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Does My Business Need to Be on Yelp?

Yelp is a platform that gives consumers insight into the experience others have had at local businesses. They can see pictures, read reviews, get location information. For that reason, millions of people trust it when they’re looking for a new place to eat or stay. However, Yelp is more complex than a simple review platform. You can also use Yelp for Business Owners like a social media account – interact with customers and publish targeted ads.That’s why businesses of all types have listed on Yelp, hoping to gain more customers. However, you may be asking: “does my business need to be on Yelp … really?”

It’s an interesting question that brings up a list of pros and cons for the service. One of the most common complaints business owners have is that Yelp charges so much for premium service. However, some consumers don’t like going to a restaurant they can’t learn anything about. That makes Yelp a good source of reviews for them. But is it worth spending money on? Does Yelp provide anything you couldn’t get anywhere else?

Before we get any further, let’s list the pros.

Advantages of Listing Your Business on Yelp

So, I’m a business owner. Does my business need to be on Yelp? Maybe. Here are the best reasons in favor of that conclusion.

  • Generally good leads – when they find you on Yelp.
  • A better public image for your company. Having a Yelp page helps you look more trustworthy.
  • Receive feedback (positive or negative) from your customers.
  • Respond to customer or potential customer questions and reply to reviews that need your attention.

In a perfect world, these pros can help you have better customer service. In addition, you could see increased revenue once customers start leaving favorable reviews.

Now, the cons.

Disadvantages of Listing Your Business on Yelp

Here’s what you should seriously consider before you choose to list your business using Yelp’s paid service.

  • In order to get calls and quote business through Yelp, you’ll need to pay for the service. It’ll be expensive, more so than other business listing services. In addition, some of the leads you’re paying for won’t be legitimate.
  • Customers who simply can’t be pleased will be able to leave extremely negative reviews that you can’t remove without paying Yelp excessively. It feels close to extortion.
  • Yelp will hide extremely positive reviews because they “may not be 100% accurate.” It’s unreasonable, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
  • Yelp changes things too frequently. For example, you might be ranked highly, then the next day drop dramatically. Why? No one ever knows or can explain it.
  • Yelp Support that can’t (or doesn’t want to) help. It’s an all-too-common experience many people have.

In short, if you claim your Yelp business page, you may benefit in some ways. However, if you pay for the service, you could be in for some difficulty. Is Yelp a good source of leads or customers? Yes, in many cases. Is Yelp a fickle system that charges too much? Certainly.

What are Your Options With Yelp?

1. Free Business Tools

  • “Claim” your business. Most of the time, your business is already listed on Yelp, complete with reviews, business info, and photos.
  • Establish content control. You’ll be able to respond to reviews and add photos.

Our opinion: worth it.

It’s free and you can use it as much or as little as you like.

2. Paid Ads Self Service

Yelp doesn’t publicly post pricing. However, we’ve looked into it for ourselves.

  • Pricing starts at $5 per day to run ads. That’s just for the service, not for the clicks. You’ll set additional budget for the ads themselves.
  • “Upgraded Slideshow” – $25 per month. “Upgraded” is just a fancy way of saying, “you pay us, and we won’t show your competitors’ ads on your business page.” You’d also get to choose your own photos for the slideshow on your profile page.

Our opinion: not worth it.

You don’t have to pay Facebook and Google just for permission to run ads or choose your profile images.

3. Paid Ads Full Service

  • Place a video on your business page.
  • Add a call-to-action button to the page.
  • Get help from Yelp’s marketing team to prepare your ads and address negative or irrational reviews in the best way.

Our opinion: nice, but definitely not worth the price.

It’s pretty easy to use Yelp’s Business features. In addition, creating ads is almost as simple as setting your budget to a certain amount. However …

  • Keyword choice? Up to Yelp.
  • Where to display the ads? Yelp’s choice.
  • Geotargeting? None.
  • Want to select your own keywords to optimize? Nope.

“So, Does My Business Need to Be on Yelp?”

Yes, if all you do is claim your page and use the free services.

But definitely don’t pay for anything. It’s extremely expensive for the little return you get. We’re talking $350 per month at minimum. Running ads on Facebook and Google is far less expensive. In addition, you’ll never know how effective your ads are or what you could be doing better.

Final Advice

Yes, your business needs to be on Yelp. However, when Yelp’s customer service reps call (and they will – frequently), decline the paid service. No matter what they tell you, it’s not worth the price for what you get. You’ll probably have to decline again and again as they don’t give up easily. Simply claim your business on your own or have your marketing partner do it for you.

Then, focus your local search advertising more effectively by using Google or Facebook ads. In addition, make sure your SEO is keeping your site on the first page of Google in organic search results. Google is far more effective than Yelp when it comes to drawing relevant traffic to your website.


For help marketing your business and developing results-driven SEO, give us a call at (888) 623-1891 today. We’d love to talk with you about how you can be found and selected by potential customers.