An inspiration for this blog post is one by Raymond Fong.
It’s very important to read the Raymond’s blog post about Yelp Advertising and the comments below his post – especially if you are a Realtor interested in advertising with Yelp. Even in Real Estate – the cost of impressions and clicks with Yelp isn’t worth the money. Bottom line – it’s not worth your money as a Realtor to advertise on Yelp.
My experience with Yelp Advertising
I’m a huge Yelp fan – I use it on my mobile phone & PC all the time – so I was excited to hear about their advertising options. I’ve since learned that it’s a great site for you to utilize for free, but don’t see the value in their sponsorship packages. I knew the value proposition was wrong, but as a Yelp fan had to try it.
I’ve written this blog post to warn other Realtors and small business owners about Yelp Advertising. Until they change their offering and pricing, it’s not worth your advertising budget to even test it – as I did.
My ads were supposed to start at the beginning of September ‘for free’ – but that never occurred until the last day or two of the month. They told me that my credit card had problems – which is untrue. This is probably a trick that they will continue to use in the future – so don’t get caught. “I will give you the month of September for free” but that will not occur due to their set up processing taking too long and taking you up to the contractual start date.
Once the ads starting displaying, my Yelp Page Views DID NOT go up with Yelp Advertising / Sponsorship – they went down or stayed the same. Advertising takes time and repetition, but with online ads you should see an increase in click activity if you have ads running. Here are the actual screen shots of my Yelp Business Account.
Looking at the Page View Graphic above, in the month of September 16 of the 18 clicks occurred PRIOR to my advertisements starting with Yelp. So February, March and September all beat October – which is when the advertising contact started. The ads started running in the last few days of September after 16 clicks had already occurred.
My contact with Yelp is for three months at $350 per month for 450 impressions. Based on October 2009 I’m paying $175 per click on my ads! WHAT? This Yelp advertising model has to be exposed for what it is – a rip off. Based on my web statistics software – I have had ZERO clicks from Yelp to my web site under their advertising program. Don’t you think an interested party would click off Yelp and onto my web site to investigate my services in more detail? I would say yes. This has never occurred since starting the Yelp Advertising program.
When you are paying $100+ per click – can you afford to have your competition checking you out on Yelp?
Clicks occurred very, very late in the month – almost like they have automated clicks to boost clicks rates when there were no clicks for the month. All three of my clicks in September occurred in the last few days of the month. The same was true for October, both $175 clicks occurred in the last few days of the month. I’ve requested more detail in their reporting, but have received nothing to date. Below is all they give you for reporting. It’s very, very light on reporting. It makes me think they are hiding something about their program.
Following is your statement for November 2009:
Total Billed: $350.00
Amount Collected: $350.00
* Charge: Matt Warmack – Urban Abode Group, 1307 N 45th St, Ste 300, Seattle, WA 98103
* 11/1/2009 – 11/30/2009
* Program: 450 Impressions
* Fee: $350.00
My test with Yelp advertising was to see if I got one email or one phone call from their advertising program. I have received no inquiries to date. I track all leads and know where my business is generated. Other forms of online advertising work for me. Yelp does not. $1,050 will not be well spent and it does not appear I will be getting one quality inquiry – let alone one closed deal.
If you are a Realtor, please don’t spend any money with Yelp until you do your research. My experience shows that the customer acquisition cost is way too high with Yelp. You can get all the value out of Yelp with their free business listing. Free is better than paid with Yelp.
If you have been approached by a Yelp Advertising sales representative or have advertised on Yelp – I would be very interested to hearing your comments below.
YELP ADVERTISING LINKS: