Dr GMap

Jan 28, 2016
Reaction score
I constantly get calls from Yelp about their paid advertising. I know many users use Yelp and businesses get new customers via Yelp. Yelp is telling me that people search more on Yelp for a local biz vs Google on mobile. On desktop it's clearly Google search, but on mobile Yelp is telling me they rule.

Question: Do more people search for a local small business, such as a 'dentist', on Google or Yelp?

Tim Colling

Local Search Expert
LocalU Member
Sep 3, 2014
Reaction score
It is SOOOO tempting to answer based on how I personally do searches like that, but I think that I'm not a "typical" searcher because I'm involved in this wacky industry.

With that said...

I tend to look first on Google and note who stands out there, including whether or not they have any review information visible, such as Google, Yelp or otherwise. Then I look on Yelp to see what people have said about them, including ALL reviews, including the "not recommended" reviews.

Then I might also look at their reviews on Facebook, if any. I might also check industry vertical sites with review tools.

So that's my answer, from a personal standpoint.

Great question!


LocalU Faculty
Top Poster Of Month
Jul 18, 2012
Reaction score
Oct 25, 2013
Reaction score
Thanks for posting that case study Joy! That's exactly the kind of thing I love to see to help make up my mind. I suspected that would be the case, no surprise there, but still good to see some numbers. Though if I ever have a client that wants to do it/has done it in the past, I'll be looking forward to gathering some of those numbers myself too. Love the content you all put out at Imprezzio!

Blake Denman

LocalU Faculty
Nov 6, 2013
Reaction score
I don't have too much to add, but Yelp does have a self-serve pay per click system that you can set up yourself.

We have tested it for 2 different clients just to see if it helped at all. Avg CPC was $5-8 and we didn't see any major uptick in new business coming directly from Yelp.

Keep building a great profile and the rest will follow.


Jun 18, 2015
Reaction score
I agree with Joy. Yelp works great as a non-paid source of lead generation. You need to put in a lot of effort though for anything to come out of it. This is actually nice because no one can simply pay their way into earning more business from the people who use Yelp regularly.

The #1 issue with paying Yelp to get more impressions and leads is the mixed signal you're sending out to Yelp users (from the business owner point of view). When you have a Yelp profile with not many reviews, more impressions won't really bring in more leads. When you have a well established Yelp profile with many excellent reviews, people will start questioning if they see you're paying Yelp.

Therefore, I'd like to think of Yelp as a complementary source of traffic rather than a competing source to Google My Business and organic search. Yes, they all are competing for visibility in SERP when one searches for local services. To simply put, I have to be visible on all 3 of them.

My Yelp Activity in the past 30 days

Traffic from Yelp has a remarkable buying rate

Be visible on GMB, Yelp, and Organic search





Apr 1, 2016
Reaction score
I think that most the of people who have smartphone use yelp and on desktop people use Google much as compare to yelp but yelp is good for boosting up your business locally.


Oct 28, 2014
Reaction score
We see Yelp converting in double-digits. As much as I hate to say it, Yelp is pretty effective.


Jan 4, 2013
Reaction score
I'm with Heckler. If you have a strong review presence on yelp, ie more reviews than most competition - you should make a solid return.

Would I focus on Yelp over Google? Never?

Would I focus on both? Hell yes.

I know Yelp reviews are hard. But boy do they pay if you have them. And not just on Yelp. The keywords in them can influence Google's search rankings.

