Boosting traffic to your pizzeria: Does it pay to advertise on Yelp?
Yelp’s a powerful influencer for restaurant customers, but Think Tank users say you can get a better return for your money with another ad strategy.
Kjs421: We were spending $50 a month on Yelp advertising. It isn’t much, but it got our name out there a little bit. However, that amount wasn’t enough to get us the extra perks Yelp offers. We stopped the ad and, according to a graph Yelp provides to us, fewer people are now finding us. They offer a minimum advertising package for $325 a month that has all of the perks and benefits, and we could try it for 90 days. Is it worth it?
Joe: Remember, that graph is their graph, and they use it to sell ads to people like you. There’s no proof the graph is accurate. If you have a good rating on Yelp, ads aren’t really necessary, since people always search for restaurants by best ratings. Instead, use your marketing money on boosting social media ads, especially on Facebook and Instagram, or on Google Ads or even a short-term direct mailer.
bodegahwy: Advertising on Yelp reaches only those consumers who use Yelp. Except for the dedicated Yelpers, most people who find you online find you through Google. With Google AdWords, you can see, day to day, how many times your ad was viewed, where you came up in terms of your search position, and how many people clicked through to your website or used the direct link to dial your phone number. AdWords can be limited geographically and in time, which is of particular interest to us DELCO operators. Your ad appears only to those who are located in your immediate area, and during your open hours. Since I believe we serve an immediate-gratification market, I don’t want to pay good money to advertise to people who can’t order from me right now. I agree with Joe: Put your money in AdWords and promoted Facebook posts.
Justin Egrowe: I get most of my new business from the Home Depot. They have weekly and nightly events for their employees in which they order pizza for the people who stock their shelves after the store closes. It’s a good idea to cozy up to the assistant store manager at Home Depot. They typically buy from the “big bland pizza brands,” so I had my people bring four pizzas to them one day, and we won their business. I have also done this with Target and, more recently, Lowe’s.
Get answers to your most perplexing problems and swap tips and ideas with the experts in PMQ’s Think Tank, the pizza industry’s oldest and most popular online forum. Register for free at thinktank.pmq.com. (Member posts have been edited here for clarity.)