Why Not To Use Yell Image

Why Not To Use Yell Advertising


This post is not necessarily telling you to avoid Yell, all I am trying to do is point out the common issues that my clients have come across when using it for their advertising.

So how did it all start? Well as far as I am aware, Yell were competing with Google to offer advertising, but they didn’t stand a chance. They decided to scrap their own advertising and focus on sponsored listings and re-selling Adwords.


Premium Listings


In my eyes, these are simply not worth it. The main thing to think about here is whether your potential customers are going to come across this premium listing.

Yell does rank pretty well in the organic results, but only for particular industries. When you search for ‘plumber in Birmingham’, Yell ranks #1 so it might be worth having a premium listing for this industry.

I noticed that estate agents in Birmingham have a premium listing on Yell, but when I search for ‘estate agents Birmingham’, Yell is at the bottom of page 1, meaning very few people would visit the site or the premium listing.

The time and money you invest in getting a premium listing setup could most likely be spent on other things.

I spoke to a member of the sales team at Yell for a sponsored listing as a plumber targeting Birmingham and was very surprised with the figures they revealed. For a guaranteed #1 position listing, they wanted £4938 a year.

So what happens when you finish paying for your first year? Absolutely nothing. You lose all visibility and are left to pay again as you rely on the enquiries coming from the sponsored listing.

I would advise you to spend your money on things that are going to pay off in the long run.




The biggest issue with the PPC provided by Yell is the wasted clicks. The way Yell set it up is very basic and lazy, using the broadest match type possible. This shows your ad for irrelevant searches which lowers your ad performance, making it cost you even more per click.



So let’s say you are a plumber in Birmingham and want to show ads on Google, these are some examples of search terms they would show for:

“Plumber in Birmingham”

“Plumber training courses”

“Plumber jobs“

“Plumber got shot in the corner shop”

“Plumber should not have chosen Yell”



With the ads showing for so many irrelevant searches, you can clearly see how the budget can get eaten up each day.

Another fact that I have gathered from several sources is that when you call up to complain that it is not working, they simply advise you to pay them, even more, money.

Adwords is an amazing tool. It is difficult to use and can be costly even if you do it correctly, but it really is a great tool that most business owners should be using. Don’t let Yell put you off Adwords.

My advice to you would be to look for an agency that is a Google Partner. Google has this special partner certification that it gives to particular agencies who pass these exams based around Google products such as Adwords.

The Google Partner badge is simply there to show you that the agency knows how to use Adwords and other Google tools properly. If you scroll right to the bottom of this page, you will see our own Google Partner badge!


We also have an extensive PPC Strategy guide that you can download for FREE by clicking HERE or following the link through at the bottom of the article.


Yell Just Make Me Want To Yell!


Don’t get me wrong, Yell might work well for some people but from all the negative reviews around the web I can only assume it’s for a very small minority of people.

Yell is great for a free listing, though, in my experience, Google has always seen Yell as the most trusted and authoritative directory for the UK.

So keep it simple. Create a free listing and fill it with all of your business information and pictures etc and then just update it now and again.

Take a look yourself. There are plenty of other posts around the web slating the services that Yell provide, including an ex-Yell employee.

This thread is started by an ex-Yell employee trying to sell his PPC service. Just to set the scene, he is trying to use his job history at Yell as credibility but is soon shot down by a bunch of other marketers who have had a bad experience with Yell. The ex-employee then goes on to agree with the some of the statements made:


Here are two other posts talking about Yell’s poor service:




I understand your pain (if you are a small business), money is tight and it can be scary taking a risk, but the truth is you get what you pay for. My advice would be to do some research and find an SEO company that you can trust.


If you enjoyed this post you may also enjoy our other articles “Yell PPC Campaigns are They Any Good?” and “Online Advertising Options”


Ryan Scollon

Ryan is our SEO & PPC Consultant. He’s a team leader and wants to lead the team to greatness, but will more likely have to settle for slightly-above-average-ness. He’s a Google Partner, which means he understands Google more than he even knows himself.

  • Laura
    Posted at 23:18h, 19 August Reply

    I agree with everything in this post… except this is the internet, and I have to find one thing to moan about 😉

    A Google Partner is a company that has over $10k in ad word billings over 90 days – that doesn’t mean that a smaller agency (or startup) lacks the certification and wouldn’t do just as well as the big boys. You might even find they work harder as they’ve got more to prove.

    • Ryan Scollon
      Posted at 08:20h, 23 August Reply

      Yep, totally agree! The certification simply helps that little extra to make sure you are choosing someone who knows what they are doing.

  • Michael
    Posted at 17:20h, 23 August Reply

    Yell are Googles longest standing Premier Partner in the UK, your statement to not use Yell and use a Google partner now becomes redundant. What information do you have to back up claims of what keywords Yell use to bring in business for people?

    • Ryan Scollon
      Posted at 08:15h, 24 August Reply

      Hey Micheal,

      The proof is in the pudding. Many people come away unhappy with their experience with Yell, but most of them blame AdWords instead of Yell. Adwords is a super powerful tool if used well. Unfortunately, many of these small businesses don’t feel the same way. If you have a look around, there are tonnes of articles and threads of people who are unhappy with the service they have received from Yell.

Post A Comment