SMARTpages.com, YellowPages.com Serve Simplified Local Search Ads

  |  April 29, 2005   |  Comments

Online listing sites aim to bring a flat fee ad option to local small businesses.

SBC SMARTpages.com and YellowPages.com this week created flat-rate pricing packages for local search advertising, in an effort to bring more of their local listings customers online.

SBC and YellowPages.com are following the lead of partner BellSouth, which already has such a pricing structure in place for its RealPages.com offering. (SBC and BellSouth are joint owners of YellowPages.com.) As in the case of the BellSouth service, Marchex subsidiary TrafficLeader will run the program, which is intended to unburden small business owners of the micromanagement of online advertising.

TrafficLeader's role is to buy keywords on each search engine on behalf of advertisers, guaranteeing them a certain number of clicks a month. TrafficLeader also enables the Yellow Pages companies to aggregate reporting data and pass them along to the merchant.

"We offer four or five different [pricing] packages," said Mary Jane Thornburg, senior manager of Internet marketing at SBC SMARTpages.com. "If you are an advertiser and want to buy 60 clicks per month over a 12 month term, you will receive that traffic through this program. "

SBC SMART Pages, BellSouth RealPages.com and YellowPages.com currently maintain separate Web sites and will offer the TrafficLeader solution under their own brand. The three sites are expected to merge under the YellowPages.com URL later this year.

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