What You Need To Know About Yelp’s Optimized Campaign Goals

Melanie Katz

Call us marketing nerds if you must, but if you are anything like us, you know how much work (FUN) it can be to create new search ad campaigns on Yelp. There are so many options to choose from in the setup process, all of which have the potential to boost your ad performance. Whether it’s a choice in the photo (a scenic view or product) or ad copy (a customer review or custom text), Yelp is a pretty intuitive tool offering strategic goal setting options that give your ad campaigns that extra oomph.

The GTMA lead generation experts received a tip from our Yelp representative (a premier industry-first agency partnership perk) that ads using the automated goal setting would outperform our existing goal setup. After putting its potential to the test, we are here to tell you about Yelp Ads’ amazing optimized campaign goals.

Let’s dive in.


The Yelp platform offers a variety of goal settings for business managers to choose from, like goal settings, which will determine exactly where your Yelp ad drives traffic. These goal setting options include: “Get More Phone Calls,” “Get More Website Clicks,” or Yelp’s automated lead generation goal.

Yelp's Goal Setting options window, including a choice of "Get More Phone Calls," "Get More Website Clicks," and "Let Yelp Optimize"

Before the test, we had used the “Get More Website Clicks” goal setting across most client accounts, which historically had been an effective source for high-quality on-site lead generation. We initially chose this option because the “Get More Phone Calls” setting would only be available to iOS users, therefore excluding a core part of our audience. 


For this case study, we selected four clients owning multi-family properties located in four major metros — Phoenix, Denver, Boston, and Southern California — with high volumes of Yelp search traffic from across the country. Our goal was to determine the efficacy of different Yelp campaign goals to generate impressions and clicks at a reasonable price point. 

  • Our Goal: To determine the efficacy of different Yelp goal settings.
  • Our Objective: To generate impressions, clicks at a reasonable price point.
An example of a Yelp Multi-Family Ad in Search Results.



Under advisement from our Yelp representative, we performed a test to compare metrics from the Yelp platform month-over-month and ascertain whether ads using the automated goal setting would outperform our existing goal setup.

We conducted the study in June 2020 and compared our data to the previous month — with May 2020 as our control month (running the existing “Get More Website Clicks” goal) and June as our test month (running the new optimized goal). During this time, the budgets of each client account remained unchanged.


In the end, our findings supported our Yelp representative’s suggestion that the optimized goal option would enhance our clients’ ad performance rates. Most significantly so, when we took the average and compared metrics across all four accounts, we found that the ads using Yelp’s optimized goal brought in over 3,700 additional impressions, 114 ad clicks, and a reduction in average cost-per-click of less than a quarter ($0.21)!

Monthly Ad Performance Data in the Yelp Ads Dashboard


Our Southern California client saw their number of impressions soar over 3,000 during the trial period, while ad clicks rose from 175 to 200 and costs sunk from $1.71 to $1.44. By switching our goal setup, we managed to increase their number of reach and clicks while reducing their cost-per-click. In layman’s terms, we got more bang for their buck.


These performance increases can be attributed to Yelp’s use of A/B testing on optimized goal settings for agency partners like us. This testing method allows Yelp to make slight variations to the ads in which they serve our clients’ audiences to determine the most effective combination of text, photos, and CTAs. Utilizing this method of testing also allows our campaign reach to expand within our targeted audience while driving clicks and managing costs. 

After comparing the data from May to June 2020, the decision to switch our client partners’ Yelp Ads accounts from the website clicks goal setting to the optimized ad goal was clearly a wise choice. The automated goal setting definitely surpassed our expectations, and this case study shows the increased performance potential of our campaigns overall on the platform. Moving forward, our lead generation experts will utilize this dynamic feature to help our clients make the most of their ad presence on Yelp.

Google Analytics Data from our Case Study.
Yelp CPC data from our case study.

Want to learn more about our Yelp CPC service? Let’s talk!

Melanie Katz

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