Is Yelp advertising worth it? As important as this platform is, small business owners tend to feel some kind of way about it.

This was an interesting video to make. As you'll notice at the beginning, I had an impromptu visit from the future of the franchise. Forgot to lock the office door and contrary to popular opinion, opportunity doesn't always knock. Sometimes it just walks in unannounced.

As is usually the case with most of my videos, this conversation is the result of a discussion about Yelp that I wanted to share with the rest of my clients.

01:21 – There are three things I want to tell you about Yelp.  I know we're going to talk about Yelp on a regular basis, I want to make sure that you understand where I’m coming from. 

Probably the most important thing to know about Yelp is that Yelp is for Yelpers.  What I mean by that is sometimes someone goes and leaves a review for you.  You're like, yeah that's what I’m talking about.  Because you know how hard it is to get someone to leave a review.

You go to Yelp because you want to look at it, see your name up in lights, and you don't see anything there.  You're like,  Hey! what happened to my review?  Then you notice way down at the bottom there's a little section that says “Reviews not recommended.” 

You go down there you click and you're like, Really?! Really?!  Then you say to yourself, not so much.  Not kind of happy about that.

Yelp is for Yelpers

is yelp advertising worth it

03:35 – Well you need to understand that this is because Yelp is for Yelpers. They have some kind of concept where their thing is protecting the credibility of the platform.  Whatevs!  I think the big issue is that if someone is not active on Yelp, they don't know if you're real or Memorex.

So if they don't know that then chances are they're going to put you down there.  They won't “not” list your review.  They'll just put it where people can't see it.

Possible Solution.

04:03 – So, here's my suggestion to you.  First of all, you should have someplace on your site something where you can send people to that has the links to your review spots. Google, Angi, Yelp or whatever. 

If a customer clicks the Yelp link, then chances are they're Yelp people.  If not, tell them to start being active on Yelp.  All they have to do to do is put the Yelp app on their phone and go about their normal business.

  • If they're going to the local gas station.  Check in.
  • If they're going to get their hair done.  Check in.
  • If they're going to do anything that's in any establishment anywhere… Check in, check in, check in.

Over time what you'll see is that the way Yelp looks at them will change.  Yelp will decide they're real, and then those reviews that they left will come out of Yelp purgatory.

Do I know this to be a fact?  Nah, not really.  It's one of those “I’m pretty sure it works that way” things.  However, as opposed to doing nothing, it's worth a shot.

Another reason to claim your Yelp listing

05:33 – Here's something.  It's a small thing but it's a big thing. If you have a Yelp profile you should claim it.  Yeah, there's a downside to claiming a Yelp profile.  You're going to get a bunch of phone calls from a bunch of people that you'd rather not talk to.

They'll say they're sales coaches.  What they really are are salespeople.  Their job is to sell you on their Pay-Per-Click advertising platform.  We'll get into that in a second. 

The reason you've got to claim that profile is because this convoluted thing called the Internet works in all kinds of mysterious ways. 

There are a few companies online that I refer to as the pachyderms.  Google, Apple, Amazon.  They’re always slugging it out.  Well, if you're a teeny tiny company like me and you, chances are what they do doesn't affect us very much.

06:37 – But every now and then it does.  This is why you need to claim your profile and go in and update your information to make sure it's accurate.   

There's a small thing called voice search.  If you say “Hey Sir!” and ask it any kind of location question such as “Where's the nearest garage near me?” or something like that.

If you say “Hey Google” it's going to search a different spot for information.  Google is going to go to Google to get that information.  But if you happen to say “Hey Siri” it's going to go to Yelp to get that information. 

Well, if you haven't been in the habit of making sure that your information is up to date, listing all of the services, your hours, the information that's keyword rich in your description, you're missing out on an opportunity.

Now whether that makes a difference to you, I don't know.  But, I would say that if you tend to ask people “Hey, how did you hear me hear about me?” and enough people say on Yelp, then it's probably a good idea for you to make sure that your listing is taken care of.

Is Yelp advertising worth it?

Is yelp advertising worth it

08:06 – The last reason I want to talk to you about Yelp is because Yelp is business and they're going to try and nickel and dime you every chance they get.

For instance, I told you that you need to claim your listing so that you can update your information.  Yelp knows that you're going to claim because you want to update your information.

As soon as you do, you're giving them permission to try to sell you on their advertising platform.  Yelp really is just an advertising platform. Their job is to find folks who want stuff, point them in your direction and then hopefully charge you for it.

They have to give you something for free just to get you into the ecosystem.

09:03 – My calculation for is Yelp advertising worth it, really comes down to price point.  It's really a dollars and cents kind of thing.  They've got the Yelp Pay-Per-Click program and they've got Yelp deals.

The Pay-Per-Click program is pretty straightforward.  You pay them three to five hundred dollars a month.  They're going to send a certain number of people.  People click on your and then come see you. 

Well, remember you're only paying for them to click and ad.  After that you've got to do something with that click.

If you suck on the phone, if you're not good at closing,  then maybe it's not going to be worth it to you.  The answer to is Yelp advertising worth it is in the math.

Do this, ask yourself how many transactions of yours is it going to take for that ad to make sense.

Gary Vanderchuk had an interesting concept but I’m a little wary of it.  His thought was that it's probably worth about 400 bucks to find out whether or not it's going to work for you.  That would be a good investment.

10:17 – The problem is they won't let you try it out once.  Yelp wants to lock you in for a six-month bid.  That means, you're not really paying three to five hundred bucks. You're paying eighteen hundred to three thousand.

That's a different kind of calculation if you know what I’m talking about.  However, that's what you're trying to figure out.  If you do microblading and you're pulling in $400 bones a pop.  It's probably easier to make that call because it only takes one and a half transactions to make your money back.

If you're a massage therapist charging $60 bucks per hour, you've got to do five bodies before you're paying for it.  So, if you're not good at closing, it's not how many clicks you get, it's how many clicks turn into actual business.

11:17 – There's one other thing.  Just in case you said yourself,  I don't want to do their pay-per-click thing maybe I'll just do a Yelp deal.

How do you feel about Groupon?  That's what a Yelp deal is.  Exact same thing, the only thing I don't know (and I don't care enough to dig into it) is whether or not they do that 50% bloodletting split that Groupon does.

Whatever it is,  I’m just not a fan.

15:45 – With Yelp, there's goodness to it, and there's some buyer beware going on there.  If you understand what you're working with, you'll be fine.   

If you think it's universally bad, you're wrong.  If you think it's the best thing to come along since sliced bread, you're also wrong.

As we go forward, if you ask is Yelp advertising worth it in your particular case, we'll take a look at what you got going on and we'll do some number crunching.

Then we'll have a chat with one of those salespeople and see if we can't finagle a thing or two so you can try it out. 

Their job is to get you on board.  Sometimes they're a little bit pliable depending on how much pressure they're under.  Kind of like a car salesperson at the end of the month.

16:46 – All right! this has been a weird video. I think I’ll leave all that stuff at the front on there since this is for my peeps.  Gives you a little peek behind the curtains so to speak.

17:11 – May you live as long as you want, never want as long as you live.  May you live to
be 100 and me 100 minus a day, so I'll never know that nice people like you have passed away.  Go forth and do good things.