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Problems with having a Yell website:
Yell have a sales team with high targets. As is the way with sales, they will often make promises that the service can’t deliver on. What seems to happen is that the sales reps will visit business owners at their premises or homes and use sales tactics to get the contract signed before they leave.
There are many reports online of small business owners regretting signing up within minutes of signing the contract. A common problem seems to be that Yell make many verbal promises regarding the results but none of this is on the contract itself so there is little you can do once you are signed up.
Any service with Yell comes with a 12-month contract. And as with all marketing, it can be hard to know what is best till you do some experimentation. So, if what you sign up for is not working after a few months… well, you are stuck with it. Sorry.
In a recent review on Trustpilot, a customer states that he is having to shut down his business due to the fees from Yell. In another review, the salesperson had a customer tick a box without stating it was a 12-month contract. Not cool.
Yell present themselves as cheap. In reality, they are anything but. Websites start from £499, but in practice, the price we tend to see for a 15-page site with a reasonable design tends to be £4000 and above.
But the real way the price is bumped up is with the additional monthly fees for hosting (£96), premium listings on Yell.com, and advertising services. One client we have recently helped paid nearly £5000 for a site and then was paying around £1200 a month for various services which were failing to deliver results.
It’s safe to say that design is not really Yell’s strong suit. But the issues here tend to go beyond that and the majority of sites in a given business category seem to be based off a similar template.
So, with a templated approach where the designer is just filling boxes, you can be left with a site that is very similar to many other sites and certainly does not really best represent your business.
As an example, you can conduct a search in double quotes for the following to see accounting sites designed by Yell:
Looking at these sites, you will see the same few designs customised for many different websites. There is a variation in colours and small text changes, but they are essentially the same site.
Now, this is the real kicker. Have Yell build a site for you and it’s not yours. They build it, you pay for the build, but then you effectively rent it. So, whilst your contract may expire after 12 months, if you want to move away then you need to build a new site. So, this is a non-contractual lock-in of sorts. Clever, in a nasty way to keep you tied to Yell marketing and in the Yell ecosystem.
£4,294.80 for the site. £96 per month hosting. Can’t even download the logo from the site to use as it belongs to Yell.com. Can’t move the site. There is no good technical reason for this. There are other cloud-based systems where you can’t move your site, but sites can be built here for a 10th of the price.
This is an aggressive business tactic to make moving away from Yell difficult and is the primary reason why we would never recommend any business to use Yell for web design.
If you want a cost-effective site that you own and that is 100% portable, drop us a line and if we can’t help we will point you in the right direction.
Hosting comes in at about £96 per month for the website (inc VAT). So, £1152 per year.
Hosting is important. Your website needs to be fast and optimised for search. But hosting can be had for around £20 a month.
And, as your site is not portable, then you have no choice here as a consumer to move your site to more affordable or powerful hosting.
Analytics is another problem area. And getting Google Analytics installed can be tough enough. And it is certainly not done by default. With one client we were working with, Yell support installed the wrong analytics code and it took us 3 months to get that resolved. A five-minute job. 3 months.
It is also difficult to set up any conversion tracking and there is no support for Google Tag Manager. The promise of digital marketing is that it is far easier to understand where your leads are coming from. Yet, the weak analytical environment means much of that is undermined.
Given that Yell then tries to sell you PPC and other traffic and lead generation services, I fail to see how they can even do the job properly without solid analytics in place.
Support is horrendous. Call centres are all over the world: UK, US, Spain, India, Philippines, Colombia, and Peru are all places I have seen mentioned. And in practice, getting support is a nightmare.
Examples here include the three months it took to get Google Analytics installed and a client who had spent two years with the wrong phone number on their website.
A quick trip to the reviews for Yell on Trustpilot will give you an insight into the general feeling towards support (hint – it’s not good).
The last issue here is that once you have a Yell website you are more likely to use the other services on offer. These include sponsored listings on Yell.com, Google AdWords PPC management, social media advertising, and even the Connect product that masquerades as some form of small business SEO service.
They have the same general problems as the websites. Aggressive sales, 12-month contracts, lacklustre results.
One client we are working with was spending around £800 per month on what we will loosely call marketing. With no analytics, it was hard to tell what was or was not working.
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