If there is any doubt about the value in local, one needs only to saunter over to Spyfu, where the list of 1000 most expensive keywords (opens in new window) can be found. And take note that out of the top 200 almost 80 have a geographic indicator… including the top 2.
This got me thinking that many advertisers have thrown ROI out the window and are simply looking for the largest volume of business. I have no problem with this as it is easier to take dollars to the bank than fancy percentages, but it got me thinking… if I were managing one of these campaigns, could I find other outlets that when aggregated could bring down the average cost of customer acquisition and raise the overall ROI of the campaign, while still providing enough dollars to justify the time expenditure?
So, I put on my thinking cap and tried to come up with 5 local sites on which to advertise where I might do better than $50/click but still get quality, if not the volume. I am not suggesting these portals are better but are worth testing in hopes of getting enough volume to raise the ROI of the Campaign.
1. Free 411 – The jingle network claims to serve over 20 million calls per month, which is the rough equivalent of the uniques garnered by the largest IYPs each month. When someone needs information, they don’t have to pay for the call, but an ad is played. And the caller is given a choice as to whom they would like to be connected, the desired number or the advertiser by selecting the star or pound key. A lawyer is around $20 for a phone call. And let’s face it… the choice selected by someone just arrested for DUI in Dallas’ is truly 50-50.
2. Superpages.com- This IYP has a program they call Exact Match (warning: pdf). Exact match is a program that reserves the #1 spot in any given category for a business with a physical location in the exact geography searched with a minimum bid of $2.50. This could result in lower prices on high quality clicks as you are only competing against those businesses with a physical address in that city. These ads are distributed at to msn local, switchboard, citysearch et al.
3. Craigslist – Free Clicks Vs. Large Time Expenditures… nothing is free.
In some of the less competitive service categories the listing can hang for up to a week. But best results are achieved with continuous deleting and re-uploading of your listing for top placement; hence the time factor.
4. Local.com In May, Loren Baker of Search Engine Journal reported that Local.com has a new program called local verified. Which allows an advertiser top placement for $249/year. If this is really the price, of which I’m skeptical, some steals may be available. For Example, Mortgages in Manhattan is wide open. Christian Nielsen reports that he was solicited for the service and was told the price was $749. Even at this price it could still be a bargain if they delivered even decent click volume for a high priced term.
This listing may come with a little bonus too. As I found the link counting in Google Maps for one of the “local verified listings”. This could make sense since this placement is only granted after it is hand-edited. Loren reports, that the business has to be in good standing with the BBB.
Hmmmph! – I could only come up with 4. How about you? Any gems you care to share. And misspellings and brand name keywords don’t count since the likes of ‘remorgages’ and ‘Gyco’ are both coming in at a pricey $40/click.