Yodle Furthers Local Focus With Ad Tool

Yodle, a company focused on helping small local businesses advertise on the Web, has rolled out a display advertising product.

To date, Yodle has primarily helped local businesses attract prospective customers by facilitating search and online yellow pages campaigns. Now, according to Yodle execs, using the new Yodle Display product allows local businesses to run contextual- and even behavioral-targeted display campaigns.

While the company’s other products are aimed at every range of small business—from pizza places to plumbers—Yodle Display is primarily geared for franchise and multilocation businesses, said officials.

“The conventional wisdom is that online display advertising is strictly for branding and cannot also deliver quantifiable business results,” said Yodle CEO Court Cunningham in a statement. “We decided to challenge that notion by building a product that delivers both targeted branding and measurable leads—using advanced optimization techniques that drive the best possible return on investment for our clients.”

Yodle is one of several fast-growing local intermediaries, including companies like Reach Local and Dex, which promise to do most of the heavy lifting involved in local advertising for businesses that are unlikely to ever hire an ad agency—or in some cases even launch a Web site.

According to Borrell & Associates, local online advertising should climb by almost 18 percent in 2011 to $16.1 billion, driven by display ads, which are expected to surge by 60 percent.