More threads by ValerieM

Oct 10, 2013
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Hi All, one of my brand new local SEO clients just listened to, and got sold on Yodle. Its been over a year since I heard anything good, or bad about them and she is looking for me to give her guidance. Anyone have any insight on whether it makes sense for a small biz to try?

This is what they sent her for $299/month
directories update across the board
up to 11 pages of adversites [ landing pages optimized for special items]
reputation management on yelp, google plus, etc
Facebook connection
e mail response system
tracking mechanisms
mobile optimizing
optimizing for position in organic search position through key words
Re: Yodle- Feedback on quality of work from group?

I've personally only heard bad things, so I never used their services. I've seen them use tracking numbers incorrectly in the past when client's came over from using their services, and that was a huge pain. Definitely take a close look at how they're using tracking numbers & how it will affect NAP consistency. I would also ask for clarification on the terms:

directories update across the board - What does this mean? Which directories? How will they update; manually or through some sort of feed? By "update" do you mean fill out the profile 100% or just NAP? How doe they deal with duplicates?

up to 11 pages of adversites [ landing pages optimized for special items] - Where are these going to be shown? Are they micro-sites or are they landing pages off the main domain? If they are micro-sites or Yodle-owned sites, how much access will the client have? Many times companies will create these and lock out their clients to retain control over the relationship.

reputation management on yelp, google plus, etc - Once again, who has the keys here - Yodle or the client? What kind of relationship management; are they simply reporting reviews, or are they actively responding?

Facebook connection - No idea what this means. At first glance it seems like some BS marketing lingo they're using to justify a higher price. Might want more specifics what this is.

e mail response system - Once again, who has access to the email database. It's great if you're collecting emails, but if they control database access then they could shut you/your client off from those leads at any given time. If you're feeding them the email addresses, then you might want to check what kind of volume you're sending /month because there are less expensive alternatives.

tracking mechanisms - Tracking for what? Leads? So is this contact form tracking and phone call tracking?

mobile optimizing - Mobile optimizing how? A stand alone mobile site? Most companies don't need this if their site is already responsive. If they're going to completely rebuild the site into mobile form and do the proper tagging, that's cool but at such a low price point I doubt that's the case. I would ask for specifics.

optimizing for position in organic search position through key words - Is this not what you're doing for the client? What's the strategy behind Yodle's "optimizing for position(s) in organic search" and how do they plan on executing? Kind of sounds like they'll be more of a competitor to you than a vendor/partner relationship. If they're promising the world for $299/mo then I would really read the fine print and understand how they're planning on delivering

From my point of view it looks like your client is doing this to consolidate all these features, but there are a ton of other companies out there which would offer similar services. You really need to watch handing 100% control of your marketing over to one company like this - once the contract ends you could lose everything. Risk mitigation is key when looking at platforms like this. If you don't see the results you're looking for, what's the exit strategy? If you cancel and they drop all your historical data (leads), how will you recover?

One important thing I've learned over the years... always go into a project with an exit strategy. Think about the possible scenarios from the start, and guide the project towards the one you want. Keep in mind exit strategies aren't always negative; if this goes bananas and the client makes a ton of money off of it, one strategy could be selling the company for a large profit to pursue other opportunities. Just something to keep in mind.
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Re: Yodle- Feedback on quality of work from group?

I haven't heard anything recent either. But I always show this thread ( to anyone thinking about using them and let them make their decision after reading through it.

One thing that stands out is that Yodle controls all the sites/directories...etc through the process and if you stop paying them, you lose everything. Where if you or the client build all those things yourself, you can own them forever.

I have never used their service first hand, so only speaking based on previous research I have done.
Re: Yodle- Feedback on quality of work from group?

This could change things??? Just announced today:

<a href=""> to Acquire Yodle in Cash Deal Worth Roughly $340 Million | LSA Insider</a>
Re: Yodle- Feedback on quality of work from group?

Wow... what an ironic time to start this thread. Nice find Linda! I guess we'll have to see whether there are major changes to products or whether this is just a change in ownership
Re: Yodle- Feedback on quality of work from group?

Re: Yodle- Feedback on quality of work from group?

Thanks Greg for the feedback about the directories. Yes, I expected that. It sounds like what Yext does. Just tried out Yext for a couple of my smaller clients so will be interesting experiment for me.
Re: Yodle- Feedback on quality of work from group?

