Regarding the yellow pages and internet usage in the jails. We are a San Bernardino Bail Bonds company and provide service within about 30 miles of our office.
There pretty much is no internet usage in the jails, for obvious reasons, therefore leaving only the yellow pages (or similar) for the incarcerated to utilize for bailing out of jail.
We came up with an idea that utilizes the yellow pages for the jails. If anyone has ever been in jail, hopefully not, these yellow page books that are given to the defendants in jail are usually completely torn up and rendered pretty much useless.
The defendants will use the pages as note paper and then tear off the pages and keep. Leaving the book vacant of pages for the other defendants peruse.
What we’ve done is; we take the yellow pages for that particular region, tear out the first 12 or so pages, laminate with ultra thick lamination, zip tie together with the same zip ties that the police officers use and present this virtually indestructible bail bonds directory to the jailor, in hopes of them agreeing to the use inside the jails.
Yes, some of those pages contain our competition, but the first few pages are our own listings.
I find that this is the only reason I’ve kept my yellow pages listings alive. Aside from the one or two random bail bonds calls I receive from the yellow pages, I find the YP’s completely useless.
Ever since 5 years ago, we’ve lessoned our YP spending to as little as possible and boosted our efforts for SEO, SEM, and all other online marketing.
It’s difficult though since our business is VERY spur of the moment, so branding our names seems to be futile and ranking 1st or 2nd is the only ROI producing effort.
Sounds a lot like optimizing for GOOG – use the tools the system provides, come up with your own techniques and always be wary of the screws.