An introduction to Yelp adverts for native and ecommerce companies

If you own a business, you know word of mouth is critical to your success.

A glowing review from a handful of customers, or even just one influential person, can put your business on the map. And a bad review? Well, that can ruin your reputation. Or at least put a good bump in it.

Before you worry about good or bad, you first need a place to get these reviews.

Here are some questions to think about:

  • As a local company, how can you differentiate yourself from your competitors?
  • How can you get the customer base you want while collecting reviews and ratings in one place?
  • Above all, how can you interact with customer reviews in order to present your company in the best possible light?

Let's take a closer look at Yelp Ads, the various other services that Yelp offers, and how they can help.

What is Yelp?

Yelp is a crowd-sourced consumer business reviews platform and an excellent place to find businesses online.

Yelp prides itself on being the leading social network for customer reviews and ratings.

In the past, the platform was solely geared towards the consumer. It was a place where customers could leave their reviews without waiting for a company response.

Yelp has expanded its platform over the past few years with Yelp for Business, giving business owners like you greater control over their offers and customer interactions. These features go beyond the free page listing any business can claim.

Yelp for business options

Yelp for Business offers two options: self-service and a contract plan.

Self-service is an a la carte offering that allows you to choose from Yelp's premium business tools. These include:

  • Yelp Ads
  • Yelp Deals
  • Yelp reservations
  • Business highlights
  • Profile upgrades

When you do decide on a contract plan, work with a Yelp sales rep to create a promotional program that suits your business's needs. You pay a monthly fee for all of the services included in your plan.

Why Yelp for Business can be right for your business

There's no doubt that Yelp's above-average cost-per-click (CPC) and cost-per-mille (CPM) has generated some negative press results.

Why should you consider Yelp as part of your overall marketing strategy?

Yelp users are later in the buying cycle than those on Google or Bing. No longer do consumers on Yelp search for information about a service or product. They limit their focus to local businesses to make a purchase.

A whopping 82 percent of Yelp users intend to purchase a service or product, according to a Nielsen study. Even if only a few hundred consumers see your ad each month, there is a good chance your ad will be shown to a potential customer.

Let's take a closer look at one of the top Yelp for Business offerings: Yelp Ads.

What is Yelp Ads?

This feature is an advertising service aimed exclusively at Yelp users and serves to display advertisements to consumers on the platform's search results pages and business pages via desktop and mobile.

How does Yelp Ads work?

You can create standard or custom ads linked to your business listing.

The default display looks like any search result on Yelp. The difference is that it appears at the top of the search page results and competitor profiles:

Yelp Ads SERP Rating

Custom ads allow you to add snippets of text, select a photo, and choose the customer review you want to offer:

Yelp business listing advertisement

You can also add value propositions at the end of your ads, such as: B. Sales and deal details or average response time. These are known as Business Highlights and can be included in your Yelp for Business package or purchased separately.

Yelp local ad

Don't forget your Call to Action (CTA). This add-on feature allows you to customize the CTA buttons on your list page and at the bottom of your search results lists. This way you can link directly to a relevant page or form on your website.

As with Google or Bing, your ads will appear based on search terms, location, and other parameters determined by Yelp's ranking algorithm.

Your ads can appear on relevant search results pages or competitor business pages on any Yelp platform. These include the desktop site, the mobile site, and the mobile application (available for iOS and Android).

Getting started with Yelp ads

Do you think Yelp ads are right for your business? Here's how to get started.

Step 1: Request your free business listing

If your company is well established, the chances are good that a listing already exists. Follow Yelp's step-by-step directions to get an existing list.

If your company doesn't have a listing, registration is easy.

Step 2: improve your profile

Your profile, also known as your company page, is your way of providing local consumers with accurate information about your company. Available fields include business hours, address, phone number, and a list of services and products.

The more accurate your profile, the greater your chances of converting consumers who find your listing.

Step 3: moderate ratings and ratings

As a verified business owner, you can respond to reviews and ratings, publicly or privately. While you may be tempted to ignore a negative review, it can be detrimental to the way consumers see your business.

If you want to keep your company's online reputation positive, respond immediately to positive and negative reviews.

With 71 percent of consumers saying they are more likely to do business with a company that has responded to reviews, you can't afford to miss this opportunity.

