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In my research, I keep running into pages here and there that say YPC advertisers are getting placement on Y! IYP and Y! Local. So what gives? Is there any reason to shell out cash straight to Y! instead of YPC? Especially when you factor in YPC's distribution agreements w/Switchboard and AOL YP. There's got to be something I'm missing here.
I did an analysis at another forum (seorefugee) and am copying it here:
Yesterday I received a phone solicitation from a YP person. She represented one of the active IYP (internet yellow pages); Switchboard.com.
We spoke a bit. I wasn't really on all the ball so I just let her guide me through her pitch. She ran me through a local listing (florists in the Washington DC area.)
I had her send us info. Evidently, Switchboard.com includes aol yellowpages and yellowpages.com
Then she priced out ads for me. Without getting into it too deep, to cover the entire metro region that we advertise to, costs would range from $720/month for the top ad to $146/month to the least costly ad which would fall to the bottom. (Least costly ads would be very ineffective...unless nobody else is advertising)
Then here is part of the spiel. She cited a competitor advertising in YP. She said they had 1911 visits in Jan.
Not sure if she is lying on that one or not. The competitor is one of the national chains; the only one that advertises in switchboard. They are also strongly ranked at G, Y, and MSN...but they aren't located in this region. Might be possible that they had that volume across the country. Didn't think about it too much. But if I can pick up 44 visits in one metro area...that could be the case.
She followed with a generic line in the emailed sales pitch; "about 88% of those customers likely made purchases on the companies they found on our site.
Couple of quick points. Prior to the web, the YP was a great source of business for us. It wasn't a high traffic generator, but it generated a high level of sales to inquieries relative to other methods. I doubt that will be the case rolling into the future. Now it is only another source of search. Not one differentiated from any other source of search.
Did a little bit of quick research. I looked at some of the town names where we get relevant traffic and looked at the major city and state names.
For the town names all we have done is sprinkled the names in content relevant to our service. Usage of the famous and effective DD method as referenced in other threads and having gained world-wide SEO fame at SEO-Scoop (little plug for Donna). Essentially, we added content with a town name and no other optimization.
For major city and state names we are #1 in G, Y, and MSN due to optimizing. In google for the major city name/service Switchboard is 12 and AOL is 15. (didn't check Y and MSN)
For three town names where we seem to get a bit of traffic; for the business phrase/town name for 2 of the towns switchboard was 1 and 2 and 1, respectively in G and we were 2 and 3 in google. For the 3rd town we were #1 in G. In Y and MSN we were #1 for all the town names/service while any type of YP was way down in the rankings.
Final note from the sales pitch was that the sales person refernced that they had started a national campaign in January increasing traffic from 45 searches/second to 68 searches/second. What does that total? Before the increase - about 3.9 million searches/day. After the increase about 6 million searches a day. TOTALLY BOGUS I'm sure.
Lets see. I did some recent research on the DD method of traffic over a one month period. Had 88 visits after just sprinkling town names in the web site. 1/2 of them were for towns and 1/2 of them were for cities north and south of our market...just to add a little market size. So we had 45 town name visits. At maximum say we could double that with this expenditure (Highly highly highly highly unlikely) 90 new town name visits with IYP coverage. At maximum expenditure that would be $8/visit to our site. At the lowest ad cost of $146/month that would be $1.62/visit.
Current PPC costs are about $0.80/click on G and $0.45/click on Y.
My assumption. IYP is way overpriced.
so what are we doing. We are redoing the web site and are adding pages where we are going to feature our service in each state and the major city with examples, and add examples in selected towns. This will add some optimization with titles and possibly url extensions for pages. We will use this to try and generate links from relevant businesses within these towns. We will add some addresses that I think will kick in for the google local algo. We will see how this all works.
Quick premise is that IYP is way overpriced. On a local basis I would either optimize my own site or find local optimizers. If I was focusing on local optimizing as an SEO I'd target bigger local companies advertising at print YP and within IYP and raid the heck out of them to pick up clients. At the very least I'd use PPC.
it is pretty interesting to me when I see someone with one post on WebmasterWorld use an acronym like "YPC" ~ a clear sign of an insider, or at minimum, one whose well read.
regardless, you pose a very intersting and important question.....and btw, i don't think that you are "missing" much of anything....
but pls let me know what our friends at YPC tell you when you pose the same question.
there is something to be said for consolidation with respect to billing, reporting, distribution and support.
Also, I'm somewhat flattered that you think I'm an insider or "well-read". Actually I picked up that acronym from a mind-numbing excursion through press releases(all of which had conflicting info).
Funny thing about local search, though. One of my websites is a relatively high result for the name of a certain adult film star. The focus of this site is far from adult-oriented, but there happens to be a street that bears her name mentioned on one of our local pages. Discovered that interesting tidbit courtesy of my new G sitemap :)