SEO companies are a dime a dozen. How do you stand out? How about guaranteeing a front page rank on major search engines to SMBs? That’s what Relevant Ads’ Local Splash has done.
The fast-growing SEO company cofounded in 2006 by former Local.com executive David Rodecker has built a template for SEO that it hopes to sell to thousands of SMBs on its own, as well as via third parties. It guarantees a Page 1 ranking on a major search engine within six weeks of a contract, based on an extensive business profile that it develops, triggering placements on local maps, local organic search pages, mobile screens, as well as pay-per-click.
Local Splash also provides a bevy of other services for SMBs, including loan outs of its huge roster of exclusive domain names relevant to local business (i.e., PlumberInIrvine.com). It also provide local video ads, merging business information into short, keyword-driven video presentations. The company also registers a Facebook page for clients, and encourages them to use various MerchantCircle tools (i.e., newsletters and coupons).
A recent visit to the company’s new headquarters in Santa Ana, California, shows a buzzing and large new workplace, with telemarketers crammed tight.
The company’s model is deliberately kept simple. It is $199 for a setup fee, and then $159 a month for a standard package. This gets customers into local map and organic result via direct feeds to Google, Yahoo, MerchantCircle, Bing, Yelp, Facebook and others. Other options include $40 and $100 monthly AdWords packages (or higher custom deals).
CEO Steve Yeich, a veteran of the domain registry business, and before that, a local search leader at Overture (and Yahoo, after the acquisition of Overture), tells us that roughly 25 percent of customers take an AdWords package. Yeich notes that the company has primarily reached out to SMBs via telemarketing, although it has some premise sales.
The company’s real growth, however, is its Agency/Key Account business, which targets national brands and their agencies. These accounts currently make up 25 percent of the company’s revenues, but will soon be about 50 percent. The company also has direct sales relationships with various organizations, including the American Association of Franchisees and Dealers (AAFD), a 50,000-member group.
To us, the company may not be all that differentiated from the efforts of third-party resellers such as ReachLocal, WebVisible, Yodle and Orange Soda. But Yeich believes the company has a unique offering, especially with its emphasis on map placement and mobile. Such resellers are ideal partners, he says.