Then came the internet and it went to the web as yellow pages websites. However, over the past several years there has been a decline in these types of websites and for good reason due to the following disadvantages vs traditional web design firm or professional services:
Not Owning Your Website: This is probably one of the most important disadvantage of owning a yellow page website is that you are basically renting it from the yellow page company and do not actually own it.
In other words, you are paying a yearly rental to the yellow page company to host your website. To this regards you would lose your website if you dropped out of the program or don’t renew your contract.
Not Owning Your Domain Name: When registering your website (that WWW URL that distinguishes you from the rest) through a yellow page/HIBU company, you are essentially not the owner of your domain name .
Yellow page essentially owns the rights to that name, for minimum of a year. They say they will release it and transfer the ownership (generally for a price) after the contract is up but will do everything in their power to make sure you continually pay the expensive monthly fees for hosting and domain name.
They will also tell you how important it is to maintain your advertisement in the big thick yellow physical book that everyone tosses away, unless your in your 70’s, which is probably not the target audience you’re looking for.
And not only does transferring the ownership of the domain name cost money but they have the upper hand and it can possibly lead to legal issues if you no longer want your website with them.
Immensely Expensive Option: It is vital to note that by owning (renting) your website via yellow pages you have to pay an initial cost for creation and hosting along with paying a rather expensive yearly rental fee to stay in the program. The cheapest monthly options they have are still 70% higher than our monthly hosting fees.
And all you get in return is a vanilla template website that by no means attracts website visitors compared to custom designed sites do. This initial cost along with the yearly rent for the website is not necessary and is unnecessary.
Website Design: As stated before, these sites are basic templates produced in large quantities by a slew of yellow page affiliates.
These website designs do not try to make you stand out nor enticing for web visitors and lack today’s need of Web 2.0 features and functionality. Take a look for yourself. Click the follow link as this will take you to a Google search listing different yellow book pages.
Look at several and you will see for yourself they are not really enticing to attract new customers and even search engines are inhibited from indexing the sites as some of them miss several key W3C requirements.
The Guts of Any Website, The Content: These sites usually have limitations to how much content can be uploaded or added. Search engines rely heavily on content for keywords and phrases that help promote your website to the top.
This is one of the key components of good SEO and is truly doing the small business owner no justice online compared to custom designed websites.
Lack of Retaining Visitors and Attracting New: Due to the lack of intrigue and user friendliness these yellow pages website lack, it is extremely difficult for any website that has these standards to attract, as well as retain visitors.
Getting web visitors to view the website is one thing, but if they perceive the website as dull, boring and looks like a high school kid designed it, what will they think of your business and reputation?
The rate of conversion, that of which one takes action after entering your website and becomes a loyal customer is the ultimate goal. These types of websites really limit the ROI that one should really get for something that is the only thing that works for you 24/7 365 days a year.
Lack of Web 2.0 Features: Let’s face it, the new age is among us and integrating social media like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc…into websites are great ways to market and promote your business website.
However, it appears from research that these options are limited to market your yellow pages website. Look at a few yellow page websites listed from the search link above and you will notice there is no or little trace of any social media integration, truly missing out on easy and free marketing.
They Can’t Guarantee You First Page Search Results: I hear this often from current yellow pages customers. They say then can guarantee your website on the front page of Googles search results. This is a deliberate misinterpretation to entice you into more obligations and of course money in my opinion.
All search engines continually change their algorithm of how they rank search engines and no one, besides the top Google and Bing Engineers know this algorithm which ultimate decides if you or your competitor should place in the top three pages.
There are some distinguished elements that even Google states that websites must have to even have a chance.
And looking at many of the yellow page websites they are lacking many key features preventing them from getting on the front page, let alone top 3 pages. They often lack keywords, lengthy content, title and descriptions to name a few. Read more about SEO and see for yourself.
Customer Support or Lack Of: Massively produced websites are going to give you pre-populated and template responses for questions or issues that arise.
Rarely will you receive the personable support from a local web designer who would truly appreciate the business and not take advantage of a name that, at one time, had a great purpose.
Hopefully the disadvantages of yellow book and yellow pages/HIBU websites will help your decision when it comes to truly promoting your online presence and to prevent future headaches down the road.