Step 4: Contact a Yelp Sales Representative

If you choose the self-service option, you can start using Yelp ads and other premium features right away. If you prefer a custom plan, you'll need to work with a sales rep.

How To Optimize Yelp Ads For Your Local Ecommerce Business

In the early years, Yelp gained popularity in the restaurant industry. However, as of June 2020, restaurants make up only 18 percent of the businesses on the platform. Shopping isn't all that far back. 16 percent of the companies are classified as such.

As a local e-commerce company, you too can benefit from the various features of Yelp.

Run location based ads

If you're not reaching the right audience, what is it about?

Yelp Ads enables you to serve targeted ads based on the consumer's location.

As a local business, why would you want to target both non-local and local consumers? I'm glad you asked!

Let's say you own a hybrid business, online and in-store. Your physical store is in Connecticut, but your dropship warehouse is in Texas.

Rather than mentioning delivery times, a local Connecticut ad might focus on customers' ability to shop online and in-store to collect:

Order online. Pick up in store today.

A local Texas ad targeting customers within a few hundred miles of your warehouse location might read:

Delivery within two working days. Guaranteed.

The same goes for local businesses like florists and bookstores. Even if you don't ship to locations outside of your region, the services you offer will still appeal to non-local consumers.

Let's say you're a florist who provides local delivery services in Albany, NY. Your ads to non-local consumers might look like this:

Call Albany, NY now for free the next day.

But how can you promote the right audience?

Target larger metropolitan areas in your area or use existing customer data to determine the most likely locations for your non-local consumers.

Keep your company page up to date

With complete control of your company page, provide as much relevant information as possible.

How does it look?

Have your business hours changed? Or you can make a sale in the next week. That realization is the kind of information that potential customers want to know.

Yelp Business Highlights

Don't have a physical storefront? You still have many options for refining your profile. For example, you can update:

  • Customer service hours
  • Refund and Replacement Policy
  • Quality guarantee; or
  • Shipping and processing times.

Your customers will appreciate the transparency.

Adjust your strategy as needed

Regardless of whether your company is brick-and-mortar or online, adaptability is critical to success. How do you adapt to the results of your last Yelp Ads campaign?

You may already be using analytics software such as Google Analytics on your website. As a Yelp Ads user, you'll also have insight into campaign metrics, including:

  • User views
  • Customer leads
  • Cell phone calls
  • CTA clicks
  • Directions and map views
  • Clicks on your website.

Keep an eye on campaign metrics and use this data to tailor your ads and overall strategy. The key is a solution-based approach to your advertising campaign. Here are a few examples.

Low conversion rate

You have launched a new targeted campaign for a nearby metropolitan area. The CTA clicks are the highest you've ever seen on a campaign, but the conversion rate is miserable.

The good news? Your campaign sends people to your website. The bad news? The likely culprit is the landing page itself. You have three options:

  1. Customize the CTA text to more accurately reflect the information on your landing page
  2. Link to a more relevant landing page on your website
  3. Rewrite the copy on your landing page to get more conversions

Remember, Yelp Ads is only one step in your conversion journey.

Targeted ads can help drive relevant traffic to your website. However, if your website is missing, the more likely you will lose the conversion.

Low customer lead rate

Now let's say user views are high but customer contacts are low. What is the problem?

First, rule out the usual suspects like out of date profile information and bad reviews or ratings.

Next, consider that your prospects may be drawn to sponsored ads on your company profile.

One way to counter this is to purchase a package that allows you to remove sponsored ads from your business page. You may also want to get additional value propositions and CTAs higher up on your page so that people are more likely to engage with your website before they see the sponsored ads listed below.


For many consumers, Yelp is more than just a ratings and reviews platform. It is the search engine of choice when it comes to finding a local business for their needs.

You may be thinking, "It's too late in the game to rank anywhere near the first page of Yelp local results." What's the point? "

But that's the beauty of Yelp Ads!

You can ensure that your listing appears at the top of search results every time. You can experiment with the content in custom ads to see how leads respond. If you need help setting up paid advertising campaigns, set up an initial consultation call.

Even if you don't intend to take advantage of Yelp's premium services, you can take control of your business page and engage with consumers simply by requesting your free business listing.

That leaves me with just one question:

Have you used your free Yelp business listing?