ( Monthly cost to the advertiser ) I find by maintaining your profile , adjusting your advertisement slightly to a seasonal theme enquiries still keep coming in , Only problem of course is the weather .

  • PRO

    John, agree, for a small local gardening business, a web page with free google + and adverts in the local mags and word of mouth will work very well once established as you'll not have much churn. To get established, I think augmenting with leaflets (and some door knocking!) around your existing customers everytime you visit them will quickly grow the round. Having a sign written van and good cards / handouts at the ready is important.

    • PRO

      I agree with a full on approach to establish a new business or a business feeling confident enough to expand using all methods available , I do feel though a lot of energy is wasted on leaflet drops , I would probably invest my time and money on advertising in a free publication or even newspaper classifieds insert with greater distribution , I just find leaflet dropping tacky although i know it may work for some .   Certainly would never door knock . 

      An approach i use is to look around when working for property with a garden requiring some TLC , Get a really nice card with a gardening theme and write a polite note to let them know you are working in the area , add your business card and drop it through the letterbox . Its just another approach of many available to market our business .

  • PRO

    Thank you for all your replies, they are much appreciated!

    @Jeff McCoy I definitely agree that word-of-mouth is a great way to promote a business, although sometimes a business needs a kickstart!  It Sounds like your friend is in a good position, it’s good when you can pick and choose your work!

    @James Brett It sounds like you have had a poor experience with Yellow Pages James. I definitely wouldn’t use Yellow Pages for a Google Adwords campaign as it needs to be monitored carefully. I do actually run a Google Adwords campaign and this seems to work fairly well for me.

    @Ben Jakes I hear what you’re saying Ben and I would say that a website is a must in this day and age. Google Adwords is good and works for me especially if you are in a particular niche or have a side-line.

    @John Fulton I agree with you John, I actually haven’t seen a Yellow Pages book lately, I think most people just go online and search, I do know that Yellow Pages can help your website to show up in a organic search.

    @Andrew Watts Thank you for your reply, I was thinking about points one and two Andrew. I also run an Adwords campaign that seems to work fairly well, maybe this is the answer to implement one and two and run an Adwords campaign alongside it.

    Once again thank you for your help, points taken!

    • I pay £39.60 per annum for a medium prominence ad on and this year it brought in 6 regular lawn mows which equate to £170 per round. 

      For the 2 years I've been running here 75% of my customers have come through and another 15% will be recommendations from those 75% :-)

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