Say you’re a property manager, and you saw our earlier blogs on Reputation Management for Property Management companies, and wanted to get some leads from your good reviews on Yelp. You created your Yelp page, claimed your listing, and now, a week later, you get a call from Yelp about advertising on their site. So the question is: should you advertise on Yelp, or stay away from Yelp?

There are two main purposes to advertising on Yelp: restricting competitor ads on your listing, and appearing on top of Yelp’s search results, both in lists and on your competitors’ websites.

Blocking Competitor Ads

Sometimes on your own Yelp page, under your business information, Yelp displays advertisements for competing property management companies. Yelp’s salesmen will tell you that they have a paid feature in place that allows you to stop your competitors’ ads from showing up on your Yelp page. This feature eliminates the chance of potential customers seeing an ad from a closely competing company. It could be a good idea to consider paying the fee to limit competitor ads, if you have a major competitor with a large number of excellent reviews.

Ranking Higher in Yelp Listings

Speaking of showing up on competitors’ Yelp pages, how do you pay to make that happen? When it comes to paying for search listings on Yelp, there are two options: you can do a pay-per-impression campaign, or a pay-per-click campaign. With pay-per-impression, you pay for the number of times your ad appears on Yelp’s search listings. With pay-per-click, you only pay when someone clicks on your ad, which is very similar in the way Google Ads works.

We recommend you choose the pay-per-click option, because the impression strategy is not very economical. You’ll pay around $350 for 500 impressions in most markets. To give you a reference point, with Google Ads, for that same $350, you will get 3,000 impressions in that same area. In terms of how much each click will cost, you can expect that each click will cost more on Yelp than what you are used to on Google Ads.

Reasons to Advertise on Yelp

There are a few particulars that make advertising on Yelp potentially worthwhile. First, you need a good sense of how popular and influential Yelp is in your area. Yelp’s influence is strong in many large cities, but may not be used as frequently in your area. It is important to have a sense of how Yelp is used where your property management business is located.

Next, advertising on Yelp should depend on how competitive your area is on Yelp. If you’re buried deep in the search listings, or you have competitors with strong reputations, it’s a good idea to advertise.

Finally, you also want to consider your target area. For instance, if you are in a smaller city that’s close to a big city, and you want to be listed for the entire metro area, advertising on Yelp can help you get that business. For example, St. Paul is right next to Minneapolis; if you’re a St. Paul property management company that wants to get customers from all over the greater Minneapolis area, advertising on Yelp can be a good strategy.

Get a Strong Yelp Reputation

Most importantly, you need a strong reputation if you want to advertise on Yelp. Be sure to have at least five, and preferably ten or more solid reviews on your page to protect against possible bad reviews affecting your score. As an example, if you have two five-star reviews and you receive a couple of bad reviews during your Yelp Advertising campaign, your reputation score could drop very low, and you would then be paying Yelp to show potential owners that you’re poorly reviewed. You want to make sure that you have a solid reputation before taking that chance. The more positive reviews you have, the safer you are from a run of bad luck ruining your property management marketing efforts.

Lastly, if you must get into a contract with Yelp, always get the shortest one available. Sign up for six months, so if it’s not working a few months into the advertising campaign, you won’t be stuck there for a year.

Contact us at Fourandhalf if you have any questions about Yelp or if you need help with online advertising and marketing.