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Local Search Engine Advertising Solutions: Feedback Wanted

March 17th, 2008
20 Comments


Hey readers, Webvisible just raised a bunch of money and Spotrunner just bought Weblistic.  I am curious if any of you out there have used any of the local search engine advertising solutions like ReachLocal, Webvisible, OrangeSoda, etc. and what your experiences have been.   If you have some thoughts please email them to me at localseo at localseoguide.com.  Thanks.

Also if any of you are at SESNY and want to connect please drop me a line.


Tags: Local Advertising

20 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Stephen Espinosa

    Hey Andrew,
    Let’s meet up again, I am speaking today at the Local Search Marketing Tactics Session.

  • 2 David - Los Angeles Internet Marketing

    I used yodle.com for a client – an accountant. I promised them that if it worked out, I’d send them more business. I had built my own marketing campaign to compare, and there were a couple of differences.

    1) They didn’t do any geo targeting – just stuck to geotargeted words
    2) They had it on 24/7 – while I had mine set for business hours.
    3) They missed an entire segment of keywords (cpa etc.) which is more profitable.

    At the end of the day though, they also were spread out across all of the engines, I had only started with Google, and their cost per action was a couple dollars less than mine.

    However, my client wasn’t happy with the amount of cancellations that happened via the yodle website. Most of them canceled before coming in. The yodle rep just told me that “for some reason accountants get the lowest conversion rates”…

    Bottom line is though, there’s alot of garbage going on in local search. Alot of people that aren’t willing to plop down $1,000 / month on me, have been sold on the “we’ll get you number one on the big keywords and give you a free website for $100 / month”.

    Yodle is a great company, and although it didn’t work out for my client, I’m sure they’ll do great things. I’m really interested to know how Reachlocal is doing though. They were another company I wanted to outsource my local search to,so I could bring down the minimum monthly payment I would charge clients.

  • 3 Eitan

    I am using “Walla Advantage”, which is the advertising solution suggested by “Walla” – the biggest portal and local search engine in Israel. As a professional search engine marketing specialist I must say that it has not shown me any proved results. The whole business model is based upon “bids” while number of clicks are not taken into account. I personally find it hard when search engines does not take into account the quality factor while considering add placement.

  • 4 David - Los Angeles Internet Marketing

    Bad news, talked to a lead who had used reachlocal – and wasn’t very happy with them. She’d dumped them 6 months ago.

    She is a lawyer – running solo, and she had been getting phone calls for things that she doesn’t do. This quite sad, as from what I see, the concept of Yodle and Reachlocal, and they are really good. However, because they undersell their products, they can’t give individual attention (or they are hiring incompetents).

    I noticed with Yodle as well, that they missed a whole category of keywords for accounting – CPA keywords. That is simply unacceptable. I shouldn’t be having to fix that for them.

    These things shouldn’t happen in companies focused on Paid and Natural search. Not if they are assisting (supposedly) thousands of clients.

    I really wish I could outsource smaller clients to them, and allow people who can’t afford $3,000+ a month to advertise online.

  • 5 Johnny

    Stay away from OrangeSoda. I tried to use them and they were completely incompetent. I had to fight to get overcharges back, etc. A complete waste of time.

  • 6 David

    Can someone tell me why Yodle changed the name of my clients website. I designed a website for a client with CMS. The next thing I know, I notice this Yodle.com on his Stats. I call to find out he has signed up with them and when I do a search, he has a “mirror” site with a dash is his name. What is that about?

