Just a few days ago, The Wall Street Journal recently posted an interesting article on the world of Google Adwords, small businesses and online marketing firms. The article, “Small Businesses Search in Vain for Web-Ad Help” by Khadeeja Safdar and Angus Loten explained how companies like Yodle and ReachLocal have upset many of their clients through costly ineffective service.


Small businesses have made many complaints to these marketing firms including receiving “unwanted sales calls, exaggerated online traffic reports and overbilling”. Basically, these companies are paid to get their clients an increase in web traffic, but that doesn’t necessarily lead to more business. A large issue, as evident with many Yodle users, is that the firm does not customize their client’s website with the right information, so visitors to the website do not have a clear understanding of what the business provides and their unique value added.

Hundreds of small businesses are finding themselves paying thousands of dollars per month to these firms to receive little to no business. Even though Yodle and ReachLocal did not provide the anticipated results, they are not fully to blame for the failing advertising tactics. Every business is rather unique and a “one size fits all” solution cannot provide growth opportunities. The real issue stems from not having an integrated business and marketing plan. These businesses need to find a marketing partner that will fulfill their individualized needs. Together, they need to, 1, define their brand and build voice and messaging platform and 2, find a company who will help to advertise their brand with their specific messaging in mind and deliver leads.

There are many ways of getting visitors to your site, but what message will you deliver to them to convert them into your customer?

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