Is Yelp Advertising Worth It?
The short answer...
Who Am I To Talk?
Now I'm commenting here with very little experience as a consumer of the Yelp Advertising service. I don't pay for it, nor have I spoken to an objective focus group of business owners who use it. My comments here are based on my anecdotal evidence through some of my clients and my expertise in online marketing.
What Does Yelp Advertising Get You?
Again, I'm no expert on Yelp's pricing structure, but it appears that for about $400 per month, Yelp will:
- Feature your higher on search results within Yelp
- Let you put up a slideshow of images on your business page
- Let you select one review to be featured
- Show your listing on the pages of similar businesses
- Display no competitor ads on your page
A bit pricy, but all of these are things that could help your business generate more leads and sales, BUT...
Who's Using Yelp Advertising?
Yuppie and hipster college kids use Yelp more than anyone else, just take a look at their "talk" section of the site. These people are not going to be searching Yelp for your court accountant service, architect agency, etc. It's all about nightclubs and sushi bars! The ironic thing is, the average restaurant would have to serve 40 people before they saw a 100% return on investment!
Use Yelp, Just Don't Pay For It
Let me be clear, I'm not saying stay away from Yelp completely. Use their free tools to make sure your business is "claimed" and you've set up all your detailed info as much as you can to help people find out more about you if they do happen to find you there. Encourage your customers to review you there because Google Places collects those reviews and displays them on your business Places page, which will help your rankings. It should be part of your overall internet marketing strategy, but it should never be the only thing you do.
If you've only got $400 a month in advertising to spend, don't give it to these guys. You'd be better served using Google adwords to send visitors to a highly optimized landing
page if nothing else, but nothing beats organic SEO for getting the hits.
What Do You Think?
Leave your comments with your thoughts on Yelp and the value of their advertising service, I'd love to hear from business owners who use them and what they think!