Yelp Finally Talked Me Into A 90 Day Contract After Stalking Me For 60+ Days!

First in my defense I did research Yelp Ads but didn’t find anything that really showed me results.  I read article after article about how it could work or might depending on your industry.  My sales reps (2) were ruthless!  They called almost every business day and most days I would just bounce them to voicemail. 

I finally took my sales lady/guy at their word.  I just couldn’t make up my mind with the info I found on the web.  It wasn’t until after I was a month into my contracty before I found all the negative reviews on Yelps Yelp page!  Have a look at the Yelp Yelp account here!

So I signed a 3 month contract because I flat out laughed at the 12 month proposed plan costing over $3500!  LOL

  Total (for 3 months) I will have spent around $1800 and run what Yelp considers to be $1350 in ad clicks.  Today is day 14 of my 90 days with Yelp Ads.  So Far I have received 2 real jobs totaling $150 in actual revenue.  It took 13 clicks at $18.50+ per click to get me those two jobs ($243 in click advertising).  I am negative $93 and invested 3 service calls totaling 4 labor hours.


Here is a growing YouTube playlist with a video everyday showing you the real impressions, clicks and calls received marketing the top side of Denver Colorado.  Use the arrows below to scroll through this video series or view it on YouTube here.

This is simply not what the two Yelp sales reps told me.  Denver is one of the fastest growing economies in the USA.   My phone should be ringing off the hook with leads if Yelp actually had what they claimed.  Plus they sold me on this fake tracking number that is getting lots of telemarketing activity. 

Why am I being charged for this number and who is responsible for notifying all of these third parties? This temporary number is less than two weeks old!  How are these telemarketers identifying my company and company info?  Is Yelp selling our contact info like new tracking numbers to inflate the clicks to ads?

Some warnings! 

  • Don’t get the call tracking number:  I spoke to a Yelp Manager and was told that the new tracking number triggers a notice nation wide that you have a new number or new business.  I actually got calls from Home Advisor and Porch looking for me to create accounts with them under the new number.  So Yelp charges me $25 a month for a number that has now only produced two non telemarketing based calls.  Canceling the call tracking number requires you to sign a new contract.
  • Get the facts: Make sure you are getting traffic data from your Yelp sales person that is specific to your market both in category and area.  As a handyman I don’t travel 50 miles and data from 90% of the categories below are worthless to me.  I am targeting a huge area in central to north Denver.  The daily ad impressions are piss poor for handyman and are improved only when adding categories like plumbing or painting.  Another issue is someone at Yelp has changed my categories multiple times without my approval.  Here is a list of all the categories in the Home Services area of Yelp.  You can target any 3 of these specifically.

Artificial Turf, Building Supplies, Cabinetry, Carpenters, Carpet Installation, Carpeting, Childproofing, Chimney Sweeps, Contractors, Counter-top Installation, Damage Restoration, Decks & Railing, Demolition Services, Door Sales/Installation, Drywall Installation & Repair, Electricians, Excavation Services, Fences & Gates, Fire Protection Services, Fireplace Services, Firewood, Flooring, Foundation Repair, Furniture Assembly, Garage Door Services, Gardeners, Glass & Mirrors, Gutter Services, Handyman, Heating & Air Conditioning, Holiday Decorating Services, Home Automation, Home Cleaning, Home Energy Auditors, Home Inspectors, Home Network Installation, Home Organization, Home Theater Installation, Home Window Tinting, House Sitters, Insulation Installation, Interior Design, Internet Service Providers, Irrigation, Keys & Locksmiths, Landscape Architects, Landscaping, Lighting Fixtures & Equipment, Masonry/Concrete, Mobile Home Repair, Movers, Packing Services, Painters, Patio Coverings, Plumbing, Back-flow Services, Pool & Hot Tub Service, Pool Cleaners, Pressure Washers, Real Estate, Land Surveying, Real Estate Photography, Apartments, Art Space Rentals, Commercial Real Estate, Condominiums, Estate Liquidation, Home Developers, Home Staging, Homeowner Association, Housing Cooperatives, Kitchen Incubators, Mobile Home Dealers, Mobile Home Parks, Mortgage Brokers, Property Management, Real Estate Agents, Real Estate Services, Shared Office Spaces, University Housing, Refinishing Services, Roof Inspectors, Roofing, Security Systems, Shades & Blinds, Shutters, Solar Installation, Solar Panel Cleaning, Structural Engineers, Stucco Services, Television Service Providers, Tiling, Tree Services, Utilities, Vinyl Siding, Wallpapering, Water Heater Installation/Repair, Water Purification Services, Waterproofing, Window Washing and Window Installation.

