So you’re ready to buy into and their website builder, they claim it’s easy, they do the work and it’s only $100 a month. After speaking to many different business owners and getting input on their current web presence, we decided to take look under the hood of hibu.
Our Top 5 Reasons You Should Not Pay For a hibu Website ( Yellow Book )
– and unfortunately, their sites are not valued at $1,5001.
Most of the sites we’ve looked at ( in the code and on the front end ) could be built is just a few hours and are valued at approximately $500. hibu will tell you that your price includes extras like a redesign every 2 years, claiming your listings, submitting your site to search engines, and directory listing services to “get you inbound links” to your new website. The fact is – a well designed and coded website doesn’t need to be submitted to Google or search engines anymore, and most small business owners will not take hibu up on the “re-design” offer.
Let’s examine the hibu price points, directly from the hibu website
For $599 down, and $124.14 per month ( updated 12/29/2016 ) – You will pay a minimum of $1,489.63 for a hibu website for the first year. Every year after that, you will pay a minimum of $1,439.40 or $119.95 per month.
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– can’t decide on a platform for their websites
Hibu has continually changed the platform that they build and host their websites on. Research says that this is because they are always looking for a platform that lower their bottom line so they can maximize their profits from their seemingly sub-par websites. I would suspect that this is because they are learning the hard way that the profit margins in websites is no where near that of their core product – they Yellow Pages.
The fact is, it takes a lot of work, and a lot of man hours to put together a truly great website. That hard work translates into ROI ( return on investment ) and you expect your website to be on the first page of search engines ( including Google ) for your on-page keywords.
Fact: hibu has changed their platform at least 3 times over the last 3 years. Douglas Web Designs uses the most powerful, modern, and flexible website platform that dominates over 25% of the web, WordPress.
– The website team
Hibu likes to brag about how you will have access to a team of website experts. Unfortunately, hibu has team changes, employee turnover and other issues. What can happen is that when you call in to hibu, you may have to deal with someone different each time2. This makes getting any effective website work done very difficult. If you get frustrated enough, they may eventually give you one point of contact – but until your at that level of disappointment, you’ll have to call 855.620.9600 and phish to get a website “expert” on the phone. Douglas Web Designs works for you, all development is hand-coded, in-house and local.
– Claim your Google Places listing
Hibu insists that when they claim your Google Places Listing this is a good thing, but the reality is that when you’re ready to change your website strategy and leave them, you will have a very difficult time getting control of YOUR Google Places listing again. Your Google Places listing is yours, you should have access to the listing through your own Google Account that your developer can help manage. Douglas Web Designs claims your listing with your own credentials, so you never lose control of your Google Places content.
– Limited “on-page” SEO ( or completely undesigned SEO )
Many sites we see from hibu have generic title have generic and duplicate content. Example of duplicate content: sites that hibu has built have duplicate titles ( bad for SEO and many times negative strikes for SEO ), bad H1’s ( these are heading tags that denote a new section or thought ), multiple H1 tags ( use of tags like H1, H2, H3, H4, strong, emphasize, etc are very important for SEO. ) There are many site without image alt tags ( alt tags display ‘alternative’ text in the case that a visitor is using a screen reader ) or duplicate alt tags, duplicate content copied from another hibu customer or other company website.
The goal is to grow your business, and that takes a visually appealing, compelling and convincing website that engages the user, something that hibu alone just honestly can’t provide. When you’re trying to sell products to complete strangers, it takes more than just a little bit of SEO and promotional writing. Your website should be an engaging experience that makes users want to explore it. Douglas Web Designs uses on page SEO plugin by Yoast and hooks that into your Google Analytics Account- the most robust and scalable way to manage your website SEO.
Do you have any experience with a website? Check out these comments at ConsumerAffairs.com
Do you need additional advice or an evaluation on a your current website, we’d love to hear from you.
Randy Kauffman says:
January 28, 2015 at 2:26 pm
I just started looking into HIBU. I didn’t realize they were the old Yellowbook. I had a prospect stop in the office and he logged into his HIBU account. In December of 2014, he paid $735.47 for 85 clicks on his website. That’s $8.65 per click. His “website” is only converting at about 1/2%. His revenue per sale is $300 of which he makes 30% profit or $90. That means that every time someone clicks on his website from the ad, he is losing over $8. This has been going on for several months at a $700 per month budget. These companies that get small businesses to advertise with no regard to their return are not doing them a good service.
1 This is for the first year with hibu, monthly fees start at $119 after first year.
2 hibu media consultant ( employee ) speaks out.
[Research Sources: Pro Ad Insight, Plato Web Design, ConsumerAffairs, hibu.com ]