How the Yellow Pages became a multitude of digital marketing services

Everyone knows the Yellow Pages. After all, it wasn’t long ago that huge printed yellow tomes featuring details of millions of UK businesses were delivered to our doors.

But you’ve probably noticed that the Yellow Pages don’t arrive at your doorstep anymore. So where did he go? And how do local businesses advertise these days without it?

From the very first yellow pages to the final printed directory

The first edition of the Yellow Pages was published in Brighton, UK, in 1966.

In 2017, Yellow Pages owner Yell announced that his printed form would cease production, with final delivery taking place in January 2018, marking his last run of 104 editions.

So now the local business listings through the yellow pages have been uploaded online to Going digital requires constant change as Internet search engines have replaced the old-fashioned phone book.

Local business advertising has gone fully digital thanks to Yell

The phone book printed on yellow paper has been a household staple for over 50 years.

Some people of a certain age will fondly recall the Yellow Pages advertising from its heyday. Known for their successful TV commercials including “Fly Fishing” by JR Hartley, the Yellow Pages managed to establish themselves as something we all needed and it was a real household name.

How many brands can say something like that these days?

Why have printed yellow pages stopped?

When owner company Yell announced the final editions in 2017, its CEO was quoted by the BBC in an article: “Like many businesses, Yell has discovered that being successful in the digital space requires constant change and innovation.

“We are well positioned to continue to help local businesses and consumers succeed online, now and in the future. “

For consumers who have spoken openly about environmental concerns, this shift from print to digital must have been good news.

Access to information is almost entirely online these days. Anytime we want to do some research or educate ourselves on service providers before we spend any money, where do we go? To our favorite search engine, of course.

What does the Yellow Pages replacement offer consumers and business customers?

Today’s Yell services have evolved significantly from the old publication.

He still has a free business directory on Depending on their website, businesses may list their contact details on a free ads page for the chosen classification. And, of course, it’s also free for consumers to search the local businesses website and app.

The biggest difference in service for Yell’s local business customers is the availability of multiple digital marketing packages under the Yell Business brand.

How many businesses are listed on

The purpose of the Yellow Pages was to help consumers easily find business details. The online version of course allows much more information to be displayed on a website than in a published directory. claims it is the ‘UK’s premier online business directory’ and that in 2021/2022 it hosts over 3.5 million business listings on its website .

That’s a lot of information that potential customers can look up online, whether they’re using Google, Bing, or some other search engine.

Is easy to use?

For people who want to learn more about a product or service provider, seems easy enough to use. The listings are separated into 3,000 classifications, and you can search by location, review rating, whether the business can be contacted by direct message and other options, but it’s also clear that some listings are promoted above others.

This clearly plays into the range of options that Yell offers companies to increase their visibility online.

Business profile pages are well laid out, and customers can leave a review of a business’s services to help other consumers decide if they want to use a business. People can leave a review in the same way as on other platforms, such as Google Reviews, or other independent review websites.

Reviews give the page’s listing owner helpful feedback that they can then use to improve, respond, or provide responses, if requested.

Obviously, none of this was available in printed directories like the Yellow Pages!

How does this work for the ad owner?

So this is the user side, but what about the business that wants to register their business on Previously, directories only supported basic location information, but now there is an option to link to their external website and social media channels, add photos or videos of their work. , respond to and manage reviews, and keep their information up to date. The expanded network also allows qualifying businesses to feature on Apple Maps, Amazon Alexa and Microsoft services to further increase their online visibility.

There is also the free Yell for Business app, so they can receive and respond to any messages or notices in real time.

A brief overview of and Yell Business products

The point of adding digital marketing and advertising to the mix is ​​to help local business owners navigate the complex world of digital marketing and extend their online visibility and reputation to relevant local customers.

More than likely, any local business owner has too much to do and too little time.

From this point of view, it makes perfect sense for a brand like Yell to adapt its support offering to brands and business leaders.

If you check out the Yell Business website, you can find all kinds of information about the technology they use (including AI-based solutions) and its partnerships with big tech companies. These include Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon Alexa.

Expand search parameters across multiple channels

Probably the most important factor in digital marketing and advertising is the wide reach that can be reached. something the published yellow pages couldn’t do. At the time, every household would have received a copy of the yellow pages. Whether they read it or use it is up to them to decide.

Online, of course, is a whole different ball game. Significant reach of digital marketing means cross-channel delivery. It can include social media channels, banner ads on popular websites, and ads in relevant search engines.

One of the great things about signing up with is that its ads are distributed across multiple channels, including Apple Maps and Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant, for example.

So, in answer to the original question – what happened to the Yellow Pages?

You can see that it has grown into an online digital marketing service provider offering listings, online advertising, websites, videos, online reputation management and more. Which option is right for you depends entirely on what you need for your digital marketing.

Whatever happens, there will be no going back to the old-fashioned printed yellow pages – the best of the brand is still here, just in another guise.

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