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Yodle is a marketing firm that claims that it can increase traffic to your site and phone calls to your law firm using its unique marketing methods.

Here is how it works: You establish a marketing budget with Yodle, usually around $1,000.00 a month. Yodle creates a mirror of your web site, creates a relevent key word list, and then strategically uses your advertising dollars on Google and about a dozen local search engines to drive traffic and telephone calls to your law firm.

Yodle is a reseller of Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Ask pay per click programs. However, instead of the traffic going to your web site, it goes to the web site that Yodle has created for you, so that they can more precisely measure the traffic that they are generating. Telephone calls hit a special phone number that Yodle has assigned to your account. Telephone calls are then call forwarded to your regular number. In this way they can track telephone calls that are being generated by their marketing efforts.

The problem with this entire approach is that it does not map easily to a law firm web site using the DirectLaw platform. The web site that Yodle creates is not clickable, so the link from the web site to the DirectLaw plaform - your Legal Services Page -- does not work. There approach may work for certain businesses that have web sites that are marketed within a local neighborhood community, but doesn't work well at all for a law firm powered by DirectLaw that wants to extend its reach through out the state where it operates.

I tested Yodle for a three month period using a $750.00 monthly budget to see how it would work. As a test I used my own virtual law firm in Maryland at http://www.mdfamilylawyer.com In addition to replicating the front end of the web site, Yodle also replicated the legal services page of the site, except the legal services page was static and not clickable. The results were abysmal, which I realized after the first two weeks, but I had made a minimum 90 day commitment that I would have to live with.

I should have realized that this was going to be a big mistake, compared to just spending the money directly on Google, Yahoo, and Bing directly, but I wanted to actual test the Yodle model. However, several of our DirectLaw firm clients asked me about it and I didn't have any direct experience with Yodle, so I decided to to try it, before recommending or rejecting it.

The bottom line is that it was a total waste of money. If a sales representative from Yodle calls you and tries to make a pitch for its services, run the other way as fast as you can.

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Tags: marketing online, pay per click advertising, search engine optimization, third party SEO firms

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