Should You Pay To Be In The Yellow Pages?
Jason Schulz, Hey Chiro CEO
Let’s cut right to the chase – the answer is no.
As far as SEO is concerned, your clinic DOES NOT need to pay to be listed on Yellow Pages.
Let me explain why this matters – and I will go into some detail in answering this.
This is a question that comes up often when I talk to Chiropractors about their online marketing efforts.
What I’ve come to realise is that the majority of Chiropractors receive phone calls from YP (Yellow Pages) representatives with offers of getting to the “top of category results”. These are often misinterpreted as Google results, as opposed to Yellow Pages search categories.
Before we get into more detail let’s go over a quick overview of YP and why they’re reaching out to clinics like yours.
YP’s Transition to Digital
For those of you that may not remember (not sure how many readers wouldn’t) but Yellow Pages used to provide printed phone books. They were big, clunky books full of local numbers both business and personal.
They offered advertising listings for businesses; you pay for the size, position and features of the ad you wanted.
With the phone book becoming outdated Yellow Pages has made a transition into the digital world.
They’ve basically evolved into an online listing directory that you can find here: https://www.yellowpages.com.au/
YP for Business
With their business services they’ve basically become an online marketing agency of sorts.
Catering to mainly small, local businesses, YP’s goal seems to be to become a digital marketing provider to get more visitors and calls going to local businesses who use their services.
They offer a number of different options for businesses (which I will not get into, but you can go beyond just YP listings with their business services), as you can see by the screenshot below:
For the purposes of the discussion here we will focus on comparing two different aspects that most clinics are approached on:
Priority Placement (Paid Listing)
The idea with this Priority Placement service is to get your clinic listed at the top of a specific category and/or keyword search on YP.com.au.
This is the important part to keep in mind. Getting ranked in top results specifically when someone searched on yellowpages.com.au not on Google (or other search engines). Most people get confused with this part because they get the impression the ranking will be on Google, but it is actually specific to the YP search results only.
The tricky part when they are talking you through the signup process is they make it sound as if your specific clinic/website will be grabbing attention on Google, Yahoo!, etc.
However, what happens is that it is in fact YP coming up in search results which then might show your clinic if someone clicks through to YP.com.au. And for many business owners who are unfamiliar with SEO and Google rankings in general this all sounds either extremely inviting or confusing.
With a paid listing you will be asked for a minimum six month contract and your business will often be listed below any other business who is paying more money. Unfortunately the chances of turning a profit on your six month investment is not likely.
We have even set up call tracking numbers for a client who was spending more than $1,000 per month on Yellow Pages. The results after 6 months showed they received a total of 22 phone calls from their listing. That is about 3.5 calls per month over the 6 months. Or equivalent to $285.71 per phone call.
This actually doesn’t even include the fact that some of these were calls from people advertising services and not potential prospects… Needless to say they did not renew with Yellow Pages.
Free YP Listing
Link to service: https://www.sensis.com.au/sensis-free-listing
As far as SEO services for YOUR OWN website go, this is the listing we recommend you go with for YP.
While your clinic won’t get priority listed at the top of their categories it will still be present for all those looking to do in-depth research for a specific service. This listing is entirely free of charge. However, as soon you sign up and get listed you will most likely be solicited by a sales representative trying to get you to sign up for a Priority Listing (and perhaps more) with YP.
Everything with the free listing is similar to the Priority Listing with the exception that it doesn’t cost anything and it doesn’t get you on top of their own YP search results.
What Should My Clinic Do?
My recommendation is to stick with the free listing and find an SEO service similar to the one we provide.
Not to be self promotional, but it is better to get your own web pages and website ranked directly on Google than to rely solely on YP and other similar directory listings (whether you hire someone to do the work on your behalf, or you try to do it on your own).
With that being said, if you’re a local Chiropractor and think that people might find you on YP to compare to competitors you can always supplement your own organic rankings with a Priority Listing.
Keep in mind that most of these services are contract based – so if you do decide to go with any sort of paid listing or service you will have to lock into a specified time period.
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.