Chances are good that if you’re an attorney you’ve had one of the big 3 yellow page companies calling and showing up in your office trying to sell you some combination of a website, online advertising and phonebook advertising. Dex Media, Hibu and AT&T are in the hurt locker and their phonebook business is all but dead. (In fact, Dex Media recently emerged from another bankruptcy in the last 7 years in August, 2016 (*Updated May, 2017). IYP, (Internet Yellow Pages), is an industry with little growth - besides the dollars they migrate from clients ready to cancel their print ads… But that’s just robbing Peter to pay Paul. They need a growth mechanism and their only hope is online.
In their heyday, lawyer advertising was around 20% of yellow page revenue. The only way you could find a lawyer pre-Internet was in the trusty phonebook. Then around 2005, businesses started getting up and walking away from phonebook advertising, but the yellow page industry was ill-equipped to replace the print revenue with online dollars.
Below are probably the 5 best reasons you should not get involved with a yellow page company when it comes to marketing your law firm online.
*May 2017 UPDATE: There should be a #6 on this list that was an oversight which was recently brought to my attention by a subscriber.
6. Boiler plate design & content. Yellow page companies don't just recycle their phonebooks, they recycle the same website content and designs over and over again. An article from New Zealand reveals that the local YP provider just copy and pasted the same website for 3 different customers, only changing the logo and contact information. While I haven't seen this egregious degree of fraud happening in the US, after visiting numerous YP produced websites you'll immediately notice that they all have the same general layout, stock photography, generalized content and look & feel.
Hopefully you’re finding this article before signing a contract with a yellow page company and not reading this and mentally checking off all the things that happened to you. If you are in need of a website proctology exam, your best bet is to find a local attorney marketing expert if you're not sold on the idea of hiring one of the large legal marketing mills.
Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/f-r-a-n-k/
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