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What stinks is you have to call them directly and a rep will setup the ad for you. Looks like they don't have a system in place for more experienced advertisers to set things up themselves.
What's interesting is FindWhat recently sent me an e-mail saying Verizon would open up their site for PPC advertisers in early April. Over a month after the initial launch? Strange.
Could this mean you will be able use FindWhat's technology to sign up online similar to what Lycos does with their AdBuyer program. The Adbuyer program allows you to clone your FindWhat account. You sign up, give your account information, and a new account is created for the Lycos program using the ads and keywords from your FindWhat account. Could the same approach be used with SuperPages or do they simply want to regulate who signs up with them?
Anyone want to toss their thoughts into the ring? :-)
When they announced today as their launch date a while ago, they thought they would be further along in their integration of FW into their own website, and did not anticipate several problems they ran into.
For existing advertisers, they are waiving the $10/month fee for them to run your account (at least for my accounts they did) as there are no other options at present.
They are hoping that by the first of next month, advertisers will have access to a CP at superpages's site to control everything themself.
I would be by the beginning of next week, you won't see any more result error pages, but as to the CP being fully integrated, a month seems like they are stretching the time frame and hoping it occurs sooner to give people a nice suprise.
I think the smartest move they made was offering a low $10/month fee to manage accounts each month for people. This might get some of the small advertisers who are afraid to play the PPC game into their market.
Should be interesting to see how it works out, I guarantee there are a few other IYPs watching this move closely.
How has your experience been with IYP advertising? Does it convert well? I know it will differ from market to market but it seems to me it could be a great untapped traffic resource.
I think the IYP's realize they have to improve their search and user experiences or risk losing more ground to traditional search engines. It couldn't hurt to get in at the start. Especially since many small and local businesses are not Internet savvy. An experienced marketer and PPC advertiser could get a big jump on the competition.
That said, a lot is riding on local search turning into the next big thing like many of us think.
For companies with a physical location, and often don't convert sales via the web, but inside an office or a store:
These companies need to check out the cost of metro, state, regional, and national ads very closely. If you are in 6+ states, its usually cheaper to buy a national ad over 6 state ads. If you are in 3+ metro areas, its cheaper to buy a state ad over the metros.
You end up with a lot of non targeted traffic buying the next higher exposure ad, but as its a larger listing, on most IYPs - it's great placement and highly targeted to your local market as well.
Our conversion rates are much higher than PPC rates, so ROI is the same or higher than PPC.
For companies that take web orders and may or may not have a physical office:
It truly depends on the industry. Gift based industries (flowers, chocolates, etc) can do exceptional if they deliver everywhere in a timely manner.
We've found that other industries don't do as well. A repair company where you have to send your computer/dvd player/etc to a company will result in a much lower conversion rate and often the person searches again on the IYPs for a more local company they can walk into.
There are a large number of websites that can benefit from IYPs, but due to their cost, there are many who won't benefit. You really need to examine your customer base, and where you want to expand your customer base to see if IYPs can work for you.
It seems these days more and more web traffic is being monetized and there are fewer opportunities outside of Google for great "free" traffic.
I've experimented with a good number of PPC's beyond Google and Overture and have been happy with the results.
With IYP's introducing PPC options I'm really curious to start exploring this sector of advertising.
I rely heavily on PPC for a lot of business and try to look toward the future for new opportunities. I know a lot of this business relies on keeping your cards close to your chest and not revealing any specifics but what do you guys and gals see as the future of pay per click?
Does anyone else have any experience with Internet Yellow Pages and do you plan on checking out SuperPages PPC offering?
My bet is on local search advertising and the gradual refiniement and effectiveness of content targeted advertising. There will also be a huge influx of new PPC advertisers who are getting fed up with contstant algo changes at Google and other search engines.
I think you'll see some new PPC models this year. Not in the way the clicks are charged, but in the way the ideas are distributed. Look for more local portals to switch to a PPC model, or new portals to pop up.
