I received a call yesterday from a yellowpages.com rep. She said that she had picked up one of my business cards at the local SubWay, and wanted to know if I would be interested in placing an ad with them. She said that I could be listed on yellowpages.com as well as listed in the yellow pages in the phone book, and that I could get a website designed by google for only $49.00 / month.
I know that there have been many disussions about noone using phone books anymore, but I wonder if it would be worth it for the online yellow pages and a professional website. She said that they would make changes to my website anytime that I wanted at no extra charge.
Has anyone had any experience with this service? If so, what are your thoughts?
I do not have a website at this time. Everything has been either referrals or someone picking up one of my business cards. I am the ONLY licensed and health inspected cake decorator in my county. I live in a very small town and Wal-Mart doesn't even do cakes. They refer people to me.
I know that$49.00 /month is not much money, but if it's not going to be good exposure, then why waste my money.
Any thoughts and opinions are greatly appreciated.
Are there other bakeries in your town? Is it a big, med, or small town?
How likely do you figure it will be that people will you look up - either in the book or on line?
Or do they know about you ... just don't need a cake now or can't afford you ?
Oooopppps - didn't read the whole post.
If you can get a ONE year contract it might be worth it. Don't get locked into anything longer.
You should absolutely get a web site, but it doesn't have to cost you anywhere near $49.00/month. If the web site is properly optimized, then people should be finding you with search engines. In my opinion, none of those online business directory services are worth what they charge. Just get a web site.
I don't think people go to yellowpages.com a lot anymore. I keep thinking what I would do and I think I would google "bakery, name of town, Tennessee" and see what comes up and take it from there.
I could be wrong, though. Just my opinion.
Thanks ladies. I have no idea of how to go about building a website or how to get it on the search engines. Is there a way of doing this myself and having it appear professional? I've read that some people have paid upwards of $1,000.00 to have this done and I just can't afford that at this time. I am also in the process of remodeling and expanding so that I can also offer donuts and pastries as well as cakes. There is no place within a 40 mile drive to get fresh pastries and I really believe that this will go very well here. I am located within 1 block from the courthouse and alot of the businesses in town. Cakes are usually for special occasions, but almost every one likes fresh pastries and could easily handle those at least once a week or so.
$49/month is a LOT of $$ for a website. I have three different websites for different businesses, hosted by different providers. Because I want (want, not maybe need) a lot of bandwidth and functionality for my cake site, I have a fairly expensive plan - $14.95/month.
To get start quickly, look a VistaPrint's websites. You work from a template, they're good looking and cost, I think, $5 a month for the hosting.
Yellow Pages anything is a dinosaur. And not in a good way.
Thanks Leah. With Vista, do you have to use the backgrounds that they have or can you choose your own? I would like to have something that is not just a generic, run of the mill background. Hope that makes sense. I guess I will take a look and see what I can find out. Also, how do I go about getting my website into search engines?
I'd be very careful about this. I highly doubt its the real yellow pages Group that contacted you as its not something they normally do. Its most likely a yellow page scam thats been active a long time in Canada and is now getting very active in the US. We just recently had a consumer alert updated on our local news about this very thing. I'm adding some text from my local news website for you to read, plus theres a link underneath with another TV news article & video about the yellow page scam. Be sure to watch the video.
Dentist Dr. Ken Neuman got a fax recently he was sure was from the Yellow Pages.
He's had his name in the Yellow Pages directory for years. But then he saw a story CTV News did on an Ontario dentist who was taken in by a sound-alike company called Yellow Page with no "s".
Dr. Neuman took another look at the faxed invoice and realized it was from the sound-alike company.
He decided not to pay the $1,400 bill for a directory he's never actually seen. He ignored several notices from Yellow Page. Then, six months later, he received a letter demanding payment within seven days or the company "will have no alternative but to refer the matter to a credit agency and take legal action."
The Better Business Bureau says don't pay it: report it.
"You can contact our office, the Canadian anti-fraud office, and you can contact the Competition Bureau that looks into these kinds of situations," the BBB's Simone Lis said.
Dr. Neuman is not planning on paying the bill but he is still bothered by it and he wonders why they are allowed to continue.
"Shouldn't these people be taken to court, put out of business?" he asked.
In an e-mail to CTV News, the Yellow Pages Group which publishes the Yellow Pages said:
"We are aware of fraudulent organizations which have chosen to pose as Yellow Pages Group in order to capitalize on our known and trusted brand. Yellow Pages Group does not conduct business by sending unsolicited faxes. We continue to work with the Competition Bureau to address this issue and work with the appropriate authorities around trademark infringement as well as duplicitous solicitation of our client base."
Dr. Neuman recommends anyone receiving a fax should take an extra 10 seconds to make sure it's really from who you think it's from.
Thanks for the heads-up warchild. The last thing I need is to get caught up in a scam.
I agree with the scam angle of it. If you want an ad in the phone book, I would pick up the phone and call the phone company. People that are calling you are trying to make money, either legally thinking you'll thing what ever deal they are offering you is a deal when it might not be, or it's a scam.
