How Does Yelp Advertising Work?

Introduction to Yelp

Yelp, founded in 2004, is a powerful online directory for local businesses ranging from restaurants, nightlife, and retail, to home and local services. It allows consumers to search for businesses in their area, read and write reviews, and rate them on a five-star scale. Yelp’s popularity has grown significantly over the years, with millions of consumers using the platform to make informed purchasing decisions.

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What is Yelp Advertising?

Yelp Advertising is a suite of tools offered by Yelp that allows businesses to increase their visibility on the platform. By advertising on Yelp, businesses have the opportunity to reach out to millions of potential customers who are actively looking for services or products they offer.

Yelp Advertising works on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis, meaning businesses only pay when someone clicks on their ad. This is beneficial as businesses can set their budget and only pay for actual results.

Types of Yelp Ads

Yelp offers several types of advertisements for businesses.

    • Search Ads: These are the most common type of Yelp ads. They appear at the top of search results when someone searches for a business in your category and location.
    • Competitor Business Page Ads: These ads appear on the pages of other businesses in your category. This is a great way to capture potential customers who are looking at your competitors.
    • Enhanced Profile: This isn’t an ad per se, but it allows businesses to add a call-to-action button, slideshow, and remove ads from competitors from their business page.

Setting Up a Yelp Ad Campaign

Setting up an ad campaign on Yelp is relatively straightforward.

    • Claim Your Business: Before you can advertise, you need to claim your business on Yelp. This involves finding your business on the platform and verifying that you are the owner.
    • Choose Your Ad Program: Yelp offers different advertising programs to fit different budgets and needs. You can choose from a variety of options depending on what suits your business best.
    • Set Your Budget: With Yelp, you can set a daily or monthly budget for your ads. The platform will then distribute your ads throughout the day or month to stay within your budget.
    • Create Your Ad: This involves adding photos, writing ad copy, and choosing which reviews to highlight in your ad.

Yelp’s Ad Algorithm

Yelp uses an algorithm to decide which ads to show and when. This algorithm takes into account the relevance of your business to the user’s search, your bid amount, and your ad’s performance history. Yelp’s goal is to show ads that are most likely to be clicked on, benefiting both the user and the advertiser.

Measuring Yelp Ad Performance

Yelp provides a dashboard for businesses to track the performance of their ads. This includes metrics such as impressions, clicks, click-through rate (CTR), and cost per click (CPC). Yelp also provides a measure of ‘customer leads,’ which includes actions like mobile calls, map views, and website clicks.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Yelp Advertising

Like any advertising platform, Yelp has its pros and cons.


    • Targeted Advertising: Yelp ads are shown to users who are actively looking for businesses like yours, making them highly targeted.
    • Increased Visibility: With Yelp ads, your business can stand out in search results and on competitor pages.


    • Cost:Yelp advertising can be expensive, particularly in competitive industries and locations.
    • Limited Control:Yelp decides where and when to show your ads, giving you less control over your advertising.


Yelp Advertising can be a powerful tool for local businesses, helping them reach potential customers who are actively looking for their services or products. While it can be expensive and gives advertisers limited control, the targeted nature of Yelp ads can make them an effective component of a larger digital marketing strategy. As with any advertising platform, success on Yelp requires a clear understanding of your target audience, a compelling offer, and continuous optimization of your ad campaigns.

Hope this helps. Please let us know if you have any other questions in this regard, we’ll be happy to assist further!

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