We did a 2-month trial of Yelp advertising. That experiment is now concluded, and we’ve decided not to continue because we weren’t satisfied with the experience.
Here are a few things you should know about Yelp if you are considering advertising, you have a Yelp page for your business, or you write Yelp reviews.
1. Lack of control over the ads.
As an advertiser you are given no control over what keywords will trigger your Yelp ads to come up. We were put into a very broad technology category and that was it. Contrast this with Google Ad Words, which gives you total control over which keywords you want to come up for.
2. Lack of information.
Yelp won’t even tell us which words triggered our ads to come up when we did come up. Again a big difference from Google Ad Words, which gives you all this info. So we couldn’t tell if we were coming up for the right types of searches.
All Yelp could tell us was how many people clicked on our ad, and then how many people clicked through to our website.
3. Filtered reviews.
Yelp filters their customer reviews in a way that prevented almost all of our reviews from appearing on our page.
When we started our ad campaign, we had 3 reviews of our company on our Yelp site (and these 3 reviews had been up for over a year). Now we only have 1 review plus 11 “filtered” reviews that Yelp decided were not legitimate so it didn’t show them (although they are all our actual clients).
You can read the “filtered” reviews for any business, but you need to know to look for the link (which is in tiny type).
The fact that Yelp was removing our existing reviews, and also preventing new reviews that we consider legitimate from showing up, was extremely frustrating and was the final reason why we decided not to continue with our ad campaign.
Yelp won’t even tell you how they decide which reviews are worth showing. However there’s a very good article on LocalVox with inside information on this topic, and I highly suggest you read it if you have a business on Yelp: The Definitive Guide to Avoid the Yelp Review Filter
If you’re a business owner, let us know your experience with Yelp advertising and Yelp reviews.