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Yelp For Business Owners Review: Great Return On Investment (A Case Study)

When you own your own business, the right advertising can help your ideal customers find you. If you already advertise online, you may be familiar with services like Google AdWords and Bing Ads. But have you ever considered advertising with Yelp for Business Owners? If not, you probably should–especially if your target customers are people who live in your local area.

Nick Keesey, from the, recently tested out Yelp’s advertising service for his home organization business. Thankfully, Nick didn’t have to risk any of his own money since he took advantage of Yelp’s $300 free ad trial. Here’s a quick summary of what Nick discovered during his experiment.

Nick found the overall experience with the Yelp for Business Owners platform to be simple and intuitive. It’s easy to set a daily budget, you gain access to powerful analytics tools, and your customers have multiple ways to engage with your business. During his $300 free trial, Nick booked two appointments and received one sale worth $2,200. If the $300 ad spend had come out of Nick’s own pocket, he would have earned a 630% return on investment!

Signing Up For Yelp For Business Owners

The first thing you’ll do to sign up for Yelp for Business Owners is to claim your business. If you’ve been running your business for a while, it may already be on Yelp. If so, you’ll just click on the Yelp listing to claim it. If not, Yelp will walk you through the steps of creating a new business profile.

Yelp for Business Owners

Tell Yelp What Your Business Is All About

After you claim (or create) your listing, Yelp will ask you to fill out your business’s description. Nick said that this is one area where he felt Yelp for Business Owners could have provided a little more assistance.

In my opinion, they could elaborate on this a little more as it’s an essential part of how customers really learn what your business is about, and deciding if you are the one they want to work with.

But Nick was proactive and did a little extra research before completing this step.

I took a little extra time and was able to easily find more detailed recommendations and examples by doing a quick Google search.

Competition research would probably be a good idea at this step too. If you run a cupcake shop, read a few of the top cupcake shop listings. See how they word things. Is their business description long or concise?

If a strategy is working for someone else in your area, there’s a good chance it may work for you. And keep in mind that you can always tweak your business description down the road.

Related: 11 Things To Do When Starting A Business

Add Your Business’s Key Information And Upload Photos

Once you’ve filled out your business description, Yelp for Business Owners will ask for more details about your business. Here are a few pieces of information that Nick said you’ll need to provide:

  • Phone number
  • Email
  • Hours
  • Location

Yelp will also ask you to upload photos of your business. Again, don’t just upload any old photos of your business. Until they’ve experienced your product or service in person, photos will be one of the biggest keys to attracting customers. If you don’t have any good pictures of your business yet, schedule a photoshoot soon! Just make sure that you use a quality camera and have good lighting.

Finally, Nick mentioned that there is a limit to what you can do with your profile for free. For instance, you can’t choose the order of your photos without paying for advertising. And other Yelp for Business Owners features, like their “Business Highlights” require an extra daily charge.

Creating Your First Ad

Once you’ve completed your listing with Yelp for Business Owners, you can move forward with creating your first ad. Here are some of the things that you’ll need to consider.


As seen in the screenshot below, Yelp will provide a few keyword suggestions for you. But you can block any keywords that you don’t think are a good match with what your business actually offers.

Yelp for Business Owners Review

Ad Copy

Next, you’ll need to decide what you want your ad to say. You can create your own ad copy or allow Yelp to handpick one of your best reviews.

Yelp for Business Owners


If you haven’t already uploaded photos to your listing, Yelp will ask you to do that here. You won’t be able to choose the order of photos in this step. But you’ll be able to after your ad has gone live if you decided to spring for the Enhanced Profile Upgrade.

Yelp for Business Owners


One of the great things about Yelp for Business Owners is the geographical targeting that they offer with their ads. You can target users based on how close they live to your business.  They give the options of a 10, 15, or 25-mile radius.

Yelp for Business Owners


Next, you’ll need to tell Yelp how much you’re willing to spend on your ad campaign. As you can see below, ad campaigns last a month and are based on a per-day average spend.

Yelp for Business Owners

Since Nick was testing out Yelp’s $300 free ad trial, he chose the $10 per day budget. He also chose to add the Enhanced Profile Upgrade, which costs an extra $3 per day on average.

