AdWords vs. Yellow Pages

The days of relying on print directories such as Yellow Pages to successfully advertise your business are over. Today, successful advertising for any local business relies primarily on the effectiveness of online marketing campaigns. These campaigns often fall under the umbrella term “Search Engine Marketing (SEM),” and they are used to increase the online visibility of your business.

As online directories such as yellow pages continue to diminish in their popularity and effectiveness, AdWords is doing exactly the opposite.

Companies like Yellow Pages and Dex have noticed this trend and have begun to offer online listings in addition to their outdated print-based advertising. This strategy, however, has been executed too late. There has been a significant shift in search trends over the past 5 years and Google now has a firm hold on the online marketing world. As an example, Yellow Pages achieved over 5 billion page searches in 2012 while Google’s annual search statistics report recorded an average of nearly 6 billion searches a day in 2013.

When managed by a Google Certified Partner or a Bing Accredited Professional, AdWords campaigns have very distinct benefits that allow you to get the most out of your marketing budget.

The Benefits of Search Engine Marketing and AdWords

Instant Results

When it comes to increasing your business’ online visibility and search engine ranking, you have two options: organic ranking (SEO) or online advertising (SEM). When relying on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies, it is much harder for businesses to achieve a high-quality rank. This is because increasing one’s organic ranking is a very time-consuming process. SEO processes such as copywriting, keyword loading, and link building must be carried out on a regular basis, and, if your domain is new, it can take more than 6 months for your website to gain any sort of traction in search engine results, regardless of SEO.

Google AdWords campaigns, on the other hand, provide your business with instant results, regardless of your organic ranking, by placing your website directly at the top of Google search engine results.

Measurable ROI

All Google AdWords campaigns can be measured and evaluated by a Google Certified Partner to provide you and your business with a detailed breakdown of your ROI in search engine marketing. At Virtual Image, we use Google Analytics to track, measure, and evaluate your AdWords campaigns to ensure that you are getting the most out of your online marketing investment.


AdWords campaigns are also fully customizable and utilize a Pay Per Click (PPC) methodology. This means that once your campaign is running, you only have to pay for it when someone clicks on one of your ads. This is one of the major advantages that AdWords has over yellow page directories. With yellow pages, you are required to pay a subscription fee to remain at the top of business listings, but with Google AdWords, you choose how much and how often you want to invest.

Google AdWords and Bing Ads campaigns can also be customized to target specific markets and demographics and offer specific services or products. This allows your business to create search engine marketing campaigns that will yield the most profitable results.

Geographical Targeting

Using Google’s built-in mapping system and Google Business, which used to be known as Google Places, AdWords campaigns also have distinct geographical advantages. AdWords campaigns can target specific local, national, or worldwide regions in order to increase the campaign’s optimization and eliminate any unwanted or non-profitable attention towards your products, services, or business. These geographical catchment features are extremely beneficial for local businesses.

The primary value of online directories such as Yellow Pages is their ability to appeal to a consumer’s desire for local proximity. This desire, however, can now be fully fulfilled with Google Adwords’ geographical targeting abilities. Your SEM campaigns can be completely customized to target customers or clients in various regions and proximities.

I think my business should be using AdWords. What should I do now?

Contact Virtual Image and establish your Search Engine Marketing campaign today! If you would like to learn more about how Virtual Image uses AdWords to increase your website’s ROI, you should check out our Search Engine Marketing page.