Simply Business - Insurance for your business

Call Us0333 0146 683
Our opening hours
Knowledge centre

Will the end of Yellow Pages force small businesses online?

2-minute read

Will the end of Yellow Pages force small businesses online?
Sam Bromley

Sam Bromley

8 December 2017

Yell, owner of the iconic Yellow Pages directory, has announced that it will distribute the final edition of the publication in 2019.

The Yellow Pages has been in publication since 1966. But with Yell saying that it will distribute the final copies of the directory in 2019, UK businesses might find themselves needing to rely on online marketing more to reach customers.

  • A guide to online marketing for tradesmen

The Business Pages of the publication help put the UK public in touch with local businesses, including tradesmen and service providers. But with the rise of online search engines, people have become less likely to rely on a printed directory. Yell launched its own online search engine for businesses in 1996, which is now

Yell will distribute the final editions of the publication in January 2019 in Brighton, where it was first published. It hopes that the final editions, with a run of 23 million copies, will become a souvenir.

Connecting businesses with their customers

The UK public may fondly remember the Yellow Pages thanks to a run of TV adverts that began in the 1980s. Yell drafted James Nesbitt in for more recent campaigns.

The public can use the Yellow Pages as a tool to find local businesses quickly and easily. But as most businesses now have an online presence, Yell believes that the publication will cease to be profitable in a few years’ time.

Free listings for small businesses

Yell says that over 130,000 businesses advertise on It wants to help 1 million small businesses get online by 2020 and is offering them a free listing on its online directory. Richard Hanscott, CEO of Yell, said: “we’re well placed to continue to help local businesses and consumers be successful online, both now and in the future.”

Yell says that it can provide the full range of digital media and managed services, including building websites and social media marketing.

Our brand campaign locksmith, Paul Tribouillard of Surelock Homes, recognised that with the upcoming demise of the Yellow Pages, developing an effective online strategy will be important for businesses.

Five tips for your online marketing

Moving your marketing and advertising activity online can be a daunting task. We've put together five tips to help you get started:

  • Make best use of all the specialist resources available. For example, our guide to Google My Business, is a great place to start if you're looking to to start connecting with your customers online.
  • Look to your competition. What can you take from them as inspiration and how can you do it better?
  • Experiment with PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising. You can find out more about Google AdWords and PPC with our guide.
  • Experiment with social media. Facebook now makes it easy for users to recommend local businesses and services.
  • Maintaining a blog can prove a great way to demonstrate your expertise and build an SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) strategy.

Will the demise of the Yellow Pages affect your business? Let us know in the comments below.

Ready to set up your cover?

As one of the UK's biggest business insurance providers, we specialise in public liability insurance and protect more trades than anybody else. Why not take a look now and build a quick, tailored quote?

Start your quote

We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always take professional advice. Read our full disclaimer

Find this article useful? Spread the word.


People also liked

Landlords could be targeted in new capital gains tax raid.

19 November 20202-minute read

Landlords could be targeted in new capital gains tax raid

Landlords could be hit by another massive tax raid, as the Office of Tax Simplification outlines its recommendations for an overhaul of…

Read more

Keep up to date with Simply Business. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and follow us on social media.

Subscribe to our newsletter


Popular articlesBusiness resources from FarillioGeneral businessGuestInsuranceLandlordLandlord resources from FarillioLegal and financeMarketingNewsOpinionProperty maintenanceTradesmanCovid-19 business support hub


6th Floor99 Gresham StreetLondonEC2V 7NG

Sol House29 St Katherine's StreetNorthamptonNN1 2QZ

© Copyright 2021 Simply Business. All Rights Reserved. Simply Business is a trading name of Xbridge Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Financial Services Registration No: 313348). Xbridge Limited (No: 3967717) has its registered office at 6th Floor, 99 Gresham Street, London, EC2V 7NG.