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Change is part of life. But for many years, the Yellow Pages was a stalwart. Want to attract local customers? Get listed in that gigantic book. For more attention, take out an ad. When people were looking for a product or service, they dug in and found what they needed, just as simple as that.

Here’s where I could tell you that things are changing, but that wouldn’t be correct. They changed quite some time ago. The Yellow Pages directory has been dropping straight into people’s recycling bins for years. However, things got much worse for the old standby in 2011, considerably worse in 2012, and in 2016? It’s on the verge of becoming completely irrelevant.

In 2016, everyone from small children to grandmothers is getting information from smartphones and tablets. That’s why it’s imperative that you promote your small business where potential customers now search for products and services almost exclusively: online.

A recent survey showed 90 percent of respondents felt that advertising in the Yellow Pages was ineffective. Only 3 percent of respondents said they used the Yellow Pages regularly, while 67 percent said they never use the Yellow Pages. Can you afford to focus your marketing efforts in a directory that 2 out of 3 people never use?

A better system — and an increasingly convenient system — has relegated the Yellow Pages to obscurity. People of all walks of life increasingly are comfortable finding local services and businesses online.

Potential customers no longer necessarily call a friend when they’re looking for a recommendation. Most go straight to Google (or Yahoo, or Bing) and do a search. It’s free and convenient — the Internet is at our fingertips 24 hours a day — so why not?

“Yellow Pages are Dying, Now What?” is a free handbook that, if you are not already aware, outlines the fall of what was once the only source of local business advertising available. This handbook compares the convenience and effectiveness of online marketing to the outdated, rigid and much more costly print advertising.

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