There’s little doubt that advertising on Yelp can help your business grow and increase revenue, but there are secrets to Yelp ads that can help you save money and work smarter on Yelp.

A lot of businesses advertise on Yelp, but not all take advantage of the available strategies for making the most of their Yelp ads investment. From a discount on Yelp ads to smart tweaks to Yelp profiles, we’ve got some strategies that can likely help your business perform better on Yelp.

Optimize and enhance your Yelp profile

The top priority when thinking about Yelp ads is your business profile, which is your flagship presence on Yelp.

The immediate items to address on your profile are:

  • Business name
  • Physical address
  • Telephone number
  • Website
  • Your “From The Business” section – this is the “About” section that will explain what services you offer, what the value of your services is and any other information meant to inform the customer (like complimentary Wi-Fi)

Updating these sections helps prospective customers learn about you when they find your business on Google or in Yelp search. Yelp ranks high in organic Google search results, so it’s a win-win for your presence on Yelp and Google.

Enhanced Profile features on Yelp

Profile upgrades on Yelp known as “Enhanced Profile” do cost money, but the investment is worth it in more ways than one.

Enhance your page visually

Regular profiles that aren’t “enhanced” will always show the latest Yelp reviewer’s pictures front and center, no matter if they’re a beautiful picture of a storefront or a gag-inducing picture of a half-eaten burrito.

Yelp doesn’t discriminate against reviewers’ photo uploads (unless the picture is inappropriate), so you have to take control of your photo carousel, which is one of the first things people spot on your profile.

Enhancing your profile gives you final say in what photos can populate your flagship presence on Yelp; you want photos that highlight the best parts of your business so you can put your best foot forward visually when people come to you both from organic Yelp search and when your ads are in play.

The screenshot below shows an example of a Yelp profile that isn’t getting good visual representation via the pictures currently showing on this unenhanced profile.

Enhancing your profile also lets you upload a video to the carousel, something that you can’t enjoy with the regular profile. Great videos convert customers, so you want to opt-in for this feature.

Get rid of competition

It’s frustrating to think that Yelp makes you spend money to clean your competitors off of your page, but this is a critical part of smart Yelp advertising.

It’s expected that, as a business owner, you don’t want a competing company with a better rating to be visible on your page when people find you – that will inevitably lead to you losing business from Yelp traffic. Removing competitors through profile enhancement ensures that you keep the prospects you reach your profile organically and through Yelp ads.

Close the deal with a unique call-to-action (CTA)

Albeit without the bells and whistle of an enhanced profile, a regular Yelp profile will always give users the option to directly message the business and request a service quote. Savvy business owners know that you can achieve a desired action by your user through the right button verbiage.

Customization is the key here; creating a unique offer or message for your customers is what makes them want to do business with you. The CTA button can link your Yelp visitors to a specific webpage or have them ring you directly from their mobile device.

Fortify your Yelp business profile through keywords

So you know how to clean up your profile for better user experience and deny competitors a free ride on your profile. Now, it’s time to soar with keyword optimization. (If the keyword optimization terminology didn’t ring any bells, don’t worry!)

Although simple in function, keywords require you to have some knowledge of how they best work for you. The keywords you choose for your profile are important in two ways:

  • They educate people looking at your Yelp profile about the products/services you offer.
  • They tell Google about your company and help it decide what search results to include you in.

Because keyword optimization helps you rank higher in organic search, this tactic can supercharge your Yelp profile’s organic visibility and drive additional traffic to it.

If you need help keyword-optimizing your Yelp profile, we advise getting familiar with search engine optimization (SEO) basics and user behavior or consider hiring a professional. Of course, as marketing and Yelp experts, our team at Conceptual Minds is happy to help!

Make more money by getting selective about your Yelp ads

Depending on your business type and geographic area, you may be able to advertise a specific service on Yelp and increase the revenue from your Yelp ads spend!

Yelp ads discounts are great (read on to learn about saving money on Yelp ads through deals not normally available to individual businesses). What if you could improve your return-on-investment (ROI) quickly and substantially by marketing your most profitable product or service?

