Should Yelp Ads Be Part of Your Bay Area Digital Marketing Strategy?

Bay Area Online Marketing – Evaluating Yelp Ads Statistics, Measurement, and ROI

As a busy Bay Area online marketing company we are constantly looking for ways to improve ROI for each business we serve. Often that means digging into the data to determine what pay-per-click (PPC) channels are right for each client’s particular business type. In order to guide them well, we need to understand what we know, what we don’t know, and what tools we can use to enhance our knowledge.

Yelp’s advertising dashboard is somewhat limited when compared to the Google Ads PPC dashboard and Facebook Ads Manager (to say the least.) It is difficult to get the level of detail and accuracy you need to understand what actual business your Yelp Ads budget is buying you.

Some Common Questions about Yelp Ads Conversion Tracking:

Why does Yelp show more clicks to website than Google Analytics shows sessions from Yelp?

We get this question all the time. There are a lot of factors that affect your ability to collect data that explains the often large discrepancies between Yelp’s click to website data and Google Analytics’ referral traffic data. Most common factors include:

  • Website visitor closes window/leaves page before Analytics tracking code loads.
  • Website visitor’s browser does not support cookies.
  • User clicks on Yelp link to your website multiple times in 30 minute period, resulting in multiple clicks to website on Yelp but only one “Session” recorded on Google Analytics
  • User has set some browser settings to enhance their privacy, which disables tracking

How can I tell if Yelp website referral traffic is organic or paid?

We do a lot of Bay Area PPC management so we’re familiar with Google Ads tracking as well as Yelp Ads. You may have noticed that unlike Google Ads and Google Organic traffic, Yelp Ads website traffic is indistinguishable from Yelp organic traffic in Google Analytics.

With Google Ads you can see via your source/medium breakdown in Google Analytics whether your traffic came from Google paid results or organic listings. This is not so with Yelp. Because Yelp Ads and Yelp organic listings direct users to the same business listing page with the same phone number and same web address you won’t be able to tell whether a customer contacted you because of a Yelp Ad or because they found your business on Yelp without clicking on your Ad.

Truly the only way you can try to determine whether Yelp Ads are contributing to your success is to compare your Yelp traffic before and after starting Yelp Ads. And there are other factors that might influence your Yelp traffic beyond simply Yelp Ads. Are you running video ads? Improving your website SEO? Running Google PPC Ads? All of these factors could lead to more people finding their way to your Yelp page to look at reviews.

How can I track phone calls from Yelp?

Yelp activity will show you how many mobile users called your phone number. But you can’t tell how many people might have called the phone number on your listing without clicking to call on their mobile device. So if someone found you on a desktop then manually dialed your number Yelp cannot capture that. Some of our clients are interested enough in the quality and source of their calls that they have opted to utilize an additional service we offer for call tracking. We can use a unique phone number that only shows on Yelp in order to then see how many calls as well as review recordings of those calls to determine if they were good leads or not. This is the most effective method to determine whether the phone calls that Yelp is generates are worth paying for.

Should I advertise on Yelp?

Great question. There’s a lot of important things to consider when answering this question. These two questions are probably the most important to think about.

  1. How’s your Bay Area SEO on your website working?
    If you’re seeing Yelp pages above your own search listings that could be seen as a benefit of Yelp Advertising.
  2. How many businesses like yours are showing up?
    If consumers find a lot of people online that do what you do then Yelp Ads probably make sense. You can utilize Yelp Ads to make your business more prominent on Yelp and to make your ads show on your competitors’ listings, while also hiding competitors’ ads from your own page using an enhanced profile.

San Francisco Bay Area Digital Marketing Agency

We have developed partnerships with Yelp, Google Ads, Ring Central phone tracking and more in order to provide a full spectrum of digital marketing services to our clients. If you need help taking your business to the next level with SEO, paid advertising on Yelp, Google, Facebook, and more we can help you manage your marketing dollars better. Call 510-276-9904 or send us a message today to start the conversation and begin a path toward a better ROI for your online marketing efforts.