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A closer look at BT’s “Web Clicks” service

Susan Hallam has had a right old go at BT’s “Web Clicks” service, and her controlled demolition is well worth a read. She reports that there seems to be “a carpet bombing telemarketing campaign” on this one, so you’d be well advised to know your facts when they call.

It seems that despite all the sources BT claims it will get you “contacts” from, it’s likely that most will come from good old pay-per-click advertising. Funnily enough, the fixed-cost approach to managing PPC advertising (e.g Google AdWords) is one which many of our clients are finding interesting, but I wouldn’t have the nerve to ask for the rates BT is asking for, nor do we lock people into 12-month contracts or charge setup fees. Nice work if you can get it though.

3 thoughts on “A closer look at BT’s “Web Clicks” service”

  1. Let me educate you people.

    Directories – What are they? A platform to search for business by name or classification.

    Name a directory – Yellow pages or, The Phone Book or BT Exchanges, Thompson, need I go on?

    These are the major players in the directory market.

    BT Webclicks is part of BT directories. BT directories knows directories because they have been doing it for 132 years.

    If you take note of the media focus on decreasing advertising revenue this year for directories, national press, magazines, TV etc you’ll see there is a decline in print marketing generally. Yes? Figures of revenue losses of 45% spring to mind during the first half of the year? Any big names disappear due to advertising revenue losses? Setanta? ITV is struggling too oh and channel 4, why? Because you get more response from marketing online direct to people specifically searching for you by keyword and in the places people log onto daily like Yahoo, MSN, Facebook, Twitter, Myspace . . . . . . etc etc they simply are loosing out to more responsive interactive audiences online.

    I see now BT Webclicks is one solution to a global problem in marketing. In fact a very clever solution to marketing.

    Not just advertising! The high street is suffering too you know, look at our beloved Woolworths, they couldn’t compete on the high street with costly overheads and products you could buy cheaper online. So where are they now? Online as an online ordering shop.

    This is the way of modern business and those who haven’t woken up to it better take a reality check.

    Why? – Because the modern world has chosen the Internet as a source for information with interactive results and speedy delivery. Fact: 70% of people in the UK will use a search engine to search for a service, business, product etc (oh yeah that’s 32 million online in the UK) Get this though, almost 70% of businesses either don’t have a website or simply don’t optimise a current site correctly (fact). Imbalance? yeah just a bit!

    But when you type my business name in I come up on the first page!? – What planet are these guys on? So when I bought a laptop the other day online, my brain came up with loads of company names to search through yeah? NO I typed in ‘cheap laptops with dual core’ and the results came up. These are known as keywords and you need them in your metatags or built into your home page to come up on results. This is known as optimisation.

    Those companies that came up on the page got my view or contact as BT calls it and one of them got £400 of my hard earned money. Those who didn’t appear lost out. It’s simple, people have money to spend when they search, and they will make a decision based on the results the search page presents to them. If you’re not in the results you’ve lost out on a potential new customer. Even if you do come up and they don’t buy the first time you will have what we call a profile and maybe provide something they may come back to later to buy. You have to be in it to win it and it so true for the first page of a search site.

    BT Webclicks does this for you.

    Not all businesses will come up on a search so the only way you can get on the first page will be through sponsored links. Also you may come up tops locally but what about those customers not local you can cater for? in most cases you won’t come up in a search outside your town.

    BT Webclicks does this for you whether you want local business by village, town, county, region or UK wide you set your ‘hotspots’ and BT will deliver contacts from your chosen areas – Nice, so will I get people contacting me, only from areas I cover? – Yes.

    I get traffic already to my site why do I want this service as well? – Ever heard of raising your game? If you have done everything you can to optimise your site and you for example get a good level of business from 400 hits a month; BT can deliver an additional 400 contacts thus doubling your traffic and possible doubling your online revenue and they will use keyword for your business that you may not appear highly on searches – Nice.

    BT Webclicks can provide any thing from 480 – 72000 contacts over 12 months!

    My figures may be off by a few £million but with the shift in search trends for businesses from print to online, the online market in the UK is on course for £63b up from £57b last year.

    Fact: Google, Bing or MSN and Yahoo account for 92% of the online search market.

    So with less people using the old fashioned directories they are turning to the internet now. So with this the directories business has shifted with consumer trends and they all offer an online proposition.

    With me so far?

    Good – So look at the bigger picture.

    BT has Webclicks.
    Yell has – one directory search site with an option of a pricy landing page or web link.
    Thompson’s online directory. That’s one directory with a simalar service as

    Both yell and Thompsons use sponsored links to pull people to their directory site, but why go from the most used search engines to one directory with another list of results that probably won’t be that great and will maybe have a few web links? I don’t know myself, probably down to clever marketing and the old belief that you need to be in Yellow pages, lmao! But the UK spends hundreds of thousands for this unproven concept with no guarantee. That’s right no guarantee and guess what. . . BT Webclicks guarantees this for you.

