Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Internet Yellow Pages - Our Thoughts On IYP

By James Hobson

The yellow pages print directories are all but dead. In order to protect the massive revenue at stake the phone companies were dragged kicking and screaming into “this internet stuff”. Now, with carefully crafted scripts in hand, the yellow pages reps have switched their stories and talk about how great the internet is, and tell tales of how much better their internet products are this year. Internet Yellow Pages (IYP), templated websites, “click programs”, and other gimmicky products often deliver lackluster results and don’t deliver a good ROI.

Do the Visibility Test! Use a search term that your customer may use and see if the internet yellow page website is on page one. If not, it’s a good indicator that your results will be very bad for that search term if you advertise on their site. When people use Google, they rely on the first page results to find a business! Forget the sales material and let your eyes guide you to the truth about value and potential.

If you take notice, every year your yellow page rep brings in a “great new product” which replaces last year’s “great new product”. Some takeaways from this annual event are: 1) they are essentially admitting that last year’s product was not so good, 2) they need to show something “new and exciting” to restore your sense of hope to renew your advertising, and 3) your sales rep still cannot fully explain internet marketing – they just stick to their sales pitch.

Here is an insider’s view of the yellow page business – Yellow Pages advertising was once a necessary evil for business owners. The phone companies exploited this and squeezed as much revenue as possible from their advertisers. Marketing programs almost force advertisers to spend more every year, and usually penalized advertisers for downsizing their advertising programs. Reps are trained in how to “pitch” products to make the biggest possible sale. Sales reps rarely understand the costs or effectiveness of other advertising options, and they almost never encourage advertisers to spend money elsewhere. Phone companies sell online advertising. They are not a true internet marketing company.

IYP Website Contracts are problematic becaue you are locked into a long term contract with limited design and development options.

1)Yellow Pages websites are “sold” to customers requiring monthly payments for as long as you want the website. The truth is that you do not own the website and it will never be paid off! Over a 10 year period you may pay well over $30,000 for a templated website, when you could own a custom website design for $4,000 or less by using a true website design company. Plus, you can easily reach a live person at a web design firm.
2)Yellow Pages websites are typically bland templates built out in a production environment that stresses quick completion to start your billing. Aesthetics are sacrificed for speed. Content is created without any real research on the client’s industry, competition or local market situations.
3)Yellow Pages websites do not include true search engine optimization techniques which means that theses sites will hardly ever rank well in competitive headings. Interestingly enough, this ranking problem “can be solved by buying internet yellow pages advertising”!
4)Yellow Pages websites do not offer many high value options like RSS feeds, W3C validation, searchable catalogs, e-commerce, website analytics, and sleek custom design features.

Search Marketing products are problematic because you are locked into a contract regardless of your satisfaction. You have little control over your program, and don't have a full range of internet marketing services.

1)“Click Packages” hype the number of clicks to your website which does not mean sales. In many cases you may not have control over the keywords selected to generate clicks.
2)No creation or implementation of critical search engine support elements.
3)No critical support services for link building, internet press releases, blog development, etc.
4)Limited to no support for submissions to vertical directories, social media and bookmarking sites, blog management, and other online listing opportunities.
5)Performance reports have no backup data and typically conflict with third party analytics data. Try Google Analytics and compare the results to what your IYP rep shows you . . . and ask them to explain the differences.

If you’re tired of yellow pages books and want to leverage the power of the Internet you should employ the services of a true internet marketing company that can provide you with objective advice on search engine marketing and local search marketing, as well as provide cost effective solutions without expensive, long term contracts.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Top Search Position Gains 37-percent of Clicks - Website Magazine - Website Magazine

By James Hobson
If you've wondered about the importance of SEO, and the potnetial value of a well managed PPC program, then you should read this article. I think that most anyone will be surprised to see the huge difference it makes to be at the top of page 1.

Top Search Position Gains 37-percent of Clicks - Website Magazine - Website Magazine

Google Cracks Down on Rogue Advertisers - Website Magazine - Website Magazine

Here is a link to an article that discusses a proactive step taken by Google to reign in some of the crazies that use Adwords. We give Google a thumbs-up for this move.

Google Cracks Down on Rogue Advertisers - Website Magazine - Website Magazine