Bay Area Social Media Marketing and Yelp

Is Yelp right for your San Francisco Bay Area company?

We are asked all the time by small companies if they should advertise on Yelp or even pay attention to Yelp at all. In our opinion, the answer depends on the type of company you have.

The first answer (regardless of your company type) is yes, pay attention to Yelp. You probably have a Yelp listing weather you want one or not, so at least take control of your Yelp account and set it up right. You also want to keep an eye on it and see if and what kind of reviews you might be getting. We’ve seen many times when a company has had a half dozen reviews on their company and didn’t even know it. Sometimes this has been good news and sometimes very bad news when the reviews were negative or about another company, thought to be yours! Also, Yelp listings rank pretty well on Google, so you can enhance your social media presents and search engine rankings by making sure your Yelp account is setup right with the right company information and key words.

Advertising on Yelp

Now that you have claimed and setup your Yelp account, expect to be hit-up to advertise. Yelp as an aggressive sales force that will be calling you soon, to sell you paid-for listings. They’ll explain that they will take your competitor ads off your listings and they’ll setup a slide show or video on your listing.

The thing to watch out for, is what they claim the local Yelp search results are. We have talked to them many times about their search numbers and still can’t get an accurate answer. We’ve been in the SEO search business for over 10 years and have a good grip on what’s reasonable and what’s not. We were told by a Yelp sales Rep that over 500 people in Castro Valley had searched Yelp for “web design companies” in one month alone. We know that’s not accurate. Our theory is, that maybe 500 people searched for “web” or “design” or “companies” combined. This is just a theory, because we can’t get a straight answer from them.

Companies that seem to fair well with Yelp are food related, like restaurants, clubs and bars. In our opinion, if you own a restaurant, you batter be on Yelp. However, we have an auto repair company client who’s advertising on Yelp and their getting little or no action. But, we have one client in the west bay who owns a hardwood floor company who says he doing well with Yelp.

We wish that Yelp would offer a shorter contract term, so more of our clients could try it out, but right now, they want a year contract ranging in price from $200 to $1,500+ per month. These are the figures that we have heard personally. They may have more pricey options. I asked a sales rep about display advertising (banner ads) and could not get an answer other than “they cost a lot and it’s another department who manages those.” On the other hand, they do offer a do-it-yourself PPC (pay per click) option for $3 per click. This may be an option to test out the Yelp advertising power.  And you can by a slide show for $25/Mo now. We’ll pass on that option.

15 filtered Yelp reviews!

Filtered Yelp reviews will always piss you off. We appreciate what Yelp is trying to do to keep their review reputation solid, but this is ridiculous. At the KO Websites Yelp listing, we have one review showing and 15 filtered. Come on really? They think that we fabricated 15 reviews? We don’t need to do that, nor have the time to setup 15 extra accounts. We have real verifiable testimonials and videos on our website. We did have one bad review from a screwball in Oakland, but even that got filtered. Ok, one review was from my wife (Robin) for a website I built for her company, but all the rest were added without our knowledge or input. I hear that some people have stopped adding reviews on Yelp because of the filtering frustration. Why waist your time writing a review at all if it’s just going to get filtered?

Is Yelp for you?
If you’re a restaurant or bar- definitely.
Service industry- maybe, the jury is still out on this one.
Business to business (B2B), probably not.

Our we wrong? Your comments and experience with Yelp would be greatly appreciated, so please comment below. We won’t filter them 😉

More sad Yelp stories:

Yelp and the Business of Extortion 2.0 Hit With Class Action Lawsuit For Running An “Extortion Scheme”

Suing over Bad Yelp review

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