From Yellow Book to Modern-Looking, SEO-Friendly Websites
Updated: Feb 2
By Hannah Rau
Back in the day of paper telephone directories, businesses used the Yellow pages or YP to advertise and allow customers to find them. They were a great solution for small business advertising. However, as the Internet became more widely used for information gathering in the 90s, far fewer people bought copies of paper phone books. So, the yellow pages moved online to sites built by Yellowbook, Hibu or YP by Thryv.
On the internet yellow pages, businesses can list basic info about their location, contact info, and services. As the importance of an online presence grew, sites like Yellowbook, Hibu, and YP also began offering to build and host websites for small businesses to supplement their directory listings.
When printed yellow page books were a staple in every home, simple websites paired with online yellow page listings were a smart option for small businesses. However, now that the popularity of the yellow pages has declined, many new alternatives have come to challenge and disrupt the market. These days, you need more to keep a competitive edge. If you are still using an outdated website from the 2000s or 2010s or haven't updated your website in a while, you may be missing out on features that could help grow your business in 2023.
Website Yearly Updates
We can't stress the importance of regular updates enough. Site visitors may be discouraged from using your business if they're met with a website that looks like it was designed in the 90s or 2010s or is missing features they've come to expect. In 2023, it's important to update every year and keep up as the Internet and technology change. Updating each year keeps your website fresh and interesting and makes it more visible to search engines.
01. Search Engine Optimization Critical to every Business
SEO is a strategy or set of strategies to increase traffic to your website by improving your website's ranking in results from Google and other search engines. Unless users are specifically searching for Yellowbook or Yellow Pages, having these brands on your website won't automatically improve SEO. Following modern SEO best practices can improve your ranking in organic searches (searches that don't involve brand names or ads), but this involves putting in consistent work to keep up to date with changes to search engine ranking criteria. For first-page results, Google and other search engines look for websites that are current, relevant to search terms, and accessible to both search engine robots (crawlers) and real users. If you haven't recently updated your business site or aren't including fresh content, your website likely isn't meeting these criteria and won't rank high in search engine results.
02. Fresh, High-Quality Content
One strategy that improves SEO and impresses visitors is providing valuable, relevant content. Internet users today aren't just searching for your business address or phone number; they're searching for information. By providing helpful content for free on your website, you may rank higher in searches and keep visitors on your site longer. Content ideas can include blog posts about topics in your industry, free advice, how-to instructions, or detailed descriptions of your products and services. The key is to create the right amount of high-quality content and then continually refresh and repurpose it. Is your website's content sparse or poorly written? Expanding and improving it could generate more leads for your business.
03. A Unique, Eye-Catching Design
Today's websites need to not only be visually attractive but also allow customers to recognize your business instantly. How your website looks determines whether someone stays on your site or navigates elsewhere. There are a couple of first impressions you don't want to make:
You don't want your website to look old and outdated. Older websites didn't have the same design capabilities as modern ones, so they tend to look dull and unprofessional to today's audiences. A fresh design shows that you care about how your business is perceived and are up to date with what customers want in 2023.
You don't want your website to look exactly like your competitors. Customers won't be impressed, for example, if your automotive website looks the same as the one owned by the automotive shop down the street. A customized design can build your brand and help you stand out from other businesses in your industry.
04. Web 2.0 Features
Ever since the rise of Web 2.0 in the 2010s, users have expected websites to provide an engaging, interactive, and user-friendly experience. Part of this involves integrating social media so visitors can access your Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, etc., from your website. Most users also expect mobile responsive design, where your site automatically formats to look good on different devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Old websites from the 2000s, and even some from the 2010s, didn't have these capabilities. If your website is stuck in the previous Internet age, bringing it into the modern era has the potential to bolster customers' perception of your business.
05. Personalized Support for Content Management
Are you looking for affordable web design alternatives to Hibu, YP, Yellow Pages, and other website platforms? If all this sounds intimidating, you don't have to go it alone! With a small web design agency specializing in helping small business owners, you have a team behind you ready to help with branding strategy, website updates, technical support, and much more.
An online yellow page directory listing could still be an effective marketing tool for your small business. However, an updated, attractive website with relevant content is critical in 2023. Let CIS Agency build a website that fulfills your goals and represents your small business beautifully. Do you need a website template to get started? Visit hundreds of Wix Templates built by our talented team.
To learn more, please get in touch with us or call us at 616.347.6300.