    Getting it yet? Ok this is how it is.

    How many companies out there can guarantee someone will contact your business by phone, email and visits to your website? Only one and that’s BT.

    This service is a proven and accountable form of marketing for the new generation of online business and trading. Companies spend many thousands in a Yellow Pages directory, local paper advertising (that’s another joke!)leaflets, bill boards etc. with no guarantee of response and in most cases the business owner will never know how much business or how many people contacted them from an advert. Money down the drain for a misconception that you have to be in there? Maybe if it was 1985 and the only place you could get a number or find a service was Yellow Pages. Wake up!

    How do I know all this? Because I deal with these businesses every day and the majority report a succesfull campaign.

    Why do you think BT sold the product Yellow Pages? Declining revenue? Usage? Shift to online propositions maybe? Hmm maybe BT saw this coming a long time ago and decided they better focus on a service for the new online generation.

    Clever BT, for if it wasn’t for BT we probably would still be in the dark ages when it comes to internet.

    Thanks BT your efficient network has helped the UK economy prosper whether by phone fax, internet, business support, broadband TV, digital external backup, redcare, IT support for 132 years!

    BT Webclick fits comfortably in an already successful portfolio of products and services. Remember Cellnet and BT combined to create O2? another success story, in fact BT pioneers and revolutionises the way we work in the UK today whether your a consumer or a business.

    Getting the bigger picture yet?

    So why spend £10k with yell for adverts with no accountability, when for the same money you can get 10,000 contacts from the BT service BT Webclicks. I can tell you now 10,000 people will never look at a one particular local advert in a directory. I know because I work in the directories market.

    Remember this – BT Webclicks will market your business across Google, Bing, Yahoo, Exchanges, Ufindus, Smilelocal, Moreuk and many other online directories BT owns.

    And get this, BT will build you a free website in 5 days when you take the service, and list it naturally on the first page of Google for free, yes free, naturally optimised, as part of the service BT Webclicks. You can manage this yourself easily; adding links, pages, photos and manage the entire content within the format of the website with clever optimising software that tells you if you have the best key words.

    Nice, that’s handy BT, now I can have a free website and get people contacting me guaranteed; and I’ve been spending £10k every year in the yellow pages? I would get a better response with the BT service for half the cost yeah? – YES YOU WILL a 4800 contact package (and most businesses are £1 a contact) is ample for any business and will achieve brilliant results for any business.

    So in a time when businesses are reluctant to get a presence online because, well let’s face it, it is a bit of a mine field and they know they need to be because that is where new customers will be searching for them, this is the best service currently in the UK.

    Let me share a true story with you.

    A tree surgeon in Hertfordshire who never had a website until BT built him one last year and BT provided 960 contacts at a £1 a contact for the year; booked at least one order a week from his site. His Average Order Value is £500. Did it pay for itself? What do you think?

    It’s not rocket science it’s easy and you need to be in it to win it.

    There are people searching for your business by keyword online every day. Go to the Google adwords tool (search: Google adword tool and use the old one – it’s easier to use) and type in some keywords for your business, tick the synonyms box and click search. You will be amazed at the amount of searches in just one month! Oh and also you’ll see that a lot of the keywords that are specific to your business will in most cases be more expensive than the contact cost of a BT Webclick. Why is that? Because BT buys keywords wholesale a lot cheaper than average Joe, why? Because BT spend a lot with the search engines bidding on keywords on behalf of all the happy Webclick customers. So like Talk Talk who buy call time from BT and sell it to their customers at a margin but below the BT rate, BT do the same for adwords, thus proving to be a cost effective way of letting BT Webclicks do it for you

    BT puts you in front of your new customers with a guarantee of a level of them coming to you through exposure.

    So have we got it yet? Websites are portals to your business and an interactive advert all in one yes? YES they are and that is the way the world of marketing is going and that is why I have job security in online marketing.

    Random fact: 98% of people when making a search will never click past the first page.

    These people have money to spend as a lot of trading is now done through sourcing online and if you don’t have a website or have a website that doesn’t function properly or not correctly optimised they will be spending with those who do appear on search results.

    Are you getting it yet?

    Also as a natural by-product to the service BT Webclicks, your own website page ranking is increased due to the increase in traffic and links to all the many search sites your website will be linked to. Nice that’s handy so does that mean I will naturally move up through the pages so I appear closer to the first page as a result? YES YOU WILL That’s great, what a fantastic little service.

    Time Management.

    I’m a hairdresser and I would love to do this myself, build a website and try adwords on Google because it might save me money as suggested above. REALLY? Would you let BT cut your hair? . . . I don’t need to answer that, but letting the country’s largest and most successful media company manage your campaign will in most cases be a success, and it saves your time (that is a cost when trying to fathom the online search world of marketing) and time is money as not mentioned above and time costs need to be factored into a business when making a choice. BT offers a new much improved support service with a local new media Executive trained in online new media by the world 4th largest telecommunications company.

