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Contractor Yellow Pages Advertising 101 – It’s What Your Ad Isn’t Saying That Counts

Most contractors still find value advertising in their local Yellow Pages. In fact, some of the most successful contractors I know bring in the bulk of their clients every month from YP.

You can too by making your ad stand out from the rest

Advertising in the YP isn’t about flash and pizzazz; it’s about answering the question of the reader. In other words, content is king. Your ad has about 5 seconds to answer the reader’s question before they move on to another ad so if you perform the service, make sure to list it in the ad.


I randomly flipped open my phone book to paving. To keep things even, I compare two ads of the same size, both 1/4 page ads with plenty of space to talk about services.

Here is all the content from each:

Ad #1

ABC Construction
Paving-New Construction-Concrete
Serving South Eastern Pa for Over 25 Years
Residential and Commercial

*Belgium Block  *EP Henry Aprons  *Concrete
*Drainage Work  *Grading  *Ripouts
*Resurface  *Extentions  *Retaining Walls
*Brick Work  *Parking Lots  *Free Estimates

Ad #2

Specializing in Driveway Seal Coating
Have Your Driveway Sealed in a Day!

*Patching  *Repairs  *Seal Coating
*Crack Filling  *Paving & Stripping
*Residential & Commercial

Fully Licensed & Insured
Family Owned & Operated
No Job Too Big or Too Small
Free Estimates
Mention This Ad & Get 20% Off
Seniors Discount
Low Cost Paving & Sealing

I could have posted both ads, but I wanted each to stand up on just the content alone. So which ad would you call on? I would call on ad #2 as it answers more questions. It even answers questions I wouldn’t think to ask such as “Have Your Driveway Sealed in a Day”.

It also confirms they “Specialize in Driveway Seal coating” which is why most people would be turning to the YP anyway. They talk about no job being too big or small, offer a call to action with a 20% discount, and since they are a fully licensed and insured family run business, I feel better about having them at my home.

Now go and take a look at your ads, are you telling your whole story or is your ad missing copy points because there either isn’t enough room or your forget to mention certain aspects of your business? Point is, if your ads aren’t as compelling as the other ads in the book how can you think you are being competitive?

So, get on the phone and call your rep and redo your ads and remember above all else in YP advertising, size trumps everything else, so go big!