Naturally, small business owners are careful about how their marketing budget is spent. These dollars need to be stretched as far as possible and generate the greatest benefit for the business.
Unfortunately, these small business owners are targeted and taken advantage of by large, global “marketing” companies looking to make a quick and easy profit. The most notable offender? ReachLocal. The following is a ReachLocal review for 2017.
Who Is ReachLocal?
According to their corporate website, ReachLocal seeks to “help local businesses all over the world reach more local consumers online”. Keep that statement in mind. It’ll come in handy later.
Founded in 2003, ReachLocal boasts approximately 2000 employees with offices in 68 locations worldwide. The company provides a wide array of online marketing services for local businesses, from website design to search engine advertising to social media marketing and management.
Sounds like ReachLocal really knows their stuff if they have so many employees, offices, and 24,000+ clients and counting. Right? Their clients say otherwise. In fact, many ReachLocal clients have lost quite a bit of money by investing in ReachLocal and are far from satisfied with the level and quality of online marketing service they have received – specifically the search engine advertising service.
Inflated Search Engine Advertising Prices
Aside from the mediocre website templates they implement which use outdated SEO techniques (Keyword and location keyword stuffing, anyone?), ReachLocal truly overestimates the value of their ‘search engine advertising’ services.
To make a long story short, they sell you (aggressively, I might add) on Pay Per Click advertising with the Google AdWords system. Now, there’s nothing wrong with a PPC campaign, if it makes sense for your industry, business goals and overall budget. However, this is where many clients lose out on quite a bit of money and ReachLocal enjoys the extra revenue.
First, do yourself a favor and type in “ReachLocal reviews” on any major search engine. You’ll be astonished by the number of “Pissed Consumer” reviews and Ripoff Reports, among the many other ReachLocal reviews on various sites from all over the world.
Of course, you’ll see the blatantly cheesy ‘client reviews’ from the ReachLocal website, but that’s to be expected by a global corporation looking to cover their tracks and make a quick buck.
Back to PPC – the number one complaint about ReachLocal’s search engine advertising service is the ridiculous up-charge. As you may or may not know, AdWords operates by ‘click’, meaning some keywords cost more per click than others – depending on the competition, location, and a variety of other factors.
What really grinds our gears about ReachLocal is the price they’re charging their clients per click. If you browse through the thousands of online reviews, you’ll notice just how incredibly high these prices are in comparison to the true cost per click.
For instance, let’s say you operate an air conditioning business. Naturally, your keywords will be ‘air conditioning’, ‘cooling’, etc. Let’s also imagine that on the Google AdWords system these keywords cost $1.89 per click. However, ReachLocal reports substantial differentials such as $3.00 and up per click (as an example).
Oh, and did we mention the lack of reporting?
If you’re running a PPC campaign, you NEED reports and analytics to determine the success or failure of your campaign. ReachLocal clients forfeit their access and control of their PPC campaigns, leaving them in the dark and their wallets empty.
As a ReachLocal search engine advertising client, good luck receiving the copy for your ad, understanding how many clicks and impressions your adds received, what your keyword options are, or any other necessary metric for PPC. Sure, your contact at ReachLocal may provide you with a basic report with neat little lines, but you want more – much more. With ReachLocal, you’ll never know how much money you could be saving by running the campaigns yourself or going with a true PPC professional. The lack of reporting is one of the reasons why we crafted this ReachLocal review for 2017.
Google Third Party Policies
Since ReachLocal is using Google AdWords, they are required to be fully compliant with Google’s Third Party Policies. Are they? Hardly.
Take a look at this forum in the Moz Community. Granted, it’s a bit outdated, but the information still stands. Google Third Party Policies, which PPC companies, such as Titan Web Marketing Solutions and ReachLocal have to adhere to, state that at minimum clients should receive cost per click, number of clicks and impressions.
Granted it does not state that third party companies “must provide” this information to clients, it is still a best practice for pay per click companies. ReachLocal’s search engine advertising reporting practice is a prime example of supplying their clients with the bare minimum metrics that are insufficient to make performance-changing decisions related to the campaign.
ReachLocal Direct Experiences
We’ve had our fair share of experiences with clients attempting to leave ReachLocal. When we inquire their reasoning for leaving ReachLocal, their answers tend to be the same:
- Lack of reporting
- Incredibly high prices
- Lack of communication
- Once contacted, nothing changed
- Projects over promised and under-delivered
- Calls increased, but were coming from far out of their service area
Similar to hibu reviews and client stories, ReachLocal is high up on the list too. As a company dedicated to helping local businesses, you’d think they would focus on driving local customers to their clients business.
One alarming aspect we noticed when working to switch a client’s ReachLocal website over is the insane back-end. They really do not want clients to have access to anything – reports, content, etc.
ReachLocal Review 2017: Conclusion
If you want to increase traffic, sales and more for your local business, trust a local marketing company – not a global giant who could care less about the success or failure of your business.
Published on: Sep 8, 2014.
Updated on Mar 9, 2017