    A little test for you: Go to Google and type in ‘beauty salon watford’ what comes up? only a highly optimised BT rapid site with a guarentee of contacts. and if you look closer this BT customer has a link from her BT site to an old site that doesn’t appear any where near the first page. I’m sure you wouldn’t complain if you were in her position.

    Wow that’s a confident pitch? Why so confident?

    Because for 10 years the software and technology BT uses for the service controls 80% of the US online marketing campaigns on Google – successfully.

    It didn’t mention that in the slating above? – I know but the slating doesn’t look at the BIGGAR PICTURE.

    Wow! Proven? 10 years? 80%? – Yes, and it works.

    So why all the scepticism then?

    Because as a major player in the market with a new revolutionary service, BT will always but small businesses in a similar field, not able to provide a service as good as this, in a position of competition. With competition comes slander and scepticism and a degree of trying to hold on to the measly market share they have and will say anything negative and publish it without drawing a line and showing you the positives of a competitors service.

    Oh I see now, the bigger picture, so this is one of just a handful of highly optimised websites with accusations from people who don’t really understand the service fully.

    Got it?

    So when it comes to where you should spend your marketing budget, and you’re not web savvy and you don’t really have the time to do it yourself, BT Webclicks offers the best all round service in the UK with a guarantee; and oh yeah it’s no big secret, but, if BT are not as successful as they promise and they fall short of contacts by the end of the 12 month campaign, you get your money back for those contacts they haven’t delivered! – nice! now you don’t get that with an advert do you!?!

    So BT Webclicks is the new generation of directories and it is a revolutionary concept that its competitors don’t even come close to.

    Thanks BT you just made the internet so much more accessible than just connecting my broadband.

    So there you have it Webclicks explain with the bigger picture of marketing and economy in mind and may I add I’ve been in marketing for ten years and I worked in the development of Webclicks so I’m well placed to advise of this service.

    And remember investing in this, is investing in your business and will in most cases give you a strong Return On Investment no other directory company can offer this so why would you invest in them? I’m not sure but hopefully you’re a little better positioned to make a choice based on FACTS from someone with firsthand knowledge

  2. … I built a website for a client 2 years ago and still have an ongoing contract with them, back in January they told me of Web Clicks and decided to trial the service (it is a Pay Per Click program essentially). After 2 months, the client seemed positive about the service, saying they were getting hundreds of visitors per month, at the time their site was hosted on my server, and my stats didn’t pick up this extra traffic, so sharing my concerns we decided to track traffic going to their site, but first we did a complete overhaul of the site and put their site on their own hosting account.

    I then used PHPmyVisites (open source) to track the traffic for 3 months (March, April, May) and the stats were showing an average of 50 per month, traffic coming from a couple of directories, SEs. Yet BT were sending monthly e-mails reports stating that they sent between 300 – 500 per month on a specific set of keywords that weren’t showing on our stats.

    I sent an e-mail to BT asking how we can track this traffic coming through the ads they were placing, and they ignored my question completely and sent me login information for their stats analysis/manager tool. My client signed up January and never received this account info until June, which I found extremely odd, the second odd thing was that the stats in the control panel were different from the e-mail reports?!? The control panel is claiming to be sending up to 1000 clicks per month on a different set of keywords. And still nothing is showing up on the stats I am keeping.

    My client serves a very niche market with no competitors in Scotland and England has only a few competitors, now these ads are supposed to show up on Google, Yahoo and MSN as well as some other small directories, so I did a search using their top referral keywords on Google and Yahoo, after page 5 of the SE results no ads or sponsored links show (checked first 25 SE results).

    I then e-mail BT asking for proof such as a screenshot of the ad displayed in Google and they ignore my e-mail for a week (previous e-mail was answered within a few hours), here’s the reply (names have been removed):-


    Thank you for your enquiry.

    Our Media & Performance team reviewed this campaign, and found that it is paused due to over delivery. They have had to scale back in order to bring performance back down to a level performance range. Once our system has hit its approved pace, this campaign will go live again on Google, MSN, Yahoo and BT Exchanges and begin to receive clicks again.

    Please let us know if you need anything further.

    Yours sincerely

    New Media Support


    I shared my concerns with the client, they agreed and canceled the contract.

    2 weeks later they receive an e-mail and it’s a monthly stat report, this time only 28 clicks and this still doesn’t show up on the stats I’m keeping. My client is still trying to resolve the situation but the more questions we ask and cancellations request we put in we just keep getting buffered between person to person or downright ignored.

    So anyway, is it just me lacking the technical skills to track their ad campaign, and if so can anyone recommend a good tracking tool, or does this seem dodgy?

  3. I signed up for by ad words less than 48hours ago I want to back out but can’t find anything about cooling off period in terms n conditions help needed please

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