Yelp’s Grossly Inflated “Lead” Reporting
We spoke to a prospective client who was confused why his advertising on Yelp had yielded no clients, although Yelp’s reporting indicated a reasonable, steady flow of leads. Its commonplace for directories to stretch the concept of a “lead” in order to make themselves look as useful as possible. I get it. We all get it. But if you look at exactly what Yelp is considers within their definition of a “lead” it just starts to feel, well, a little grossly overstated.
OK Yelp – let’s see what you’ve got for us:
Now, I’d certain recognize calls, messages and sales as “leads”, but most others don’t even fall into my most generous concept of a lead. Website traffic…. can you imagine Google suggesting all of your SEO traffic was a lead? How about uploaded photos? Any reason a diner in a restaurant uploading a shot of his spaghetti and meatballs should count as a “lead” for that restaurant? And I’m not suggesting that some of activities aren’t helpful – looking at your location on a map, for example – but it’s a hell of a stretch to consider them new business opportunities. In the legal realm, presumably if someone is looking up directions, they area bit warmer than just a lead – and its certainly difficult to attribute that prospective client as a Yelp lead.
So, I’m picking on Yelp here…. but remember the bigger picture is the importance of not trusting your vendors to tell you how well they are doing. Understand – that for law firms, the definition of a lead is someone who contacts you with a prospective matter. Everything else is just noise – noise frequently generated be vendors to camouflage the silence of your phone.