Recently we watched first hand as Yoddle slowly hi-jacked a client’s online profile. We decided to sit back and see how much they would do, since the client genuinely believed that what was being done was showing results. Here are some of the things they did, and more importantly, what you need to do to undo them.
This was an interesting process to watch, yet it was horrible at the same time. So let’s explain exactly what it is they do, so you understand how it will effect your business presence online. Because it’s very obvious to us that know this industry, yet it may not be to the average user.
- 1. They build a new website for you – regardless of how good or bad your current website is. So for those that have a good website, this is a step that isn’t needed at all. If you have none, this could be very good for you.
- 2. They setup the new website on a domain name they own. This means if you ever decide to cancel, you will have no long term benefit of the traffic they supposedly generated for you. Their domain is the one that has been optimized.
- 3. They hi-jack your Google local and map listings. They then replace all the information on these listings with their website and their phone number. So any natural traffic you have been getting, now counts as the work they have been doing, rather than your long term work delivering the results.
- 4. They compete with your natural listings with paid searches. Basically if your current customers are searching for you by business name, the first listing that shows is their paid listing. You are now paying for that click and it counts as a lead for them. Despite you being the first natural results and no other results above you. Once again, they get credit for something they shouldn’t be getting credit for.
- 5. Paid searches – they supposedly setup a PPC campaign for you, but after spending hours trying different search terms we where unable to generate a single search, other than the business name, that generated a paid add for the business. On top of that, any traffic this paid traffic would have generated is not going to the customers website, it would be going to the website setup and owned by Yoddle.
So how do you fix what they did to your online presence? Here are some basic things you can do and should do right away.
- 1. Ask them to make your website the primary again, unless you don’t have one, then you can keep the one they setup.
- 2. Ask them to stop directing any traffic to the website they setup on your behalf, ask that the domain they have be forwarded to your website and see if the domain can be transferred to your name. If not, they can utilize the optimized domain to sell the service to your competitor and basically steal the traffic that you have been paying to generate.
- 3. Re-claim your business – Ideally you should simply call Yoddle and make sure they give you ownership back of your Google local listings. At the very least, make sure it’s your phone number and your actual website that is being listed, not their information.
- 4. Tell them not to pay for any keywords that directly compete with your natural listings, so using keywords like your business name is off limits.
- 5. Make sure you get the full PPC reports in regards to what keywords have been clicked on, though what sources and verify it using your own Google Analytics account that should be tied to your website. If you do not have an analytics account, get one setup and make sure it’s put on your website, regardless of it being your or theirs. It’s a neural party that will give you accurate information.
If all else fails, talk to a local marketing person or marketing company that can help you through the process of getting all of this re-claimed. The longer you wait to re-claim your online presence the harder the process will become.
At the end of the day, the excuse Yoddle will give you for doing all of this is so they can make sure everything is being “tracked”. That is a very sad excuse and not true at all, there are several other ways this could be done correct and you could still get accurate tracking information. Just don’t fall for the business they pretend to be generating, based on what we have seen so far on how they do things and the tactics they use, a large portion of the leads generated would have been generated anyway. They just get to take credit for it, because they have hi-jacked your online presence.