There was once a time where every business wanted to ensure they had a listing on Yelp, and the website was considered an essential part of a strategy for getting your business noticed by the public.
Lately it feels like enthusiasm for the site has fallen by the wayside.
Do digital marketers still use Yelp for their clients? Is buying advertising on Yelp really worth the cost?
The Paid Advertising Tool is a Little Too Ironclad.
Our biggest concern about Yelp is that its paid advertising tools lock clients into a contract. Unlike platforms like Facebook/Instagram and Google AdWords, Yelp locks business owners into a contract when they sign up for paid advertising.
Not all advertising attempts are a success. Sometimes you get halfway through the month and realize your client's not seeing any results.
With AdWords or Facebook's Ads Manager, you can head right in and make changes in real-time, allowing you to change keywords or even cancel your advertising entirely, whatever works for the client.
Yelp not only locks the client into a contract that requires them to pay the full amount regardless of whether they are receiving worthwhile results, they are also missing what we believe to be the most important aspect of paid ads... keyword analysis. Keywords are invaluable, and any paid advertising that doesn't allow you to see what keywords people are using to find you is simply missing a large chunk of what makes paid ads work.
Their Mobile Site Just Funnels to the App—Whether You Like It or Not
Yelp's mobile design is just a waystation to app downloads. Don't get us wrong — applications you download to your phone are immensely popular. There's nothing wrong with plugging the app when a customer opens up a mobile version of your site.
With Yelp, you absolutely cannot access detailed reviews on the mobile site without downloading the app itself.
While you can still pull up an address and operating hours for a location, attempting to read the Yelp reviews left by users just forces open a download window.
To read further, you have to add the app to your phone, and not everybody wants to add yet another application to their limited storage space just to read about a restaurant's allergen policy.
While it's not the end of the world to not be able to access all the details all the time, the truth is that most customers would like to be able to do just that. Rather than be successfully strong-armed into downloading an app just to read a review, they're more likely to shrug, close the site out entirely, and go look up something else.
Yelp Still Works for Very Specific Industries.
We don't mean this to be one bad thing about Yelp after another.
The platform has its uses, and if your clients fit a certain niche, we definitely recommend making sure they've at least added accurate details to a Yelp profile, even if they don't use the paid advertising.
Restaurants and retail businesses benefit the most from using Yelp. It's still one of the top spots that individuals use when they're searching for a coffee shop in Greenville, SC, for instance, or if they're trying to find Thai food in Lexington, Kentucky.
Their paid advertising works best for the food and beverage industry, as well — one digital marketing company working with a client noted that leads that came through Yelp's paid advertising tools actually viewed more pages per session than those who came through Google AdWords.
IT and software companies also utilize the site fairly successfully, so if you're a marketer working primarily with IT and software companies, you may find Yelp a useful tool for pulling in prospects and qualified leads.
In Conclusion, the Answer is... Sometimes?
The closest thing to an answer to the original question we can accurately give is that digital marketers do still use Yelp, but only if it will benefit their client enough to be worth the investment in time and resources. This is something you'll need to speak with your client about, after doing research on other companies similar to your client that have utilized the platform.
A profile on Yelp, even for B2B, IT, or other less customer-service focused industries still remains a good spot to list the name of the business, the address, and the hours open to the public.
Searching for Digital Marketing in Greenville, SC?
Waypost Marketing provides dedicated digital marketing services, including content marketing, video marketing, and other Inbound Marketing services, to clients out of our offices here in Greenville, South Carolina.
We do the research required not just to provide excellent storytelling but also to craft paid advertising that gets results, from Google AdWords to Facebook Lead Ads and more. Reach us by phone at (864) 288-6162 or contact us online at any time to get started getting results.