Yell have one of the worst reputations of any directory provider. In all my years of marketing, I have worked with many companies who have hired them and used their services and noticed absolutely no benefit whatsoever from what they were paying for these advertising services. Yell purport to provide an exceptional advertising service utilizing a number of different techniques to bring customers in, and considering the fact that these methods are not effective – in my case as an advertiser, I’ve sat through hours of going through analytics to see little to no result, I can safely say that the services they offer are NOT worth it.

Let’s have a look at their services.

What are the Free Services Yell Offer?

Yell offer a variety of free services mainly with the intention of using them to up-sell to customers.

  • Yell offer a Free Website Builder through Wix
  • A Free website checker and performance report
  • A Free Listing on Yell’s website directory
  • An Online Reputation Scan
  • A selection of online guides
  • Yell for Business App
  • Yell Messaging to connect with customers through Yell

From the outset, these sound pretty great, until you notice a few things. First of all, Wix is a free website builder anyway, so you don’t need anything from Yell to make a site with them. Wix websites are slow, hard to tune for SEO, but easy to build. You do not need to get your Wix site through Yell, and it’s always better to control your own domain and site. Wix sites will usually restrict you and their apps are laggy and whilst they have simple ordering platforms, they are buggy, slow and you lose customers through them. I’ve run several websites for restaurants through Wix, and they are slow and almost useless. Yell’s website checkers and performance reports are substandard and old. They don’t provide enough information to be useful and are just used to up sell to customers. The online reputation scan is much the same deal. Outdated and almost useless. If you’re on Google My Business and communicating with customers, you should be fine.

Yell’s free listing utilities the SEO of Yell’s business site which is exploiting thousands of customers to get a high domain authority. When you add your business to Yell, there’s a good chance they’ll shoot up the rankings and overtake your business which has a high chance of negatively impacting on your company and your website traffic. The back links they provide are no-follow meaning they don’t provide any real use, so adding your business is a bad idea. Yell’s actual traffic comes from these kind of profiles where people are just looking for the businesses on search engines and finding these Yell profiles, and also through the sneaky tracking codes they use. More on those will be provided later in the video at the end of this blog.

Yell’s guides are all outdated and next to useless, to actually get them, you have to sign up to get contacted by Yell’s sales team who are notoriously pushy. You can learn everything you need to get your restaurant up to scratch in all areas of digital marketing on our site: No nonsense, no sign ups. We’ll teach you for free. Everything else is just another up sell technique waiting to happen. Notifications on the apps etc,. It’s not worth it.

What Paid Services Does Yell Offer?

Yell have many different paid services which they sell to customers including the following:

  • Yell Advertising
  • Smart Websites
  • eCommerce Websites
  • Reputation Manager
  • Video Marketing
  • Smart Performance
  • PPC Advertising
  • Social Media Advertising
  • Web Banner and Display Ads
  • Premier Service
  • SEO
  • Social Ads

So what does Yell Advertising do for you? It helps you advertise throughout their almost completely useless network. In short, it’s not worth the money. People coming onto Yell are not visiting their website to look for businesses, they’re coming on through the competitive free listings and other traffic is being listed through their tracking system as they act as an intermediary between customer and client.

Yell’s ‘Smart Websites’ through Wix, including eCommerce solutions aren’t ‘smart’. They’re easy to build. I started off web design with Wix, and it’s easy to make a pretty site, but WordPress kicks Wix in the teeth. Building with site builders like Divi and even Elementor leads to a much better, more functional website that won’t crash relentlessly or up sell you apps that are next to useless, as only high end phones can properly load a Wix eCommerce or restaurant site. Try resizing a Wix site on desktop and you’ll see what I mean, as buttons, pictures and text go all over the place. I used to love Wix, back in the day… But their sites are anything but smart.

Video Marketing: Contact your local university and students will make a video for your restaurant for free. Give them a free meal, and you’ve saved yourself a LOT of money. It can be hugely beneficial working with students because they like to share things and communicate on social media platforms, meaning you will most likely get free advertising out of it too! Building relationships with students can also be useful because they can take photos for you and do all sorts, and considering the price of a meal for two, compared to what you’d pay a professional, it’s worth it.

SEO – As an SEO specialist, I can say without doubt that Yell don’t know the first thing about SEO. Their techniques are as black hat and dodgy as they come, and I wouldn’t recommend using them. I have written many blogs on how to improve your own SEO so you can increase organic traffic to your website. You certainly don’t need their help with this. If you’ve never written a blog before, you should check out my article: Should a Restaurant Owner Write Blogs? I’ll go over some of the basics, which is all most restaurant owners will need.

The remainder of services are all paid advertising solutions. Any advertising or marketing company would do a better job for the price you’ll end up paying. Not just us, our competitors too, even the ones we don’t know – and when I recommend marketers I don’t know over something, that’s with good reason. Some of my customers paying Yell over £4000.00 per year were seeing nothing effective from their ads. Avoid. At Grow Your Restaurant, we don’t usually offer advertising as a standalone service, but if you get in touch, we’re happy to help as we have experience running pretty much every form of advert and it won’t cost you nearly as much!

If you’re currently with Yell or you’re still thinking about it, please consider watching this video, or reading my complete rundown: Information on Yell’s Products and Services in which I do a break down on how Yell exploits their customers. Skip to 2:28 if you don’t want to hear my boring introduction. I’ll show you how they cheat your analytics with tracking codes when they abuse your social profiles. It’s just one small part of the massive con they’re running.

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