You want to know if Yell’s (aka Hibu’s) SEO is any good. Maybe you’ve been approached by Yell or you’ve found them online while looking for an SEO service. Either way, you are here now doing your due diligence before you sign on the dotted line. Hopefully this post will give you enough information to to answer this question for yourself.

Yell has a bad reputation

In 2011 it was reported that Yell was in £2.7 billion of debt. In 2016 their US branch filed for bankruptcy.

Yell’s online marketing offering was originally called Yell Connect but because it had such a bad reputation, they rebranded.

Yell also sell websites, but when their customers want to change supplier, Yell makes it difficult.

I recently heard an account from an ex-Yell website customer who had their own website domain name before signing up to Yell, but Yell refused to use it and insisted on using a new domain. The business owner agreed because he didnt realise the importance of owning his own domain name. Some years later, when this customer wanted to leave Yell, Yell told him that they owned the domain. Of course, by this stage the domain had been used on all the customer’s offline and online advertising. This made the move very hard on the customers’ business.

They don’t offer link building

Yell offers citation building. This is different than link building. Citations are directory listings, most of which will include a link to your website. But since the link comes from a directory it will most likely include a NoFollow attribute. This means that Google won’t consider it as a link with any SEO value.

Citations are a low value ranking factor in Local SEO, and they are relatively quick and easy for anyone to generate. So the fact that Yell can offer these is nothing special.

Yell claim that the content they write will attract natural links. But will it really? Probably not! To attract natural links your content first needs to be read and respected by bloggers who are researching material for a blog post that they themselves are writing. How will bloggers see your content if it doesn’t rank well in Google to start with? And, it why would it rank well in Google when it’s probably just a rehashed version of some content that already exists on the internet. More on this below.

Their content is crap

Yell will write content for your blog. But they are not experts in your field. So, the content they can produce for your site cant not be very ground breaking. It will simply be rehashed content from the internet.

That’s the oldest trick in the book. And Google is not stupid enough to fall for it. At least not since 2011 when they released the first Panda update.

If you want to start blogging in a meaningful way, start creating article content that hasn’t already been written about, or that hasn’t been written about in a comprehensive way. Add value! You must give the internet something awesome and new via your articles, otherwise they don’t gain traction in Google.

This is impossible to do if you only rehash content you already found on the internet.

They make you sign a 12-month contract

Once you’re roped in its too late.  You will have to pay up for 12 whole months, even if you don’t see any results after the first 6 months. Do you want to take that risk?

If they really are any good then why do they need to tie you into a contract?

Find and SEO agency who doesn’t rely on lengthily contracts to maintain their client base. This way you can bail out if it’s not getting results.

They probably don’t have talented staff

There are numerous accounts on the internet of people who signed up to Yell’s PPC offering only to discover that Yell were not bidding on relevant keywords, thus wasting the PPC budget.

It’s well known that PPC is significantly easier than SEO. So, if they can’t even bid on the right keywords for PPC what hope is there that they’ll target the right keywords for SEO?

Based on our research, Yell’s SEO strategy is almost exclusively a combination of blog posts, keyword research and citations. But what about technical SEO and link building? Without these two key components it’s unlikely the SEO effort will be very effective.

Always ask any new SEO agency if they have Technical SEO experts who understand your CMS.

Links are essential for small businesses because most small businesses don’t have many. Make sure the agency you chose builds high quality links from real, independent blogs through white hat outreach methods.

Your account manager is a sales person

Yell account managers are not SEO experts they are sales people.

Not having a real SEO expert at hand means you can’t easily discuss your ideas or questions with an expert who really understands the issue. And if something were to go wrong with your SEO, how is a sales person going to help you?

We recommend that you ask your account manager how many years of technical SEO experience he has. Never settle for less than 5 years’ experience.

No guarantees and no transparency

For small local businesses Yell charge £699 per month. For local businesses in more competitive areas (presumably big towns or cities) the price point is £1000 per month.

Yell’s website doesn’t actually tell you what SEO work they will do for this price. And what’s worse is that there’s no guarantee it will work.

Yell’s SEO offering is basically an overpriced lucky dip.

A better solution

A better solution is to choose Spark SEO. At Spark SEO we pride ourselves on our SEO expertise and our transparent approach to SEO.

We guarantee SEO results and don’t make you sign a contract. Not only this, but we deliver all the key SEO components for your business to succeed in Google. But what’s more is we are affordable, all things considered.

Check out our packages here where you’ll clearly see what we will deliver and how much we charge for it.