Yelp Ads Have Changed. Here’s What You Need to Know.

Do you have the kind of business that people write reviews? Do people find you through Yelp or would you like them to? If so, just like social media sites such as Facebook, you may get more traction if you decide to run ads. 

Yelp did a major overhaul of its ads platform in May of this year and at the end of September, it announced another big rollout with some teasers for the future. This article will give you a summary of all the details you need to know in order to use the Yelp ad suite to its fullest.

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With the new integration of the Yelp Ads Dashboard and Yelp for Business, advertisers have better visibility into their campaigns and greater control over their presence on the platform.

With that integration came several cool features and capabilities. They include:

  • Keyword management: advertisers can now select positive and negative keywords or phrases. They can select to exclude certain words that don’t make sense for their business. This feature can help you keep advertising costs down by helping to make sure that the clicks you get are the types you want.
  • Ad goals: advertisers can select what they want the ultimate outcome of their campaigns to be such as receive calls, increase site visits, or send messages. Yelp will optimize for whatever goal is selected. If no goal is selected, Yelp will optimize for return on investment. 
  • Audience size: this one is similar to audience targeting in Facebook where it estimates what the potential audience size will be based on the choices made in creating the ad. The system may show “limited” in reference to the audience if the selections made are too specific and may not appeal to many people.


Sometimes an advertiser may decide to stop their campaign before its end date. When that would happen in the past, they had to start from scratch losing what they had before. Now they can restart it with one click. 

If this ad platform is starting to remind you a little more of Facebook’s, keep reading…

Exciting Future Rollouts

The platform also revealed some things they are working on to make the advertising portal even more valuable. These include:

  • Leads visualization. Leads visualization is focused on helping advertisers (through a series of charts) to better understand how many leads they’re getting and the types of leads they are such as messages, call-to-action clicks, website visits, map views , etc. This will help marketing or sales understand the value behind the leads they are generating based on their goals. 
  • Impression heat map. This is a pretty exciting future feature. In it, Yelp will use mobile location data to show where those who are seeing the ads are “concentrated.” This helps advertisers see whether there is a good return on investment and may help them and their efforts in geotargeting.

A Final Note about Yelp 

While advertising on Yelp may be a good move for your business, the other–more powerful–driver on this platform is reviews. You can advertise constantly but word of mouth marketing is still much more powerful when it comes to driving traffic and increasing sales. 

So, while you’re advertising with Yelp, you want to also put some effort behind trying to get customers to review you more frequently. Consider asking for reviews, asking when someone shares a compliment if they’ll copy and paste it into Yelp for you, or sending them a thank you email for their business and including a link to share their impressions. 

People respond to reviews. Plus, if you have more ads than reviews, customers may start to wonder about your business and be concerned that the only one talking about you is you. And that never makes a good impression.

Author: Diksha

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