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Should you advertise your business on yelp? The customers perspective.

Over the past few weeks, this has been a question that has had me scratching my head, or rather, the sales persons highly aggressively approach calling at all hours of the day. Yelp has certainly been investing a ton of money into their outbound sales calls, forcing their product on us as well as our clients.

But let me backtrack a little, I have followed Yelp through the years and over the past couple years have been an avid “yelper”. I find the network very handy when looking for a restaurant, dog groomers or pretty much any local business. However, how beneficial is Yelp when searching for a professional service, such as Attorneys, Accountants, Advertising Agencies, Software Companies, you get the picture… Is it really worth it to choose Yelp as the place to go to promote your local business. What are the costs, contracts and overall return promises? Does it offer a better return than Google PPC?

The name of the game here is to find out if the consumer is far enough down the sales funnel to become a valuable lead, most of us would pay a higher cost per click ratio if we were certain that this would generate a new client. And I must say, Google Adwords hands down have an abundance of analytical data to fizz through when it comes to tracking ROI. Yelp on the other hand have their own approach to tracking users, selling impressions and clicks, they track logged in users and none users through map views, website clicks and number calls. Yelp also provides you with your own custom video (which you pay for in a contract) and removes advertising from other businesses on your page at a premium cost.

There were some very confusing deal breakers when it comes to choosing Yelp. This is what we did not like:

  1. Yelp has google ads integrated, so they are apart of the ad network. (ads are located on the right of the page)
  2. Fixed contracts, know one in advertising likes fixed contracts. Yelp offers at standard a 1 year contract, but if you ask, they will lower it to 6 months.
  3. Cancellation charges
  4. Live metrics of what people are searching for
  5. Hidden reviews
  6. Impressions were far below the industry norm for that amount of money down

There were too many concerns which has led me to further question yelps ability to deliver upon the sales reps promises. Although this Review Platform turned ad platform doesn’t line up with our needs specifically, and may not align with our clients, we remain hopeful that Yelp can and will help businesses with their model. We will continue to conduct research and experiment with yelp advertising and keep everyone updated on our failures and successes moving forward. Hopefully this article will give your some added information when making the decision to advertise on Yelp.

But please, before you sign on the dotted line, do your own research, ask more questions or speak to an advertisement agency. The yelp sales team pushes this product onto the average business owner who more than likely needs a little help with the decision. You may speak to us at Adenvision and we can help you where you want to invest your marketing spend.

Do you want to know the Yelps current advertising packages and marketshare?


Please share your own experiences with yelp, have you had a positive experience?



Jason Payne
Jason Payne
"Building great products that solve real problems" Connect with me on LinkedIn
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