  • 7 OrangeSoda

    Johnny,

    My name is Chris Finken and I am one of the founders of OrangeSoda. We strive to deliver results with ppc and seo partnerships with our clients. We also strive to offer a quality customer experience and if you’d like to talk about your experience or offer some insight so I can help make sure we did all we can please feel free to contact me at chris (at) orangesoda.com or cal l our office and ask for me.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

  • 8 Gruvie

    If the above companies offer you guranteed top positions in Google and other engines, Turn and Run. No one can deliver that. It takes years and hard work to get top listings. Don’t beleive the hype

  • 9 Michelle

    I work with very happy customers that are using our WebReach program for SEM. We are one of the largest Google Adwords Resellers and we are getting low cost targeted leads for our customers on Google and Yahoo. Weekly tracking, a personal Google Analyst that you know by name to manage your campaigns and a local representative if there are any other needs. Yellowbook is doing an outstanding job for small businesses, I know because I have the results to prove it! michelle.moran@yellowbook.com

  • 10 Johnny

    Chis, I sent you a detailed email about my very disappointing experience with OS. Hope it helps

  • 11 Paul

    We have just launched a local listing service that is free!

    wantANDfound.com is a location-based local listing service that has sales, specials and discounted products and services for local businesses such as retailers, restaurants, bars, grocers and spas. Think of us as a just-in-time marketing platform.

    Shoppers can also share the best deals they find with friends when out shopping. They help others save money and support local businesses all at the same time.

    Businesses get a simple, scalable and spreadable platform to list sales and specials on. They reach beyond their email list and market to an engaged local-conscious community across our site, Facebook and soon twitter and mobile.

    Would love your feedback and you can email me directly paul (at) wantANDfound.com. Thanks!

  • 12 Sam

    SEM can be complicated (especially initially), time consuming, and an overall hassel. If you have the time, desire, and will-power to learn it and DO IT on your own, there is no point to hiring a 3rd party. If you don’t have the time, money, or will-power, CONTRACT IT OUT. It’s not a question of whether you should do SEM, it’s a must for any business/ money making entrepreneur

  • 13 Amanda

    It’s true. SEM is a must. It’s the new “yellow pages”. The same methodology of advertising hasn’t changed – you either are branding your name and creating a “top of the mind awareness” or you are putting your business in front of those looking for it. Just like years ago yellowpages was the main source of where people were looking to get services or products that they were looking for, now the majority of people are looking for it online. You can’t promise the world with being on the internet marketing (SEM) but have your expeectations set realistically. You should track results and use a company that is going to transparently show you results 24-7. Yellowpages/yellowbook is on it’s way to extinction – and that’s not me just saying its just a fact. It’s hard to leave an advertising way when that’s all that you have been doing for years and years – its scary and I get that. But you have to think realitically here, its not where the majority of people are looking to get your service/product anymore. And the tracking that they provide is minimal. You’ll talk to your YB/YP rep maybe once a month and you just ASSUME its working….you need to KNOW. Everyone expects to internet marketing to bring your business miracles, its not going to! But just like it WAS a necessity to advertise in the yellowpages, it is NOW a necessity to advertise online. Work with a good company, do your research – some of these companies will tell you the optimize but they are manually doing it a couple times a month! They will also send you off to a “support” team once the deal is made – thats just annoying! ALSO PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE becareful because not to name names but *COUGH YODLE COUGH* will change your “tracking” phone number on all websites (both your real website that comes up organically) and the google maps and then obviously the .net version they created you. It looks like you are getting more results than you are. I’ve seen it time and time again. Crooks. And don’t even get me started on them building you a page with your domain name and then a .net at the end. Horrible, horrible, horrible. All that money you spent to build your own webpage is now being thrown down the drain because people are now clicking and looking at this new .net site that your internet marketing company made for you. This ugly new page is getting seen MUCH more than the one you spent all the time on. And eventually, that original website will go further and further down the pages in organic showings because the click thru rate is less on the original website and more on the .net one that they built you. Bottom line is that there is only one internet marketing company doing it right. Notice I didn’t promise perfect, I said doing it right….you need to have a good IMC that is going to watch your keywords and make sure the campaign is running smoothly to get the best results.

