What Are Yelp Ads and How Do They Work?
First, What Are Yelp Ads?
Yelp Ads show in their search results and on business listings where the company has not paid to remove them. Depending on what page the ad is on, it will typically show their:
- Company logo
- Service area
- Beginning of their “Specialties” section or customer review
- Star rating
- Call-to-action (CTA) button text
When I search for “HVAC” in Charlotte, NC, I see two Yelp ads on the research results:
It’s similar to what shows in the “organic” listings below for my search, but is above those and has the yellow/orange “AD” button next to it.
How Do Yelp Ads Work?
Targeting for Yelp Ads is incredibly limited. It’s based entirely on the profile settings for category and service area. It even uses a section of the profile if you don’t have enough reviews to use for ad content (i.e., it combines the regular listing and your ads, with limited control over what shows just specifically for your ads).
The only thing you can really set just for ads is the daily budget (more on the cost to advertise on Yelp below)
Tracking is also very limited. You can’t set a separate phone number for ads vs. organic profile on Yelp; one number serves all Yelp traffic. Yelp has also been dropping tracking parameters for outbound links to the company’s site, so call rewrites for referral traffic will not work.
About Yelp and YP.com
Yelp also has a partnership with YP where it pulls in company data from a company’s YP.com listing. For these listings, they do not show whether a company advertises on Yelp, but in the same place, they indicate that data is from YP.
YP offers call tracking as a service and will pull this tracked number into Yelp. Even if you manually add another number, it will display the tracked number from YP.
We’ve also seen Yelp pull in a website address from YP, overwriting the originally added site (not ideal for tracking purposes when you’re wanting to see how far your marketing investment on Yelp is going).
How Much Does It Cost to Advertise on Yelp?
- The minimum daily budget is $5, which translates to a monthly budget of $150.
- The demand in your market will affect how many clicks to your ad you will get within your budget.
- Yelp will recommend a budget based on your business type. For many of our home services clients, that recommendation has been $450/month.
How Does Yelp Bill for Ads?
Yelp bills at the beginning of the month for the previous month’s ads.
About the CTA Request a Quote Button on Yelp
Yelp has a button on company pages to request a quote. This doesn’t cost anything, but if it is not enabled, the button will offer to request quotes from competitors. These quotes are received as messages in Yelp. Yelp will also display a company’s response rate to these messages. A company must respond to every single message it receives to maintain a high rate. Even if the same person sends two messages, Yelp counts that as two separate conversations.
Yelp Ads vs. Google AdWords
You may be curious the difference between Yelp Ads and Google AdWords, and wondering which you should invest in. Here’s the breakdown:
Where do ads show? Yelp Ads show on Yelp searches and business pages. AdWords shows on Google and search parter sites (which can include Yelp) which gives you much more visibility and traffic than Yelp alone.
Where do clicks go? Yelp Ads clicks go to your Yelp business page, which may not be ideal if you have a lower star rating. AdWords clicks go to your website and you can control what page or design they see.
How is tracking? Yelp Ads tracking is very limited, and you’re not able to distinguish leads from paid vs. organic. AdWords tracking is very detailed and offers many reporting metrics.
What are the targeting options? Yelp Ads have very limited targeting options set by your company profile information. However, since Yelp Ads are shown just on Yelp, you can almost guarantee that users are looking for a local company. AdWords features many targeting options, focusing primarily on keywords and location that allow you to choose what you want to focus on. Users can be searching for anything on Google, so your targeting needs to be more specific to eliminate unqualified traffic.
What can your ads say? You have limited control over what your Yelp Ads say. They will often just have a quote from a review with your contact information and/or star rating. Google Adwords features full customization of ad copy.
Both Yelp Ads and Google AdWords feature:
- Pay per click structure on your ad
- Budgets that are set at a daily rate
- Ads shown along with other competitors
Our Take on Yelp
In analyzing search terms for our PPC clients, we see many people searching for reviews, especially about specific companies (part of their buying process these days). These reviews definitely have an impact on how likely someone is to choose your company, even more so in the home services industry where jobs can be expensive and customers are inviting technicians into their homes.
Surveys have shown that over 90% of consumers read online reviews. Whether or not you choose to test paid Yelp ads, managing your Yelp presence is critical to your online reputation and getting more business.
Yelp Ad Management from Blue Corona
If you’re looking in to running Yelp ads but not sure where to start (or if you’re currently running Yelp ads for your small business but are not sure what return you’re getting from that marketing investment), you’ve come to the right place. At Blue Corona, we’re experts in all things digital marketing for small businesses, including online directories like Yelp. We can help you navigate the paid and organic sides of Yelp and help you get the most growth of new customers. Fill out the URL form below to get started!
About The Author: Hannah is the Organic Team Lead at Blue Corona. If she's not busy daydreaming about the training session for her team, you can find her improving client conversion rates and planning her next trip.
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The information on this website is for informational purposes only; it is deemed accurate but not guaranteed. It does not constitute professional advice. All information is subject to change at any time without notice. Contact us for complete details.