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Yell PPC Campaigns – Are they any good?

Yell are a huge reseller of Google of AdWords and many a small business trusts their digital marketing efforts to the online directory – but, we have to ask, are they any good? In this post, we are going to give you an overview of a Yell created and managed ad campaign that we reviewed this week for a client and provide some insight into how that could be improved.


Google Adwords PPC by Yell


The names will be changed here to protect the innocent but let’s say this was a roofing company in the town of Sutton Coldfield and the goal was to promote the business for roofing services and sub-services like roof repairs, roof replacement etc. There were a set of top level broad keywords and then three specific services so we would expect any sensibly built campaign to mirror the business services to deliver the warmest and most relevant possible leads.

    1. The naming of campaigns and ad groups were simply ‘Campaign #1’ and ‘Ad Group #1’. Sensible naming is the cornerstone of a well-structured campaign so no points here
    2. Search Network with Display Select – display select tends to need much more optimisation so again this is a poor targeting choice given the limited budget available
    3. Search Partners – search partners can increase reach but with a limited budget this option can starve Google.co.uk and limit results
    4. Using Search network with Display Select
    5. Enabled Search Partners
    6. Automatic Bidding
    7. Only used call ad extension
    8. Only 1 text ad
    9. Very basic and templated ad text
    10. Ad text could have been used in callout ad extensions
    11. Out of 13 keywords, only 4 had a match type
    12. No negative keywords added
    13. Loads of irrelevant keywords in the search terms list


Where does your money go?


We have recently started to work with a few small businesses that were spending £600 plus per month with Yell and where a small percentage of that (usually £100) was directed to their Google Ad Campaigns and £500 was directed to sponsored listings on their own directory. This approach is in itself flawed as the majority of the budget is directed at improved directory listings and whilst the directory is still highly visible (in the UK at least) the quality of that traffic is often questionable. Certainly, the many businesses we talk to fail to see a strong enough return from these general purpose directories now and sector specific directories like checkatrade.com and TripAdvisor often provide a more detailed and nuanced experience for the discerning web browser.

Want to find out more about Yell? Check out our post on Why not to use Yell.



Marcus Miller

Marcus is our Digital Strategist. He’s been working in the industry for nearly 20 years and wears many (bowler) hats as a highly technical developer and SEO, and even has a fancy computer science degree to prove it.

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