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4 Ways Your Office Could Be Wasting Money On Marketing

I’m happy you’re here and spending some time to read through our short review of Yelp.com and it’s advertising program.

Naturally, you’d think that spending money with Yelp would help bring in new patients and bolster the reputation of your practice to your local community.  It certainly can help!  However, you DO NOT need to spend advertising dollars with Yelp in order to do that.

As you’ll see in this post, there are some major limitations with Yelp Ads, and you can garner more attention through other more effective means.

Yelp is a great review site, but not the best advertising platform.

Here are 4 reasons why you might be wasting marketing dollars on yelp if you’re currently using it, and if you’re not using yelp ads but get bombarded with calls from their sales reps, hopefully this post will give you an alternative perspective to consider.

1.  Yelp Ads Get Less Clicks

As you can see in this image, there are 2 dental/orthodontist practices who are advertising for the search query “orthodontist” near “long beach, ca”

In this particular case (and scenarios vary most of the time) both practices have less than 35 reviews each.  Yelp is a reviews website that aggregates and curates user reviews for a specific establishment.  The more positive reviews, the better the reputation, the more trust a business is given – this concept is often referred to as “social proof”

Obviously, the more positive social proof a business can have, the more likely it is to be the optimum choice for onlookers or consumers searching a reviews site.

Notice the 3rd and 4th listing.

  • Listing 3 has 39 reviews
  • Listing 4 has 109 reviews

Out of the 4 listings (including the yelp ad) which would you think gets the most clicks?

The listing with 109 reviews right?

OF COURSE!!

The reason this makes the most logical sense is because of the social proof concept.  The more reviews a company profile has, especially if ALL the reviews are 5-stars, the more likely it is that others will click through to read those reviews to see why everyone is raving about it and what they can expect.

So what does this mean for you?

You don’t need to pay for Yelp ads if you already have a strong base of reviews.

And if you don’t have many reviews, it’s not that hard to obtain positive reviews.

Here’s a quick way to get your satisfied customers to give you their honest and satisfied review.

  1.  Ask them
    1. send them an email (assuming you’re collecting their contact information)
    2. give them a phone call after visit
  2.  Follow up
    1. follow up
    2. follow up

Getting more positive reviews will cost you $ZERO dollars if you build it into your day to day operations.  Your practice might already have a receptionist so that can be a part of their daily tasks.

2.  Limited Customization Of Ads

I can understand why running Yelp ads would seem like a shoe fit for many local businesses.  It is one of the most popular review sites in the world.

Heck, the actual term “yelp” has become a form of expression when friends want to check out a business or restaurant before deciding on where to go.

It makes legitimate sense to want to run ads on their platform.

However, with the power of customization on most other advertising platforms, the lack of customization on the Yelp platform deems it very limited and not recommended in our books.

The only sections that can be customized are in the tag and the thumbnail image.

That’s it!!

And those sections are usually default at best.

If I’m a business owner being asked by yelp sales reps to spend $1000 a month on yelp ads and have little to no control over the message I want to advertise, then I’d feel better off taking my money and spend it on a platform that gives me as much control over what I can say and the tools to make edits.

The limited platform is a big reason I recommend to think twice about running yelp ads.

3.  Google Adwords Has More Flexibility

The reason I bring up Google Adwords is because it’ll give you a much better handle on the type of advertising platform ideal for local companies.

Not only does it have amazing features directly in its platform, but it is also intuitive in helping your practice target your ideal patients.

As you can see, I’ve highlighted numerous areas that should be pointed out.

  1. Custom descriptions
    • You can use your wizardry wordsmith abilities to craft the perfect message in the description sections of your ads.  Google purposely provides this so that you can match your offer with the search queries from local consumers.  The better the match, the more clicks, the more satisfied customers, the better for everyone.
  2. Sitelinks
    • This little area allows multiple links to your website to show underneath your ad.  If you want to highlight a specific discounted offer you can add the link to that page, or if you want to direct people to find out more about the main orthodontists you can add that link as well.
  3. Publish your discounts
    • There are many different places you can add your discounted offer into the ad.  From the headline to the description section, or even in the actual URL, google gives you multiple areas to share an incentivized offer.
  4. Keywords
    • Google has one of the MOST powerful keyword research tools on the planet.  Within the google adwords platform, the keyword planner tool is built to provide in-depth data about consumers who are searching for terms such as braces for adults, best orthodontist, discount on braces, etc.  The tool also gives you an idea of how many people search for different keywords per month in a particular area.  This data is invaluable!!!! 

This is a quick look at the dashboard for the keyword planner.

Notice that I’ve created the parameter to search only in Long Beach, CA.

The average monthly searches for keywords like invisalign, braces cost, adult orthodontics, affordable braces, and many more are clearly provided by google.

From a strategic standpoint, you would want to take some of these keywords and include it into some of your ads.  By doing this, you allow google to match your ad with the exact people who are searching for your keywords, in your particular area.

Do you see the power of this type of customization?

And it’s all within your fingertips 🙂

The ability to create a predictable flow of new patients is always the goal when it comes to marketing and advertising your practice.

Well, now more than ever, we have the tools, expertise, and know-how on producing these results with the various platforms at our disposal.

With google adwords, this is a 3rd reason why you might be wasting marketing dollars on Yelp ads.

4.  Yelp Reps Are Not Specialists

One of the reasons why Yelp is a growing company is because it has a very good reviews platform.  Another reason why is due to the persistent sales force they have.

Yelp is known for their consistent follow up calls.

Solicited or unsolicited

Their sales reps do a great job at getting in contact with local businesses.

This is certainly a great thing for them.  However, it is also one of the reasons why I think you could be wasting marketing dollars.

Most of their trained professionals are more or less customer service representatives than they are marketing specialists.

Their reps will be versed on how to navigate the yelp platform, but since the advertising platform is quite limited, their knowledge of marketing is often limited as well.

Google adwords provides support with actual adwords specialists providing the support and recommendations on campaigns.

If I were to spend money on a marketing platform, I would make sure to have a rep that could help me beyond the platform, since it’s probably intuitive to navigate anyway.  I’d want someone who had knowledge to add, insight to offer, and a specialist approach that makes it worth the investment.

Customer service reps are great!!!

But when you’re looking at spending money, I recommend finding an advertising platform that can provide you with specialized knowledge and strategy to maximize your investment and make it go as far as it can go.

Have you audited your marketing expenses?

When was the last time your practice had a snapshot of where your marketing dollars went and what return on investment each marketing initiative yielded?

Are you spending some dollars in areas that could be salvaged and allocated elsewhere?

Could you spend better this year that you did last year?

Contact us if you’d like to schedule a free consultation

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