Google Ads Versus Yelp Ads: Which Advertising Platform is Better?
In digital advertising, businesses constantly look for new ways to reach potential customers. Knowing which will work best for your business with so many advertising platforms can be challenging. This blog post will compare two of the most popular advertising platforms for local businesses: Google Ads and Yelp Ads.
Google Ads is one of the most well-known advertising platforms in the world. With millions of searches on Google daily, it's an ideal place to reach potential customers. Google Ads displays your ad to users when they search for keywords related to your business. The more relevant your ad is to the user's search, the more likely they will click on it. Google Ads also has many targeting options, including location targeting, which makes it a great choice for local businesses.
On the other hand, Yelp is a popular business directory and review site. In addition to helping businesses get found by potential customers, Yelp also offers advertising options to help businesses reach even more people. Yelp Ads display your ad to users when they search for businesses like yours on Yelp. The ad is also displayed on the business page of your competitors, giving you a chance to reach potential customers who may be considering using a competitor's services.
Google Ads Overview
Google Ads (formerly Google Adwords) is the search engine giant's online advertising program. The program allows advertisers and businesses to reach customers interested in their products or service. Google Ads is a pay-per-click advertising solution, which means that the advertiser will only pay whenever a web user clicks an ad and visits the website.
Google Ads allows you to create and share ads on the search engine results page (SERP). This is ideal for advertisers because the ads will be shown when their target customers search for the products and services they offer.
One of the most important things you should know about Google Ads is that it features two advertising channels: Google Search Network and Google Display Network.
Google Search Network:
The most popular way to advertise with Google is through the Search Network. You're likely referring to the Search Network when you think of Google PPC. For this channel, advertisers target search keywords or phrases so that when users search for these terms, the ads will be displayed along with the organic search results. With paid search advertising, you only pay when someone clicks your ads and visits your business' website. Essentially, you're advertising to users actively searching for the product or service you provide, which means it's highly effective.
Google Display Network:
Google also partnered with more than 2 million websites so you can advertise to potential customers as they browse the web. These ads can be simple text ads or come in fancy banners or images. For display ads, you can go the pay-per-click route or pay per 1,000 impressions (how many people saw your ads). With display ads, you can advertise on certain sites or target users based on their browsing habits, interests, preferences, and more.
The Google Ads platform uses an auction system that determines which ads should be displayed to the end users. The overall placement is affected by several factors, such as bid amount, Google Quality Score, and extensions.
If you're looking for more information, please read my article on Google Ads basics.
Yelp Ads Overview
If you've looked up a local business or a restaurant before, you've stumbled upon Yelp's website. Yelp is a platform that allows people to review small and local businesses. Over the years, Yelp has grown enough to compete with the likes of Google Reviews, Facebook, and TripAdvisor.
First, let's take a look at some key statistics that make Yelp an attractive advertising channel for business owners:
- Yelp is the 180th most popular website in the world and the 40th most popular in the United States.
- Yelp has 120 million visits on a monthly average, and about 95% of the traffic comes from the United States.
- Yelp has a monthly average of 36 million unique visitors in its mobile app.
- Yelp helped seat 30 million diners in 2019.
- In the 4th quarter of 2019, Yelp hosted 205 million reviews.
- Yelp is primarily used by Gen X and Millennials, who make up 69% of the total Yelp users.
- 18% of the reviewed businesses are restaurants, but Yelp is more than that. 17% of reviews are from home and local services, 17% from shopping, and 11% from beauty and fitness categories.
- 51% of Yelp users have an income of $100,000 or more.
- Around 45% of customers visit Yelp for reviews before making a purchase decision. In comparison, only Google gets more views than Yelp, with 64% of customers.
- 82% of Yelp users visit the site to buy a product or service. In addition, 89% of those who avail of a product or service do so within the week.
Yelp offers some fairly interesting stats that can benefit small and local businesses. However, if you're going to look closely, this marketing channel is only ideal for US-based businesses since almost all traffic comes from the U.S.