  • Yelp Managers: Apparently everyone at Yelp is a MANAGER!  Your company is not assigned anyone specific and in my case I got a single call that bounced to voicemail.  I finally called Yelp Biz to discover that I don’t get a manager for my account and they were very rude.  As a consumer and a company that is on the hook for $1600 I expected and deserve more.  I hung up the phone in disgust and it’s day 18 with no follow up call.
  • Cost Of Clicks:  As an advertiser targeting handyman services I am paying over $18 per click and it appears to be 5 clicks for a real client. That’s almost $100 in clicks just to speak to a prospective client.  This is off the charts crazy and so far above what other services are charging.  For $100 I could get 25 -40 top of the page clicks from Google Adwords.  Yelp leads do not appear that targeted in comparison to selecting a specific keyword phrase like “Arvada Handyman”.
  • NO Reviews, Don’t Sign:  There is something my sales reps both forgot to mention.  Study after study on Yelp shows that if you have no reviews people will just move on.  In my case, I have a new business and have reviews just not on Yelp.  Not having a half dozen or more reviews will hurt your ads click through rate.  Worse is when you get your customer to post a review and then it gets sand-boxed.  I am starting to regret ever starting a Yelp profile!
  • Is That Adwords In The Yelp Sidebar?  I just can’t believe it!  The number 3 position on Yelp Ads is Google Adwords.  The number 1 & 2 two positions cost us $18+ a click and the sidebar click could be as cheap as $2!  Yelp this seems like a very stupid way to make an extra buck plus it pulls traffic away from Yelp and the businesses that are paying you.

Additional Resources To Check Out:

Yelp’s Yelp Account On Yelp

Yelp’s Not Recommended Reviews On Yelp

Yelp’s Advertising Chart For 3 Month Contracts

Interesting Articles:

Yelp Advertising: Is it worth the investment for businesses?  –  Snyder Online Marketing

5 Yelp Facts Business Owners Should Know!  –  Marketing Land

Does Yelp Filter Positive Reviews if a Business Refuses to Pay for Advertising?  –  SEJ

5 Things You Absolutely Need to Know as a Business Owner on Yelp.  –  FiveStars

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. It’s day 19 and my monthly clicks are up to 18 at $19.33 per click! I have received only 3 real calls from consumers and the Yelp tracking number has had 8 telemarketers call. Yelp doesn’t have a home services lead generation tool. Perhaps it works with food and dining but not with handyman services.

  2. The first month showed 25 clicks with about 5 that were real leads. The second month showed almost 50 clicks with maybe 25 being real. The results for the first two months have been poor and very inconsistent. I am targeting specific areas and still get calls and clicks from Boulder and far south Denver. All in all I don’t think Yelp has a very good system and leads are far too expensive for the small contractor.

  3. Here is a quick update. In month 2 Yelp started to work. I changed nothing and to date have received 3 calls from Yelp after signing the contract. I have not paid them and canceled the card I set up with them on. Month 2 produced 40 leads that turned into work. Month 3 they suspended the service and did not deliver. My account appeared to start working after the second call where a Yelp manager hung up on me. There is a video episode all about that. All in all Yelp is inconsistent and they really need personal managers for each account. All in all I feel Yelp delivered 1 month out of 3.

    1. I actually got more leads from another contractor that is advertising on Yelp. He targets all the way to Boulder and is based in Aurora. That’s a huge service area. He sends overflow to me that is closer to my area of Arvada. I personally recommend him too and check Dave out at

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