Are you unsure whether your local business should advertise on Yelp? When you consider the 90 million consumers, their high buyer intent, and super high conversion rates, the answer is a resounding yes.
Many online platforms, especially the more social ones, have become advertising networks. To be entirely candid, it’s how places like Google, Facebook, Twitter and most media sites make their money. It not a bother to us users. Ads are often quite relevant, or we get better at sorting through it all as we browse the web. When it comes to local businesses, the best social site is Yelp. Integrated within the reviews and ratings, you will see that there is a way to advertise on the ever so powerful platform.
Yelp advertising was a response to businesses wanting to stand out. If you have ever used Yelp, you could spend hours before deciding on a brunch place. Yelp’s depth shows how popular of a platform it is. Still unsure whether you should advertise on Yelp? Well, we want to share how making your local business stand out with advertising on Yelp can give you the further exposure you may be looking for.
What Are Yelp Ads?
Like AdWords, Yelp advertising is a way to shine among the organic results and regular profiles. As an advertiser along with your targeted ads, you can get profile upgrades as well as reporting metrics. On Yelp, your local business can appear when someone searches your business name, by your service or product, be lead from a Google search, a result form Siri or from other sites.
Ads on Yelp are organized by the industry you are in, not keywords. Let’s repeat that: keywords are not used here. It is all about similar businesses and similar interests. Your business will appear on relevant searches and even on your competitor’s business pages. Along with “like businesses” Yelp doesn’t do targeting. It is all dependent on the local area of your business and where the customer is. So you will be placed in front of potential customers who are nearby.
It is essential to note that advertising on Yelp and reviews are in no way connected. As much as we would like to believe in something slightly scandalous, it is not true. So if you were hoping to pay for more stars or better reviews, you would be greatly disappointed. Advertising on Yelp does not improve your ranking on Yelp’s organic search results.
The authenticity of Yelp’s reviews convinced me that our money would be well spent on Yelp advertising.
– Mickey L., Owner, Lane’s Flooring & Tile
Yelp By The Numbers
So you may be wondering what is so great about advertising on Yelp? Frankly, it’s not a social network that most businesses think of when it comes to advertising. If the fundamentals of increasing your Yelp presence and standing out, even on a competitor’s page, aren’t convincing enough then let’s look at some numbers.
At a macro scale, there are 90+ MILLION Yelp visitors with about 92% of them are users visiting because they have an intent to purchase. That is huge! Yelp user three times more likely to convert than Google users.
To ease your mind about Yelp consumers, about 80% of the reviews on the site are 3-stars or higher. Annoyed customers and low star ratings are only 15% of the reviews.
If you’re not sure that Yelp offers a way to reach your target customer, look at Yelp’s demographics. 36% of Yelp users are 18-34 in age, and 35% are 35-54. Interesting the majority, 65.9%, of Yelp users, are college educated. Making it a pretty affluent user base. Then with 44% of users having an income of 100K or more correlates with high purchase intent because well they can afford it.
Focusing on that one review you feel is unfair misses the value, which is the whole symphony of opinions you get on your page.
How Advertising On Yelp Works
79% of searches on Yelp occurred on a mobile device. This metric is not surprising, considering all the times we have been out a realized we needed Bubble Tea or had to quickly Mechanic while parked on the curb. But for both mobile and desktop the ad delivery is the same. Your ad will appear above search results similar to the top spots in AdWords or on pages of similar businesses. They also appear when scrolling through photos, and other pop-up like interfaces like messaging. Yelp ads are very neatly embedded into the Yelp experience.
It’s worth reiterating that Yelp ads are NOT keyword based. Ads are organized by category, geography, and distance. Your ad is then entered into an auction like with most ad networks, and you only pay when someone clicks on the ad. The price per click is based on competition and relevance, so when you advertise on Yelp, you spend the least amount needed to get the bid. So yes you will have to set a budget because Yelp will set bid prices and maximize the number of clicks. Watch to learn a bit more about their Ad Delivery and pricing.
When You Advertise On Yelp Your Profile Matters Too
Now the thing that makes your advertising experience on Yelp extra effective is the enhanced profiles. While closely similar, there are Branded and Enhanced profiles. Enhanced profiles feature:
- Everything from basic
- A description that you get to write as the business. So you can get a bit more detailed about who you are as a business and what you specialize in.
- Call-to-action button! According to Yelp there is a 50% increase in the traffic and leads with this special little button when compared to the basic profile. CTAs also appear in search results and ads creating more opportunity for conversions.
- Photo Slideshow, includes video! So feel free to upload your promotional vids.
- Merging or removing duplicate profiles
- Reporting across multiple or single locations
- Custom, multiple, master and agency login or access
- Dedicated support manager
- Reservations, Deals and Gift Certificates
So what separates Branded and Enhanced when it comes to advertising? Not much at all except that you can actually prevent your competitors’ ads from showing your profile. So if you want to keep your page as your own and not have your visitors wander off elsewhere, then you may want to consider an Enhanced Profile.
The flip side is that when you advertise on Yelp, you can woo customers right from the competitor’s profile.
Oh, and there is also a special Yelp Business Owner App!
We must note that you can subscribe to an Enhanced Profile and not have to sign up for Yelp Advertising and we recommend doing that.
Stand Out With Advertising on Yelp
Local businesses can often get lost in the wide-ranging online commotion. Local-first ads are a great opportunity on many platforms. Yelp advertising is an opportunity to uplift local businesses, even if it is only getting a slight edge or a few more reviews. Small results could change the direction of the growth of your business. If advertising on Yelp interests you, contact us! We are a Yelp Certified Partner and can assist with more than one platform for your advertising presence.