There exists a way to only show your paid ads in searches related to services you choose, not just your profile categories. In this case, it would be something you offer that has higher profit margins. Your ROI increases, because the money you once spent to bring in all sorts of leads with varying needs – and ultimately, varying bills-of-service — is now bringing in people who want to buy that high-profit item or service.

Here’s an example:

Beachfront Salon & Spa advertises on Yelp. The owner, Tanya, spends $300 a month on Yelp ads. Their Yelp profile labels are fitting: Day Spas and Hair Salons.

Tanya knows Yelp ads bring her numerous leads, because of the high Yelp search volume for salon services in her area. She also knows that she makes a higher profit off of hair-related business, and so Tanya decides only to market Hair Salon-related services on Yelp.

Tanya has gone from getting a variety of spa leads (lower margin services) to getting only hair salon leads. Tanya’s Yelp investment just became much more rewarding for her business.

This is a little-known secret on Yelp, likely because this is only available to select businesses. The only catch is that it is primarily offered to advertisers working through Yelp Ads Certified Partners like Conceptual Minds (or, agencies specially trained by Yelp to help clients run great Yelp ads campaigns, at no cost to the client). Business type and geographic limits also apply.

Prioritize review management 

Responding to reviews quickly is important – don’t let reviews go unanswered for more than 1 business day for two reasons:

  • You’re aiming to take care of your customers as quickly as possible. Why would you show people you delay troubleshooting issues for your patrons?
  • It also brings down the average response time that Yelp displays for anyone who views your profile or wants to know how long you’ll take to get back to them. (If your average response time is a full day, you could lose out to a competitor who is moving faster on responding to consumers!)

Make customers feel appreciated

Minding your Yelp reviews shows Yelp users that, not only are you active and responsive but that you care about customers’ opinions of your business.

People will post negative reviews when they’re upset, irate and unable to provide a clear explanation of what happened. They possibly just want to vent after a frustrating experience. Whether the wrong is actually your company’s fault has yet to be determined until you take the conversation offline and attempt to fix the problem.

Diffuse tensions by doing a phone call or in-person visit. When the issue is resolved, ask the customer to update his or her review and rating of your Yelp profile to reflect the wrong being righted.

Responding to reviews quickly and being kind and understanding will go a long way for your rep both online and offline.

People notice when companies help customers who have problems with their product/service. Yelp is a great place to show that you value customer service. Put your pride aside, be kind and deal in facts; it will turn that upset customer into a lifelong client and do wonders for your online reputation.

Some business owners prefer to handle online reviews themselves, and others couldn’t distance themselves enough from reviews. If the latter best describes you, hire some help or recruit an associate to be your voice on Yelp. Create and implement basic policies and procedures for responding to reviews (positive and negative). This maintains your brand identity.

Track your Yelp ads to chart progress

Tracking Yelp ads success is the surefire way to see what return you are getting from your investment.Lots of business owners try Yelp ads but then discontinue them because they can’t track the ROI. Are you experiencing the same?

If so, we strongly advise analyzing the activity from leads to determine monthly revenue. Compare it to what you’re spending each month.

This assessment helps you determine your ROI, and it includes tracking Yelp activity to your company phone or website. (If you need assistance setting up phone tracking, talk to your marketing person. If you need help assessing success of your advertising then contact us – our team specializes in Yelp ad campaign analysis.)

Why does tracking matter?

  • It helps you quickly see what your ROI is.
  • It helps you make a factual decision on the actual merits of Yelp advertising.

Save some cash on Yelp ads

It’s no surprise that Yelp offers promo codes from time to time that can lead to immediate savings; those can come with a short shelf-life, however.

By running with a Yelp Ads Certified Partner such as Conceptual Minds, you can access special discounts that last the life of your Yelp ads campaign. So, why would you not want to take advantage of savings and guidance that come at no cost to you? Hello, long-term savings!

Need answers from Yelp ads experts? Contact us today to start the conversation and market smarter on Yelp!