Andrew Shotland at localseoguide wants to know about the local SEM providers. So here's a little yodle story for you guys. I think they are a great company - and do a pretty good job - although my hard-hitting client wasn't so happy. I ended up doing the work myself :(
I used yodle.com for a client - an accountant. I promised them that if it worked out, I'd send them more business. I had built my own marketing campaign to compare, and there were a couple of differences.
1) They didn't do any geo targeting - just stuck to geotargeted words
2) They had it on 24/7 - while I had mine set for business hours.
3) They missed an entire segment of keywords (cpa etc.) which is more profitable.
At the end of the day though, they also were spread out across all of the engines, I had only started with Google, and their cost per action was a couple dollars less than mine.
However, my client wasn't happy with the amount of cancellations that happened via the yodle website. Most of them canceled before coming in. The yodle rep just told me that "for some reason accountants get the lowest conversion rates"...
Bottom line is though, there's alot of garbage going on in local search. Alot of people that aren't willing to plop down $1,000 / month on me, have been sold on the "we'll get you number one on the big keywords and give you a free website for $100 / month".
Yodle is a great company, and although it didn't work out for my client, I'm sure they'll do great things. It's a shame that I burnt a bridge because of a client. I'm also interested to know how Reachlocal is doing though. They were another company I wanted to test and see how well they do, what their minimum's are etc.
Yodle's official cost is a $1500 setup fee and $550 / month + phone minutes. (I got them down to a $400 setup fee).