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
S Free tool for local businesses - update data on Google, Facebook, Yelp, etc. - would you use it? Local SEO Tools & Software 7
djbaxter Local U 2019: Map Spam, Review Stars, Google Winning, Yelp Losing, and Joy Hawkins Local Search 0
Tim Colling Home Care Voice Search Optimization: Alexa Echo Show 2 vs. Google Home Hub (The Winner is Yelp) Local Search 4
Garrett Sussman How to Flag Questionable Online Reviews on Google, Facebook, and Yelp Local Reviews 2
vivekrpatel Plugin or software for reviews ? Google, Yahoo, Bing, Yelp, etc Local Reviews 3
P REMOVED: I can Permanently Remove Google Review Listing & Yelp Results Recycle Bin 10
Tim Sweeney Using Google Display Ads To Advertise On Yelp Paid Search and Local Service Ads 7
E Owner name on Google, Yelp, etc.? Local Search 2
Gsmithmike Yelp is manipulating Google Local Pack? Local Search 6
shondarogers Advice on Advertising on Yelp vs Google Express Local Search 5
Linda Buquet Named & Shamed on Yelp + How Google Maps are Made + Dealing with Fake Reviews Local Search 0
Lanerizz Google Analytics 4 Organic SEO 1
M Google Local Services Ads - Lack of Leads Paid Search and Local Service Ads 9
rustybrick Google Local ranking update? Google Algorithm Discussions 6
harmony How Does Google Choose Service Options in a Review? Local Reviews 6
abbiebeltran Google Reviews Now Have 'Service-Testimonial-Tags' at the Top Local Reviews 1
Tim Colling I'm getting calls from "Google Maps" at 650-206-5555, asking about clients' hours - are they legit? Google My Business & Google Maps 2
JoshuaMackens Google Posts & Ranking Local Search 10
A Listing suspended due to account manager spamming? Google advise to create new GMB Local Search 13
djbaxter Webinar Get together with Google Search at Search Central Live - February 23, 2021 Events 0
djbaxter Google Maps Removed 55M Reviews & 3M Fake Business Profiles Spam on Google 2
Professor M Google slapped in France over misleading hotel star ratings Google News: Important Changes & Features 0
D Google Spam Fighting Question Google My Business & Google Maps 6
C Fake google reviews on google my business Contact Us Messages 2
U Google showing location of Service Area Business Service Area Businesses 2
Lluc Google launches Years in Business in Search Google My Business & Google Maps 3
PaulSteinbrueck Average Google rating no longer in Google Knowledge Panel? Local Reviews 8
Professor M Is Google thinking of adding payment capabilities to GMB listings/website? Google My Business & Google Maps 2
NickB-Tampa How can I unsync Google My Business from my Bing Places listings? Google My Business & Google Maps 4
D Google "Find Results on" Error Local Search 3
F Turkish post: Google My Business local seo Recycle Bin 0
D Google Maps, Years in Business Google My Business & Google Maps 4
H Google COVID 19 posts getting suspended Google My Business & Google Maps 2
F Google My Business local seo Google Local 101 3
Vickyboli Google maps pin misplaced Google My Business & Google Maps 6
M Google rule for collecting reviews from a dedicated tablet inside a store ? Local Reviews 8
djbaxter Google on Interstitial Ads: Do what we say, not what we do Organic SEO 0
djbaxter Google Posts No Longer Expire After Seven Days Google My Business & Google Maps 5
B Discrepancy in Google SERP Info Local Reviews 2
M Can I Use Google Voice for Google My Business Phone Number? Google My Business & Google Maps 2
L Google Maps 'Details' section - Can you add to this or edit? NAP, Categories, Dashboard Data 3
A Google My Business Provider Program API Access İssues Recycle Bin 0
djbaxter Schema.org vs. Google's Structured Data Rich Results Organic SEO 0
M Google changes client's 5 year old, verified GMB to a duplicate listing Google Duplicates & Merges 7
R Facebook reviews dropped to 0; Google filtering reviews temporarily? Local Reviews 2
W Accepted Health Insurance Feature on Google My Business Google News: Important Changes & Features 14
M Google keeps reverting our clients address, no matter how many times we send a postcard Moving or Name Changes 4
K Google & Google Users Removing Items From Service Menu Google My Business & Google Maps 4
Jon Hall Google Messaging: Are you turning it ON or OFF? Google My Business & Google Maps 26
NickB-Tampa Why does Google keep updating changing the main category on our listings to ones that don't make as much sense? NAP, Categories, Dashboard Data 2

Similar threads

Login / Register

Already a member?   LOG IN
Not a member yet?   REGISTER

Most UpVoted Answers

LocalU Podcasts

  Promoted Posts

New advertising option: A review of your product or service posted by a Sterling Sky employee. This will also be shared on the Sterling Sky & LSF Twitter accounts, our Facebook group, LinkedIn, and both newsletters. More...
Google Product Exert

Top Bottom