Although I would love to think that small businesses can simply go online for all their advertising, it’s simply not so. Sure businesses SHOULD go online and use pay-per-click services such from Yahoo and Google and pay-per-call services from Ingenio and optimize their web sites for better search engine discovery.
However there’s a LOT of people who still use the Yellow Pages and if you are not there, especially if your bread and butter is from the locals then you’ll miss sales.
The Wall Street Journal writes To be sure, the research also has shown that yellow directory advertising works better for some industries than others. According to a study by Knowledge Networks Statistical Research in Westfield, N.J., the industry headings that get the most yellow directory usage are restaurants, followed by physicians and auto-parts dealers. On the other hand, travel or a car purchase — or any big ticket item where a customer is likely to spend time researching — the customer tends to look online first, and may ignore the yellow directories altogether.
Cost is a factor in any advertising, of course. In your region, the minimum starter ad in the Yellow Book would be $30 a month for a one-inch ad, a white pages listing and inclusion in the Yellow Book’s online listings. Display ads, of course, are double that and more. That is surprisingly comparable to a Web site. It doesn’t cost an awful lot to get a decent Web site up and running, and Web-hosting services can be $30 a month or less. Depending on how aggressively you want to advertise, you could buy highly ranked listings on Internet search engines.