Traditionally, Yellow Pages or Yellow Book has been a great way to advertise and promote your business to a large audience. With the advent of the internet, this concept took the online route and the physical book was replaced by yellow book or yellow pages websites. However, over the years, there has been a decline in the use of such websites, essentially due to the following disadvantages:
Website Ownership Issues: The most important disadvantage of owning a yellow page website is that you do not actually own it but essentially rent it from the yellow page company. In other words, you are paying a yearly rental to the yellow page company to host your website. Moreover, if you were to drop out of this program, you would lose your website.
Domain Name Ownership Issues: When registering your website through a yellow page company, you are essentially not the owner of your domain name. In fact, the yellow page company actually owns your domain name and rents it out to you for a fee. Not only does transferring the ownership of the domain name cost money, but is also wrought with several legal complications should you no longer what your website with them.
Exorbitantly Expensive Option: It is important to note that owning a yellow page website means and includes having to pay an initial cost for its creation and hosting as well as paying a yearly rental fee for ensuring that you stay in the program. It is more important to note that both the initial cost as well as the yearly rent for the website is exorbitant and absolutely avoidable.
Website Design: Given that these websites are mass produced by various yellow page companies, design and content are secondary aspects. In other words, websites designed by yellow page companies are ineffective, unattractive, lacking in both features and functionality as well as lacking in overall user friendliness. It is essential to understand that the mass production of these websites leads to the inability to customize the design to suit your individual needs.
Content: With respect to content, it is important to note that such websites primarily do not allow for much content to be uploaded. Moreover, such websites also make it really difficult to update your content regularly. Under these circumstances, it is obvious that search engine optimization, especially under the newer rules governing SEO, is sadly lacking. Moreover, the limitations with respect to coding and the ineffectiveness of the overall design add to the lack of appeal of such websites to various search engines, making it an ineffective way to promote your business.
Rate of Conversion: Given the lack of user friendliness as well as the ineffective and unappealing design, it is difficult for such websites to both attract as well as retain visitors. While traffic entering such websites is absolutely minimal, it is important to note that the rate of conversion of idle traffic into loyal customers is even lower. Moreover, given the same reasons, it is impossible to measure ROI of such websites.
Inability to include Social Media Marketing: Social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc are great ways to market or promote your business website. However, according to experts, it is not possible to use these methods to market your yellow pages website.
Lack of active Customer Support Program: Customer support is the best way to retain customers and convert them into loyalists. While customer support can be actively extended through a self owned website, it is difficult and nearly impossible to do so with a yellow pages website. Lack of active communication with customers can result in loss of business.
The above disadvantages of yellow book/ pages website should be considered when choosing between such websites and creating your own individually designed website. Most experts believe that owning your website and domain name will go a long way in ensuring better and more profitable business.