Yelp offers two other ad campaign upgrades: Business Highlights, and Portfolio. Let’s take a quick look at what you’ll get if you decide to add on Yelp’s upgrades and what they’ll cost you.

Create your ad and get $300 in free ads here.

Enhanced Profile Upgrade ($3 Per Day Average)

If you pay for this add-on, you’ll be able to order your photos however you like. You’ll also be able to remove ads from competitors on your business page and you’ll have the option to add a “call to action” button.

Yelp for Business Owners

Yelp says that the average ad sees a 38% increase in leads by adding the Enhanced Profile Upgrade. And, as mentioned above, this is the one upgrade that Nick decided to pay for.

Business Highlights ($2 per day on average)

Choose from over 30 highlight categories that tell your customers what makes you different. Yelp says that the average ad gets 15% more leads by paying for Business Highlights.

Yelp for Business Owners

Portfolio ($2 Per Day On Average)

With the Portfolio upgrade, you’ll get the opportunity to highlight some of your business’s most impressive projects. Using Nick’s business as an example, the Portfolio upgrade could be helpful if he offered multiple home organization plans and pricing points.

Create your ad and get $300 in free ads here.

Yelp for Business Owners

The Portfolio upgrade could also lend itself well to people who are in construction or have an interior design side hustle. Using Portfolios, you can show how much you charge for each type of project.  And you can add a “Request a Quote” button to the bottom of each project listing.

Create your ad and get $300 in free ads here.

Monitoring Your Campaign

The Yelp for Business Owners platform includes some incredible analytic tools. By taking advantage of them, you can learn a lot about how your campaign is performing. The main Activity dashboard breaks things down into three categories: Views, Leads, and Revenue Estimates.

Yelp for Business Owners

What Is A View?

As you can see above, Yelp forecasted that Nick would receive 26 views during his ad campaign.

That might not seem like a lot for $300. But it’s important to understand what a “view” means on the Yelp for Business Owners platform. If someone “viewed” your ad, that means they actually clicked on it.

The number of people who saw Nick’s ad (called an ad impression) was actually over 2,500.

Yelp for Business Owners

What Is A Lead?

One of the nice things about Yelp for Business Owners is that they give your target customer multiple ways to interact with your business.

Yes, customers can click on your website. But that’s just one of many ways they can engage with your business. Customers can start a phone call with you right from the Yelp app, send you a message, click on a call to action button, and so much more!

Yelp for Business Owners

If a “viewer” performs any of the actions above, Yelp considers that a “lead.” But it’s important to point out that if one person engages in the same type of action multiple times within one hour, it will only be counted as one lead.

Create your ad and get $300 in free ads here.

Actual Results From A $300 Yelp Free Ads Trial

Alright, so here’s the part you’ve been waiting for. Did Nick receive a return on his Yelp for Business Owners ads? You betcha!

As the chart earlier showed, Nick received two leads (booked appointments) from his Yelp for Business Owners ad campaign. And from those two appointments, Nick landed one sale for a whopping $2,200. So when you divide that $2,200 in revenue by the $300 in free ads, you’ll find that to be a 630% return on investment!

In Nick’s case, his ad campaign was definitely a huge success. But it’s important to point out that Nick only needed one closed sale to make his campaign profitable. If you sell cheaper products or services, you’ll obviously need a higher volume of sales in order to make your ads worth the cost.


Moving forward, Nick plans to continue using Yelp for Business Owners to advertise his business. Here’s what he had to say about his experience using Yelp’s ad platform.

Creating a campaign was straightforward and pretty easy to complete and we feel it was really designed with simplicity in mind…They give you plenty of options for selecting a daily budget, and you can make your ad as advanced, or simple, as you’d like and your budget allows with the add-ons and upgrades…The results definitely impressed us. 

Interested in giving Yelp for Business Owners a shot? They’re still offering new business owners a $300 free trial. Sign up using our link and get started building your first ad today.

This article is a summary of an amazing write-up that Nick did about his experience. If you would like to learn more you can download the full document here.

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Yelp For Business Owners Review Great Return On Investment (A Case Study)

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