We get calls all the time wanting to speak to the person that handles our AT&T bill, when you question them, this people are not in anyway assiocated with AT&T. I also can't tell you how many calls we get wanting us to update our information for this and that free unline listing.
I just bought a domain name for $15/year from godaddy - not sure I'm so happy about godaddy but it was cheap. Weebly hosts it for free. They gave me templates I could work from, and I got a website up and running in no time. Search Engine Optimization is what's giving me difficulty.
Your host will initially get you on the search engines. However, how your website is written is what's hot in SEO right now. That and inbound links are still a very good thing.
We have 2 web sites from yahoo, they include your domain, templates, hosting, the whole shabang for about $120 per year each. Super easy to use, they deal with everything in one single package
Some things to consider ......
How many people do you know who find a business they need on yellowpages.com?
As I told the YP.com person who kept trying to get me to sign up, "People don't type in yellowpages.com THEN type in "wedding cakes indianapolis". They just go to the Google or Bing or Yahoo home page and type in "wedding cakes Indianapolis."
Just to test it, I just this second went to yp.com and typed in "wedding cakes indianapolis". Included on this list was MCL Cafeteria (they don't make weddign cakes), a DJ, a venue (who does not make weddign cakes), Panera bread, a bagel shop, The Hostess outlet store (Twinkie wedding cake anyone?), AND ...... a dog bakery!
Would I really want my biz lost in this kind of shuffle? On a site that I'm not sure anyone really uses?
Leah said it best ..... a dinosaur.
Thanks everyone for your input. I will be meeting with her on Tuesday and I will let her know that I am not interested.
However if anyone can lead me in the right direction on getting started with a webpage, I would greatly appreciate it.
Leah, I'm sorry, but I don't have a clue what SEO or inbound links are. Could you please explain?
I guess I am old school. I use the yellow pages online all the time and have found that many businesses around here do not have a website. The busiest cakery here doesn't even have one. They have been in business for 20 yrs though so it is all everyone knows. When you ask about a cake in our town they are who is recommended. They just started a Facebook page last week and that is the extent of their presence online.
I think you have to consider your area, but definitely make sure you do not fall for a scam.
BTW-I do have a website and have yet to have it produce even an inquiry so I am considering listing in the YP.
Thanks for your input Kris. I too will look on yp.com if I am looking for something local, but I guess not everyone does. I am just so ignorant about webpages and all that stuff. I have never had a need before now and I'm just not educated at all about them. I guess it's about time for me to learn tho.
I was a very successful yp rep and I cold called every day. You just have to see the previous copy of the book and see if it actually published in your area.
BUT... 15 years ago when I sold yp, we knew the that it was a dying dinosaur. The companies got into the .com market because the industry was dying back then, most people didn't have web sites, and everyone could look great with their new web address on their print media. When web sites became more common and searches picked them up, the yp.com sites became outdated. You can still find them if you know what you are looking for, but they don't attract as much attention as the do-it-yourself website builders.
Now the big one... the demographic of the yellow page reader is 60 plus... do not let them tell you differently. Unfortunately, the disposable income of that particular age is so insignificant that most marketing agencies completely disregard the entire sector (except for geriatric related products). If your market is there, great. But I don't see it.
Having been a District Sales Manager for Yellow Book (former mind you), I do know a thing or two about yellow page advertising. First of all, how many directories are in your area? Some areas we sold in there were like 7 or more independent directories. Not good when you consider how diluted the market becomes.
When 'Ma Bell' broke up in the 80's , it brought in all the independents who could buy the phone pages and produce their own directories. Now with the proliferation of cell phones most white pages are being phased out so all that's left are yellow page directories.
I know AT&T still refers to themselves as being the only 'real' YPs but Yellow Book (depending upon your area) is a very strong contender. Other 'local' directories can also be in your area.
Used to be only people with land line phones could get directories...now everyone gets them. Usually piled up on your doorstep unwanted.
I got out of the biz for many reasons...not the least of which was the 'sales at all cost' management mentality.
That being said, I will say this...I think YP directories are useful...particularly if you can't access a computer and your house is filling up with water...and restaurants still get good response. Most service contractors, doctors and lawyers love them. I don't know the numbers anymore on how many people actually look in yp's for a wedding cake. If you want a presence, then just your name and phone number is sufficient and should be free. You have to figure with your current proposal, you're going to pay $588 for a year's worth of advertising. Now, one wedding cake should pay for that, right? It's up to you to decide if you think it will generate that and more.
If you are considering a website, I highly recommend GoDaddy.com and Website Tonight for your domain name and website hosting. You can build it yourself (it's easy) from templates, add your own pictures, copy etc. It's not great but I've got mine for like $65 a year. (yes, year) I add pictures as needed. I mainly have it just to show people what I've done...I'm not mass-marketing myself.
Oh, and BTW, the scam that was mentioned has been circulating for many many years! Someone sends a mass mailing to businesses that looks like a bill. It's got the little walking fingers on it so they think it's the yellow pages. It works because many businesses don't take the time to read their bills and they just pay it. Someone who calls you is easy enough to investigate.