    If you can take the time to do this yourself, your right you should do it yourself. But it’s a lot of time, a lot of money and a lot of hassle. Everyoen is so critical to talk about a mark up of the internet marketing companies. Were you worried when yellowpages was marking up the price? No. Put it in perspective. OBVIOUSLY there is a mark up – they have to pay people to run your campaign, pay for the technology (only one company uses patent technology – reachlocal) to run this effectively, ect. It’s not a rip off. It’s not apples to apples here. EVERY MARKETING COMPANY IS GOING TO MARK UP THE PRICES TO MAKE A DOLLAR!!!

  • 14 Andrew Shotland

    Wow Amanda. Thanks for taking the time to join in the conversation.

  • 15 steve

    google local is driving me crazy! can’t seem to get anywhere with them

  • 16 Amanda

    No problem. Unethical companies drive me crazy. Another article for you to look at:
    http://www.bestonlineadvertisingstuff.com/2010/08/best-search-engine-marketing-services-for-small-business/

    If anyone has any questions, let me know. I do this for a living so trust me my research on this is EXTENSIVE!!!!!

  • 17 Jim Happel

    Thanks Amanda, I am an Internet Marketing Consultant for ReachLocal and joined with them a few months ago. Before that I owned a Real Estate Company for Eight Years and a Corporate Housing company for four years. My wife and I also have had a dance studio for 12 years still in business.
    When I decided to leave real estate I wanted to get with a comapny that was going to do things right, that has ethics, that had a service that actually helped a consumer and that provided training and support for both the employees and the clients and this is exactly what I found at ReachLocal.
    The technology that their platforms run on are based on tracking and results and they currently have at least 6 patents for their technology that truely automates, optimises and budgets your marketing dollars. All of their services are transparent as you suggest giving all of the results to the advertiser. ReachLocal also can provide almost anything SEM. They have PPC, Display, Chat Boxes, Video, Web and Call Tracking for offline media, ReachCast the award winning Social Media platform and they just recently bought DealOn! a deals company. Finally, as of today, February 22, 2011, we are selling Remarketing Display as a stand alone service. This company keeps getting better.
    The training provided by the company keeps getting better and the reps they are hiring keep coming with more experience and knowledge.
    I just started using ReachLocal for my wifes Dance Studio and I have other family and friends that are going to be using the services. I would never sell a service to family and friends if I didn’t think it would work. I would be happy to answer any of your questions and, of course, I would be happy to give great service to any of your referrals!

  • 18 Andrew Shotland

    Jim, really appreciate you stopping by and joining the conversation.

  • 19 Mike Stewart

    How about 29Prime? They called me today from an Oklahoma City number (the first lie) and then the automated voicemail proceeded to state that they are offering a “Google Program” as a Google Partner to get my business on the first page of Google.

    Press 1 if you want to be on the first page. Who doesn’t want to be on the first page. The first page is so AWESOME!

    Seriously… how does SEO Steve associate with these ass clowns? Unsolicited emails and now telemarketers worse than yellow pages sales crooks.

    Why don’t our phone come with a buzzer to electro-shock the idiots on the other end? God save us all.

    When I asked how he got my cell number, his reply: “Our Marketing Service Gives Us a List of Everyone Not on the First Page of Google.”

    Scammers SUCK!

  • 20 Jason LaBaw

    Jim I don’t know when you left that comment but I am curious if, A) you are still there, and B) you still feel that way. Reach Local takes peoples money and then sends the traffic to a sub-domain on their own domain, what’s ethical about that? If the user stops service they get no residual value from their investment, further if users have bookmarked that page they’ll get a 404 error. Really I’m not here to stir up controversy just to say in my opinion ReachLocal.com preys on unaware business owners with fancy words like proprietary software and partnership with Google… I also pitty Reach Local “Internet Marketing Consultants,” who after 2 weeks hit the ground selling a service that I have dedicated 10 years of my life too. Muddy’s the water my friend. That’s my rant and rave for the day. As always Andrew thank you for another stimulating blog post.

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