I have been receiving quite a few calls regarding Hawaiian Telcom Premium Clicks, which is a Search Engine Advertising product provided by Hawaiian Telcom Yellow Pages. The first question i get is usually; “is it worth it?” then “Should I do it” and often “I just signed up, was that the right decision?”. First off, I’m not going to bad mouth another web marketing business and I can not say that it will not bring you traffic. With that said, you should know what you are paying for and how it might affect your traffic and page rankings.

The sales process of this product seems to be via contracted sales reps and/or telemarketing, I also cannot find any material online which seems to say that it is not a direct purchase from HTC. From what my clients tell me, it is priced at $199 per month and is guaranteed to increase your traffic, with a transparent reporting system and access to your listing.

So what is it that you are getting? I don’t know exactly all the features and details that are included in this product as I do not have access to any sales material, but from what I gather, this is what you get:

  • Single page listing on Hawaii Telcom Yellow pages website
  • As many keywords as you can think up
  • Link to your website from the listing
  • Photos of your products and/or location on your listing
  • Contact information
  • Google Map to your business location
  • Hours of operation
  • List of services
  • Ads on Google Adwords, Microsoft Adcenter and Yahoo advertising networks

Your listing url looks something like this: http://www.myglobalprofile.com/your-business-name-or-keyword

All this promotion sounds pretty good. The more traffic the better and maybe you will get good PR for the links that are coming in? Well lets dissect whats actually happening.

  • First, the listing is created and packed with key terms that are provided by the client.
    • In this step I see the first problem, most business owners do not know off hand what is the most affective term or keyword to market themselves without extensive research, trial and error, thus (a) placing them in a highly competitive market with very low chance of click through, (b) a low quality traffic source (ie; this visitor cannot use your service because of geographic location or demographic etc. Yet they count as a “hit” on your reports.)and last but not least, (c) your own company name might already come up as a “organic” (natural) listing or if you have a PPC campaign, now you will have a third party advertising your company as well, just to take them to myglobalprofile.com/listing. Doesnt make sense to pay for that if you have a website or PPC campaign, but good idea if you don’t have any online presence.
  • Next, the listing goes live as a URL other then your own (myglobalprofile.com not yourdomain.com) and is promoted on the network.
    • To put this in perspective, say you own a product line and you have affiliate stores or resellers of your product, now you run a advertising campaign for your reseller.
    • Having a lot of link backs is usually good, so will this help your PR? I dont think so, the hfref (link) on your listing is dynamic while the anchor text (name of link) may be your domain name, the link will look something like this: http://www.localtraff.com/lpc/?i=9819&li=&lc=1&sid=fce51edd9ff14ce6907bd61697fff9a9&r=. So no relational credit.
  • The last step to the staging of your listing and probably the most value in the package, is the Adwords, Adcenter and Yahoo PPC (Pay Per Click) campaign.
    • These ads will show on the side of the top search engines and on the content network where your keywords are apparent. I can only guess that a large advertiser will get preferred pricing or wholesale rates with Google, MSN and Yahoo, so they will most likely be able to outbid other listings and/or have a greater ROI because of less cost. While these ads are great to have, what matters more is “who’s seeing them”.

So to sum up, a single webpage on a generic domain with PPC ads, all for $199 a month. What are your alternatives? If you have a website, you should promote it, but do so where you have some control, a $50 per month Adwords campaign can bring in quality traffic and allow you to target seasonal markets, make changes in real time and advertise promotions and sales. Organic SEO is a service that optimizes your site so that search engines can read and index your site more efficiently. Building content for your site (ie: blog writing) can help to give your site credibility and paint a complete picture for search engines.

As I have learned with many things in life, there is rarely one single answer to solve a complex problem, but rather a combination of multiple possible solutions that bring about the right answer for your situation. Hawaii Telcom Premium Clicks might be the right thing for you, or maybe not.

Give us a call to discuss your web marketing plans. We provide complete solutions or pieces of the puzzle that you can assemble into your managed plan.