Yell Small Business Websites – Lies and Damn Statistics
For a few years now, Yell have offered small business websites and marketing packages to compliment the Yellow Pages directory.
It’s been a while since I have dealt with a Yellow Pages sales call. However, I am taking my own advice and slowly adding my business to the business directories. I claimed my free Yellow Pages listing a couple of weeks ago.
Now, just to go off on a small side track – adding your business to the online directories is good. Here’s the BUT…
You do get inundated with sales calls, so don’t do them all in one sitting or your phone will be ringing off the hook – not in a good way…
Back to Yell small business websites though.
I had not one, but three calls from the nice chaps over in Yell Telesales HQ last week and I really could not believe what I was hearing.
The first call was a nice guy who really seemed to believe his sales patter, and if I didn’t know better it was very convincing.
First of all he asked me about my business online and what did I do. He didn’t seem put off at all when I told him, I help local businesses get found online. Really, alarm bells should have gone off for him at that point – I know what you are talking about, you can’t baffle me with bullshit!
Then he asked me if I knew that Yell had a special partnership with Google and they can get me to the top of the first page in Google.
That’s rather economical with the truth to be polite about it. OK, let’s not be polite, it’s a lie.
Yell is an accredited Adwords reseller. AdWords are the Google advertisements that you see on the Google search results and on websites that sign up to AdSense. It’s advertising space, nothing more, nothing less. Stop paying and your top “listing” (read advertisement) disappears.
Fact – you do not need to pay Google to get in Googles listings. You may have to work quite a bit to get in the top 10 (or hire someone to do it for you), but you don’t need to pay Google anything.
Google ads can be very useful, they have their place in the grand scheme of things, so I am not saying don’t use them. Just don’t be taken in by the “Partnership with Google” rubbish.
So, the sales guy gave up trying to sell me pay per click ads on Google. The next tactic was to get me to upgrade my free online directory business listing on Yell.com.
Did I know that Yell.com was the most searched for site in the UK, even more than Google?
No I didn’t.
That’s because it isn’t.
It doesn’t matter what spin the sales guy puts on it, how many thousands of visitors they get each month, Yell.com is not a “top searched for” site in the UK.
How do I know this? Well statistics are great things and you can make tell all sorts of wonderful stories. They don’t beat fact. There is a site called Hitwise and they publish the data results for website usage.
Now perhaps he didn’t mean searched for? Maybe just a top site?
No, I don’t see Yell there either.
Give Yell some credit, they are in the top 100 in the UK, sat at 93 which is pretty good, but certainly not used more than Google. These results are from Alexa.
Then came the best part, the rubbish that really infuriates me more than “Partnered with Google”, more than “top site in the UK”.
He tried to sell me a small business website.
Not just a one page website, but up to five pages all done for me with free updates that will save me time. I wouldn’t need to write a word and they would even buy a new domain name on my behalf!
What the sales guy didn’t mention was, yes they will buy a new area specific domain name on my behalf, but that website domain name would be owned by Yell.
But that’s not the worst part of a Yell’s small business websites deal. Does he seriously think I will let my web copy be written by people who claim to know the internet, claim to be partnered with Google and yet still use OUTDATED and downright crap on-site website techniques that go against Google webmaster guidelines?
I do feel for the poor sales guy, he got earache for reading his script.
I see the basic Yell small business websites all the time, and yes I have ranted about their website copy before now too. That sort of keyword writing is really out of date and serves no purpose what-so-ever. Following the recent Google changes, it can possibly harm your rankings too.
I’m the first one to say that you don’t need a fancy all singing all dancing website for your business, but you do need one that makes sense and works. Definitely not recycled copy with less than 100 words on the main page of your website, and not even decent words at that.
Since I searched plumbers in the screen shot above, and one of the ads is one of Yell small business websites, let me show you this…
The basic Yell small business websites for plumbers first page copy is:
You should choose knowledgeable and experienced [trade] in [city] for assistance with your [trade service]. It is imperative that you receive high quality equipment and excellent customer service. At [business name], knowledgeable [trade] undergo extensive training. When you choose us, we get the job done right first time. You can discuss your [trade service] needs with [business name] by calling [phone].
Note that one of Google’s guide lines is:
Don’t create multiple pages, subdomains, or domains with substantially duplicate content.
Yell Web Copy on tour on the following small business websites near you now!
- dslplumbingandheating.co.uk – Wrexham (google ad above)
- kdheatingplumbingpeterborough.co.uk – Peterborough
- oxbowplumbingedinburgh.co.uk – Edinburgh
- acservicesaberdeen.co.uk – Aberdeen
- gloucestermechanicservicesgl1.co.uk – Gloucester
- bgsweeneywelwyngardencity.co.uk – Welwyn
- garyblairplumbing-heatingka11.co.uk – Irvine
- ph2olimitedpeebles.co.uk – Peebles
- emcgasheatingplumbingarbroath.co.uk – Abroath
- spplumbingheatingengineertr27.co.uk – Hayle
Oh, I could go on, but you get the idea with 10.
Note, this post was written in June 2011 – theses website thankfully have now gone! There’s still a lot of recycled website copy with just a few word changes or sentences in slightly a different order floating about online.
Apparently Mr. Yell salesman wasn’t aware that they recycled copy, and anyway, businesses approve websites before they go live.
Well of course they do – they’re trusting you as an expert in your field! You’re supposed to know that website content should be both search and people friendly, that it should speak to the viewer and not just spout garbage. I doubt if you told small business owners that the exact same wording is used on websites all over the UK that they would approve the site.
Then he let me log in to some wonderful business website score chart, to show how Yell can help me. While my scores were generally high, my website marketing is poor. Until you ask what it is scored on. This is the best bit…
I am not listed in every online business directory known to man.
Thank you for telling me that Yell, I KNOW that the website isn’t listed on all the main online business directories. I’m doing it in small batches so I do not get inundated with sales calls that waste my time!
Overall, just that one call lasted 40 minutes and it would have gone on longer if the phone hadn’t cut out. It really was hard selling. If I didn’t know any better I would have fallen for the sales patter 2 minutes in. It was only because I am an argumentative woman who is really irritated by the small business websites offered by Yell with their downright lies that the call went on for so long.
This is a rather longer than expected blog post and I haven’t got to the other calls yet!
The moral of the post is – don’t believe the sales patter. Ask questions.
- No one is partnered with Google,
- ads are not rankings,
- web copy should be unique to your business,
If you do want an “all done for you” small business website, that can be easily updated (by you if you want to) Check My Local Business Website packages.
You can host your website wherever you wish. If you choose to use my hosting, I will not tie you to minimum terms. I will not charge you £500 to move to another provider. But most of all, the website domain name will registered to your business name and address and web copy will be unique to your company and owned by you too.Small Business Websites by Jan Kearney