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Search Engine Optimization

Yellow Pages – Falling Numbers

yellowdyingWe’ve written before about Yellow Pages and their woes.

We’ve yet to see the 2012 financials but can examine their website metrics, which show disturbing, though unsurprising trends. In the past these metrics have previously been used to woo hapless customers to advertise with them. It’s like the circulation figures magazines use to convince you to advertise with them, remembering that as a rule, the larger the circulation, the more you can charge advertisers and subscribers.

With online, it’s all about traffic, pageviews and time people spend on the website. But with these core figures all declining, it’s hard to know what ‘figures’ and sales pitch Yellow can now truthfully use to convince clients to buy into their advertising services…

According to Alexa stats, not only is traffic to the Yellow Pages website further declining, there are also fewer people coming to the Yellow website from Ads on Google too, down 39% over the last 3 months. This means Yellow is possibly spending less money on Googles Adwords, or people are ignoring them. Around 35% of traffic to Yellow comes from AdWords. So, with Yellow not buying as much traffic from Google, traffic numbers to Yellow will continue to drop.

In fact the only ‘figure’ going up for Yellow are the bounce rates, from 35% last year to over 50% now. Which indicates that most people arriving at the Yellow site quickly click away, not remaining on the site. This is not good for any website owner, least of all a major directory!

yellowsHowever expect a brave face, since like a Politian’s promises and figures, it’s easy to put the right spin on anything when it comes to stats.  But from a web developers perspective, these are the trends we all work hard to avoid. Whatever they are selling, isn’t working any more. People are deserting them. Their product isn’t relevant any more.

So, can Yellow pages rebuild under their new online and Google Adwords reseller focus? If so, when will we see their current directory site close down, or at the very least, a slashing of their rates and fees that reflects their falling ‘circulation’.

Ref: Yellows Last Gasp


3 Responses to “Yellow Pages – Falling Numbers”

  1. Hi Kevin,

    There’s actually a much simpler answer. At the end of 2011 White pages moved from yellow.co.nz/whitepages to its own domain whitepages.co.nz

    Feel free to email me directly if you have any questions.

    Posted by Mike - Search Marketing Manager - Yellow | May 27, 2012, 11:35 pm
    • Thanks for the feedback and update Mike. Interesting strategy. Seems to be in line with the Alexa traffic drop. I guess it’s a case of trying to read too much into the numbers although not sure the move explains the bounce rate hike. However will check both sites in another 3-6 months and we’ll all have a clearer idea of what’s happening.

      Posted by Kevin T | June 3, 2012, 12:24 pm
      • Think of bounce rate as a landing page metric rather than a site metric and you’ll find the answer… 85% of visits to whitepages.co.nz enter via the homepage and then go on to search for a phone number resulting in a very low bounce rate (15% last week).

        yellow.co.nz is totally different with only 20% of visits via the homepage. The balance go straight to one of our category or listing pages – these visits are more likely to find what they’re looking for on the first page (resulting in a bounce!).

        That said I track a lot more internally than you’ll see through Alexa and the bounce rate on yellow.co.nz runs about 25% when you include all the events a user can perform other than pageviews.

        Posted by Mike - Search Marketing Manager - Yellow | June 5, 2012, 8:52 pm

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