There's so much more I could say pro and con about YP advertising. But I've already rambled on enough. Just know that the best YP companies are utilizing web, TV and even direct mail to supplement the directories. They all see the writing on the wall--including Facebook's!
OK another question. The name of my business is Creative Confections by Vickey. When I do a search for creativeconfections.com, it appears that this domain is owned by someone. It says that it is for sale, but they probably want an arm and a leg for it. Soooooo, my question is this. What would be a good domain (I think thats what you would call it) for my business? My thoughts are that with by Vickey added to it, that would be too long and they probably wouldn't spell Vickey with the "ey". If anyone has any suggestions, I would greatly appreciate it.
vickysconfections.com was empty.
Just spell it the way people will spell it. If you make it the name or part of the name, it will be easier for people to find you and not get a competitor by mistake.
I would buy the domain name with your name spelled correctly. And I'd also buy the domains with your name spelled incorrectly. The incorrectly spelled domain can be set to redirect to the correctly spelled domain. Easy to do through GoDaddy.
I own several variations of a couple of my domains.
Yes, I 100% concur with Leah. And as someone who constantly goes through life with her name misspelled because of the extra 'e', I don't think the right approach would be to cry uncle and change your business name or online presence. Do what Leah said, buy both, and then if they type the wrong thing, redirect them to the correct site. Domains are fairly cheap, in the grand scheme of things.
I often wonder about parents who give their child a name which will force the child to spend the rest of their life spelling it out for people. What are they thinking? Cousin named her kid "Teresa" but added extra vowels and consonants and spelled it "Thereasa". Every time she has to spell out her first name (which is often) she frequently gets a response of "Teresa with an "H" in it!??????"
Plus the poor kid could never get those really cool license plates to put on the back of her tricycle!
Vickey...I made my free website through Webs.com...They provided pre made template and you just plug in your info and pics..I later upgraded and pay $49.00 a year for the bandwidth....The key is to spend some time playing around with layout etc and get a feel for what you can do etc..It took sometime but now it is so easy to add pages/pictures and such it just tales a minute to update availability etc...When I google my name it comes up first on top...That is what you want but that comes over time with people looking at your site etc..The more people who click on the faster our site moves up the google search engine chain so to speak.
Thanks everyone for your input. What do ya'll think of confectionsbyVickey? This way it doesn't limit me to just cakes on my site. Any and all thoughts are very welcome.
Also when I go to godaddy.com, what all do I need to purchase? Do I need all the extra stuff that they offer? Will the "WebSite Tonight" make it easier to set it up?
Deb you are right about the name thing. I always have to correct the spelling of my name. Funny story tho. When I was very young, and the Mickey Mouse show was popular (not the new Mickey Mouse Clubhouse), I actually learned to spell my name with that show. Instead of singing M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E, I would sing V-I-C-K-E-Y F-O-U-S-T. True story. When I tell people that now, they have no problem remembering that my name is with an "ey". LOL
LOL! I used the same trick when I was in a local spelling bee to raise money for the Literacy Program. The word was "farinaceous" and I spelled it to the tune of Mickey Mouse .... F-A-R..... I-N-A .... C-E-O-U-S!!!
I often wonder about parents who give their child a name which will force the child to spend the rest of their life spelling it out for people. What are they thinking?
Plus the poor kid could never get those really cool license plates to put on the back of her tricycle!
As a Tracy with a y, not an ey, i or ie, I can totally understand this.
My mom doesn't think she give me an odd spelling but I keep telling her she gave me the boy's spelling of the name. It is hard to find anything with my name spelled right on.
My middle name is Elisabeth, s instead of z. I was named after my German great grandmother there, so I can't complain too much about that one. And well my last night, its a 9 letter polish name.
Yeah, I've had to spell them all out many of times.
I don't know if it's a scam or not, but I had a terrible experience when dealing with yellowpages.com about a year and a half ago. I signed up for their free listing service just to list my business name and phone number. Immediately I started getting solicitation calls to pay for more services (incluidng a webpage, which I already had up and running much cheaper)...up to 8 a day on my answering machine. Every time I spoke with a person I asked them to stop calling (per the LAW!), even if it meant removing my free listing. Then I started getting emails (the phone calls backed off to a couple a week). I finally got ahold of someone who seemed apologetic for my experience and said he'd take care of it. I got one more email, forwarded it to the gentleman who I had spoken with, and finally (about 3 months later) stopped getting all the calls and emails (they did leave my free listing posted). So...be careful what you are getting into!
DO NOT do the yellowpages thing, it's not worth the money because like it or not, people don't use the yellowpages much anymore. They'll google the name of your business, or "cakes in (your town here)" but they won't go to a specific site to lok up a specific phone number.
If you're now to websites you could use wordpress to set up a blog that you use for your site. A lot of people are doing that now, and you don't need to have a specific site. You can use your own domain name for it, too.