Google's local reach rarely exceeds its grasp. Google signed a new partner that raises the stakes in local search and puts IYPs on alert.
ReachLocal, a provider of local online marketing solutions for small and medium-sized businesses (SMB), will announce a strategic alliance with Google today to become an authorized reseller of Google's AdWords PPC advertising program.
The deal gives ReachLocal a leg up on competitors in local search who won't benefit from the same status in the Google ecosystem. There's a long track record of authorized resellers of search engine advertising products succeeding in the hyper-competitve PPC channel.
While ReachLocal, like many SEMs offers customer service and AdWords account set-up, management, and optimization, the firm's competitive advantage in the marketplace is a dedicated direct sales force. Many companies in the highly-fragmented local search space -- including the search engines -- cannot market to local search prospects cost-effectively.
Small and medium-sized enterprises enabled Google AdWords to leapfrog past Overture (now Yahoo Search Marketing) as the leading pay-per-click (PPC).
AdWords user-friendly interface and self-serve model gave local businesses a national platform to market their products and generate leads.
Then big brands and national advertisers woke up. Small and medium-sized enterprises felt the squeeze of higher keyword costs and lower ROI. Bid management platforms gave national advertisers an advantage with sophisticated bidding tactics based on ROI.
Now even small and medium-sized enterprises can manage PPC with return on advertising spend goals.
The Google AdWords reseller agreement won't solve the problem of cost-effectively managing search marketing campaigns for business owners who have small PPC budgets but high ROI expectations.
ReachLocal's Google agreement steps up the competition for SMBs -- and that's great news for local search.