IYP Advertising & Local SEO: How Badly Does It Suck?

Today a chiropractor in my home state forwarded me an email he got from a well-known yellow pages -style site.

The ad rep sent him a proposal – the details of what they wanted to do to get his phone to ring:

There are many options and I believe that getting your [sic] started with one of our online packages that includes a bundle of online solutions would be a [sic] the way to go.

The elements include:

Google + Local.  We would assist in claiming your Google places page and populate content and any additional information for you (photos, videos etc)

A local focused click package.

Facebook Page.  We would co-manage and update Facebook for you.  I [sic] social media expert would contact you once a month for updates.

Reputation Monitoring:  One consolidated report of your online reviews.

YEXT power listing:  Your business information claimed across 40+  internet sites including Yahoo, Yelp to name a few.

Call Tracking and Reporting

Cost: $225 per month.

I told the good chiropractor that was a bad deal – and that his practice would be getting the assembly-line treatment.  If he was picking out a place to dine, it would be the McDonald’s inside Wal-Mart.

Why does that deal suck?  Let’s put on our elbow-length gloves and take a real close look:

Ad rep:  Google + Local.  We would assist in claiming your Google places page and populate content and any additional information for you (photos, videos etc).

Me:  That takes 10 minutes.  And it’s probably the part you’ve done already.  If there’s a part you need help with or advice on, it’s cleaning up duplicate listings in Google – many of which are automatically created by misinformation on online directories, like this one.  But your monthly budget won’t get you that.

Ad rep:  A local focused click package.

Me:  Every business owner I’ve spoken with has said these leads are garbage.  But hey, you get your 50 clicks per month (see where it says that in the fine-print contract?).

Ad rep:  Facebook Page.  We would co-manage and update Facebook for you.  A social media expert would contact you once a month for updates.

Me:  Their social-media “expert” might just edge out the expert Domino’s hired.

Ad rep:  Reputation Monitoring:  One consolidated report of your online reviews.

Me:  Or you can check the one in your Google Places dashboard.

Ad rep:  YEXT power listing:  Your business information claimed across 40+  internet sites including Yahoo, Yelp to name a few.

Me:  Online directories get a steep discount on Yext, so for them it’s just like throwing another kid onto a school bus.  Yext is an OK service – it has its uses – but it’s no substitute for correcting your listings manually (as my buddy Nyagoslav Zhekov has written).

 Ad rep:  Call Tracking and Reporting.

Me:  Because local SEO is just too easy and boring without having to clean up call-tracking numbers in your citations.

Ad rep:  Cost: $225 per month.

Me:  Your ad rep turned down a job at a gas station – just to help YOU with your online marketing!  (And he must be good at it, too, because you’re paying him $225 for probably 30 minutes of his time.)

Notice what’s missing from the offerings: help with your website, helping you put together a strategy for getting more reviews, and personal guidance and attention.

What are your experiences with these sorts of “packages”?