Well... espark that's not entirely true. Yext doesn't necessarily control the sites they work with, they just feed data directly to those sites. I don't see any indication on Yodle's site that they're pushing data; it just says they'll get you listed on 50 directories with no mention which directory. For all we know Yodle builds their own directory sites and adds you to them.
Re: Yodle- Feedback on quality of work from group?

Oh wow... I was reading through the Yodle TOS and found this:

"Yodle Organic Service. The terms of this paragraph apply only if Customer has purchased the Yodle Organic Service. The Yodle Organic Service includes the application of ?on page? and ?off page? search engine optimization tactics designed to achieve a higher ranking for each adverSite in search engine results and optimization for the Location?s business listing in Google? maps/places. Customer acknowledges that search results and search engine rankings are influenced by several factors, and Yodle does not guarantee any particular placement, position or rank for each Location?s adverSite or business listing in any search results. "

To me this seems like they're going to build a micro-site and try to rank that, instead of working on a real website... So that kind of appears like they will hold the keys to the whole program. You invest $299/mo, and then if you pull the plug you lose everything. This seems like a lot to pay per month to potentially start from square one if you ever decide to leave :(
Re: Yodle- Feedback on quality of work from group?

Eric, you were so wonderful to comment on each of these! You prepped me well for the conversation I plan to have with them and the client. I so appreciate your help here and let me know if i can ever repay your kindness
Re: Yodle- Feedback on quality of work from group?

AHHH. great point. Reading between the lines on their comments... smart! Dang salespeople drive me crazy with their Non-Statements
Coming in a little late on this, but they sold a PPC client of mine on their service about 1-1.5 years ago.

Background: Client is in a locally-competitive but SEO-naive niche. High local density of similar businesses, but not at all difficult to rank. I build a website for them many years ago, set up their GMB page and a core set of citations, backlinks were acquired naturally. They were a blank slate when I started, their citation profile was very clean.

So here's what Yodle did for them:
- Set them up in Yext
- Built a second site for them on an EMD (locationkeyword dot com) for a very low-volume search term . I run their PPC account, so I know for a fact how few searches it gets.
- Site was pretty sloppy. Big forms and CTA's. Content was very generic / boilerplate, as were titles and descriptions. They copied and pasted the "About Us" page from the client's primary site.
- 888 tracking number on the site which apparently had previously belonged to a dentist halfway across the country. I don't remember if they used that for the Yext listings, I don't believe they did.

At no time did they touch the GMB or the Adwords account. They may not have had the password for the GMB (Client did, but he probably couldn't find it. He loses things like that.)

They made a deal with him a few months back to continue at a reduced monthly rate. The secondary site is still up, Yext powerlistings are gone. The primary site is still 1st in the local pack and 1st and/or 2nd in organic for most relevant keywords. The dupe content may have affected the About Us page, but that wasn't driving traffic to begin with.

It also outranks the site Yodle built for the EMD target term, and has all along.

I took a quick look at their citations and surprisingly they still look pretty good - I found a handful of low-authority sources that picked up the 888 number, but the important ones are fine and I didn't see dupes.

So in this case, other than costing the client money, it didn't seem to do much positive or negative. Your mileage may vary.

Why is he still with them at all? He likes their email system. SMH.
Yep - my experience is the same as Mary Anne's. . .

In this case, my plumber quit roto-rooter and set out on his own. He signed up with Yodle (despite me telling him to contact me before he did anything). They did what Mary Anne said:

- They did business listings which was Yext.
- They created their own phone number for use in Yext (awesome if you like citation cleanup)
- They created a site for him Plumber | Aqua Smart Plumbing Services Inc. | Evanston, IL 60202
- His own site is an awful wix or something site, with nothing going for it. I think the yodle site ranks better.
- According to the Yodle metrics, he has about 17 leads in 7 months based on their phone tracking (I doubt that there are that many - a few calls are only 10 seconds each
- paying about $275 per month - Depending on how valid the leads are, this is about $100-$150 per lead.

I am going to get him off of there, and fix his listings. . . . ugh.
Hi Everyone,

This thread is going pretty well so far but since I'll be away tonight I wanted to throw out a little cautionary message. Whenever someone starts a thread about a company I cringe a little.

Sometimes these threads get heated. Please be careful what you say. Be factual, not emotional.

Please keep in mind that if someone says something untrue, or libelous or starts throwing words like scam and rip off around, it could cause me legal issues. I let you guys all use the forum for free and donate all my time. I can't afford the time/money to fight a legal battle.

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