These portals could be 'authorities' on a given location or KW, and bid high in that location on the major PPCs, and then distribute those clicks over their local accounts who can't afford national bids. This is one way for people to compete for national KW bids for local offices.
FYI - If you have an existing FW account, superpages.com is seeding several categories with the top FW bidder. The FW bids are much lower than the Superpages current bids. Check your categories and get your FW ads placed on top and track the superpages conversions right now, it could give you a good idea of how your categories will do. This will only occur for a short time until they get the bugs ironed out.
I think that is an interesting concept about authority sites and local portals. Such a concept greatly expands keyword real estate available to PPC advertisers.
It seems IYP's are really struggling with pricing. Local merchants are used to the flat fees associated with a Yellow Pages listing so PPC might confuse them and companies like Super Pages and City Search are charging what I think is a big markup on some keyword prices per click.
I'll check out my FindWhat listings to see if they show up on SuperPages. It would be really cool if you could clone your FindWhat account for SuperPages like you do with Lycos Adbuyer.
How many IYPs there now? I know of four major players:
InfoUSA (Yahoo's provider)
IYP was reportedly paying good local traffic providers--such as newspapers-- 6 to 8 cents per click.
Interestingly, Infospace runs Superpage results with Google AdSense ads on the side.
The other players are:
yellowpages.com (they have a few decent partners)
yahoo's yp - while they get results from two sources, the ads from the other sources are sketchy and you're better off advertising directly with yahoo (if you can afford it - very high bid prices)
yellow.com (pretty small and iffy technology)
yellowonline.com (same problems as yellow.com)
yellowbook.com (last i checked - you had to go through a physical yp book rep to get listed)
realpages.com (owned by bellsouth)
I see that aol is powered by InfoUSA and Switchboard, but you're right--you gotta buy an ad on aol if you want to be on aol.
Looking all of this over--it's been a few months since I waded into YP--I think the SuperPages search ability is a sleeper. This is going to be a BIG deal--we just don't know how or why right now.
SuperPages explains it well: You can list the brand names you carry. Hmmm. That could be tricky, however. For example, if you sold clothing, you could write, "Quality and styling better than Ralph Lauren." Then when someone searched for a local source of Ralph Lauren...
There is obviously a business for someone who wants to manage the IYP listings for local enterprises.
It's interesting how well the Google AdSense ad work with the Switchboard results. Really targeted--but, then, why wouldn't they be?
SuperPages has some work to do still, but all in all, I have to say their results --as a user-- are superior to Switchboard on the tight searches I did. Still, it could depend on the area, wouldn't it?
If it weren't for MSN VZ Superpages would be a ghost town.
I think superpages is the only IYP that actually bids on PPC engines for certain KWs to draw traffic to their site.
This gave them some experience running ppc campaigns and knowing how mnay visitors they got through such results before switching to a PPC model themselves.
One of the problems several of my clients have with switchboard is their search technology.
One example: The most common word in this industry is a two word phrase (service office), if its searched on switchboard, the related categories that are brought up do not include the category that includes the 'service' category, it only includes words that also have 'office' in them.
This type of problem is repeated in several areas which leads their visitors to search somewhere else for the product.
We price switchboard every so often, and for many categories, the cost per visitor for a national ad is often 2-3 times higher than some of the other IYPs. They always offer us a 20%+ discount, but if their visitor number aren't there, then its not worth us paying 15k/year for 2k visitors.
The other problem comes in with placement. National (I think they are called premier by sb) ads get a lower CTR than their local ads as they are tiny.
The local clicks aren't too bad, but often get lost with the local advertisers, and when you're shelling out 20x as much cash as a local, you want better placement.
I would like it if they made an ad category that had the real estate of a local listing, but came up below the national and above the local listings. Thats ideal placement for a lot of state wide companies.
The new feature that looks interesting is their category targeted local clicks - by using that - am I placing a link to my site in someone else's ad? That's kind of strange.