Yelp is in the conversation as a viable advertising channel because most of the visitors have a high buying intent. It means there's a higher chance that the user will buy a product or service.
So, which platform is better for your business: Google Ads or Yelp Ads? Let's take a closer look.
Google Ads has a much wider reach than Yelp Ads. With millions of searches happening on Google every day, your ad has the potential to be seen by a massive audience. On the other hand, Yelp has a more focused audience of people specifically looking for businesses like yours. Depending on your business, it can be a good or bad thing. If your target audience is broad, Google Ads may be the better choice. But if you're looking to reach a more specific audience, such as people looking for businesses like yours in your area, Yelp Ads may be a better fit.
Google Ads can be more expensive than Yelp Ads. The cost of running an ad on Google Ads is determined by a bidding system, where businesses bid against each other for ad placement. It can lead to higher costs, especially for popular keywords.
On the other hand, Yelp Ads uses a fixed cost-per-impression (CPM) model, where you pay a set amount for every thousand impressions your ad receives. It can make Yelp Ads a more cost-effective option for businesses on a budget.
Google Ads has a lot of targeting options, including location targeting, demographic targeting, and device targeting. It allows you to reach specific audiences based on a variety of factors. Yelp Ads, on the other hand, has more limited targeting options. While you can target users based on location, no other targeting options are available. This can make it harder to reach specific audiences on Yelp.
Ease of Use
Google Ads can be difficult to set up and manage, especially for businesses new to digital advertising. On the other hand, Yelp Ads is relatively simple to set up and manage. The platform is user-friendly and easy to navigate, making it a good choice for businesses that are new to advertising or have a limited amount of experience with digital advertising.
Let's look at two real-life examples of businesses that have used both Google Ads and Yelp Ads to reach potential customers.
Case Study 1: A local pizza restaurant
A local pizza restaurant wanted to reach potential customers in their area to increase sales. They decided to try both Google Ads and Yelp Ads to see which platform would be more effective.
For Google Ads, they targeted users in their area searching for keywords related to pizza and local restaurants. They also used location targeting to ensure their ad was only displayed to users within a certain radius of their restaurant.
For Yelp Ads, they created a promoted listing for their restaurant on Yelp, which allowed their ad to be displayed to users searching for pizza restaurants on Yelp, as well as on the business pages of their competitors.
After a few months, they found that their Google Ads campaign was driving more traffic to their website, but their Yelp Ads campaign was generating more leads and actual sales. They concluded that while Google Ads was a good way to reach a wider audience, Yelp Ads was a better option for reaching potential customers who were actively searching for businesses like theirs in their area.
Case Study 2: A local dental office
A local dental office wanted to reach potential patients in their area. They decided to try both Google Ads and Yelp Ads to see which platform would be more effective.
For Google Ads, they targeted users in their area who were searching for keywords related to dentists and dental services. They also used location targeting to ensure their ad was only displayed to users within a certain radius of their office.
For Yelp Ads, they created a promoted listing for their office on Yelp. This allowed their ad to be displayed to users searching for dental services on Yelp, as well as on the business pages of their competitors.
After a few months, they found that their Google Ads campaign was driving more traffic to their website, but their Yelp Ads campaign was generating more leads and actual appointments. They concluded that while Google Ads was a good way to reach a wider audience, Yelp Ads was a better option for reaching potential patients who were actively searching for businesses like theirs in their area.
In conclusion, both Google Ads and Yelp Ads have pros and cons. While Google Ads has a wider reach and more targeting options, it can also be more expensive and difficult to set up. On the other hand, Yelp Ads is easier to set up and manage and can be more cost-effective, but it has a more limited reach and fewer targeting options.
To determine which platform is best for your business, you must consider your goals, target audience, and budget. It may be the best option if you're looking to reach a wide audience and have the budget to support a Google Ads campaign. But if you're looking to reach a more specific audience on a budget, Yelp Ads may be a better fit.
Ultimately, the best way to determine which platform is best for your business is to try both and see which one delivers the best results. You can reach your target audience and grow your business with the right approach and advertising platform.