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What are Yelp Portfolios and How to Optimize Them Properly

A screenshot showcasing the digital marketing tactics on Yelp's website.

What are Yelp "Portfolios"?

Yelp Portfolios are a paid advertising feature introduced in 2019 intended to allow business owners to further enhance their profile by showcasing projects through a collection of photos and text on their business page. Potential customers can learn more about the quality of work your business offers through carefully curated photos, rather than the usual jumble of business profile photos uploaded by business owners and customers alike. Originally, Yelp Portfolios were only available for businesses in certain industries such as home service and local categories but has since been expanded. 

Each Portfolio Project Includes:

  1. A unique project name: Here you have a choice to describe a particular project or outline one of your core services. We recommend a short and sweet name rather than an overly-descriptive one. Yelp gives the example: "Bathroom Remodel March 2019," but you can be as creative as you want as long as potential customers can quickly identify what the project or the services is about.  
  2. Up to 4 related services that best fit your project: This section is fairly straight-forward. You can select up to four related services that properly categorize the project. These tags can lead to increased exposure in Yelp's organic search results so feel free to take advantage of all four, providing they applicable to your project or service. 
  3. At least two project photos: You are required to provide a minimum of 2 photos for each project, including a cover photo which can be chosen by clicking the star icon or "select as cover photo" selection when clicking on the image. You may add up to 50 photos for each project however we recommend uploading just a few. And if you using projects to showcase a particular service that doesn't require more than a few photos, spend your time instead on the project description. Yelp has a fairly relaxed policy on which photos you upload and how they are used so feel free to use licensed stock photos or team photos to reach the 2 photo minimum if needed. You will have the option to select photos that are already on your business profile or upload new ones. If you are uploading a project photo that you don't want to show up in your profile photos section, be sure to upload the photo only within your portfolio. You will also need to caption each photo with descriptive and applicable captions. 
  4. Add unique description of the project: Use this area to describe the project in detail from start to finish. This is your opportunity to put on your storytelling hat and describe the unique project requirements and how these were delivered to the client as well as their reaction. This caps out at 5000 characters with spaces so you have plenty to write about! 
  5. A call-to-action button (CTA): Here is your opportunity to convince potential clients browsing your projects to contact you, either through the "Request a Quote" feature, a Phone Call or by visiting your website. You may also choose "none" at this step but our recommendation is to set any of the above three.
  6. The cost of the project to the client? (optional): People love knowing what to expect so be accurate in this section. Listing a project cost is pretty straight forward but if you are advertising a general service rather than the actual costs associated with a completed project we recommend erring on the "high" range to drive more qualified lead or not using this section. 
  7. Project completion date (optional): This field is optional but a great way to showcase that your business has taken on work recently. Customers love to see an active business and your most recent projects. 
  8. Time it took to complete the project (optional): This optional field is not particularly important but if you are in the home services industry or can boast particularly quick turnaround times, it doesn't hurt to leverage a project completion date. It can save time and energy by further qualifying potential leads who may have unrealistic expectations of timelines and deliverables. 
Yelp Portfolio Setup Screenshot

How to create your first Yelp portfolio project:

  1. Be sure that you are logged int your Yelp Business account, not a personal Yelp account at: biz.yelp.com.
  2. From the Portfolio tab on the left side of your business dashboard. If you are using the mobile app, click Portfolio from the Home or More pages in the Yelp for Business App.
  3. From the ensuing screen, click“Add your first project” and begin to fill out each of the above sections.

How Many Yelp Portfolio Projects Can You Create?

At least 20, but only four will be live on your page at any given point. Information on the number of projects you can publish to your Yelp Portfolio is not easily found on the internet and we had the best intentions of providing a definitive answer to this question, however we lost patience after the 20th test project we created and published. Seeing as how it's unlikely that any business would need to publish more than 4-8 portfolios to their profile we will leave the question only partially answered for now. However, our recommendation is to stick to about four (4) published projects for the sake of visual symmetry, and keeping things fresh and digestible for potential customers. 

What Image Size Should You Use for Yelp Profiles?

It's important to note that Yelp uses Portfolio images at a number of different dimensions in a number of different areas on their site. 

  • 360x270px: The portfolio section on your full profile listing
  • 160x160px: The portfolio photos displayed under the business listings in the search results
  • 200x150px: The photos section of your profile listing page
  • 1000x1000px: The individual photo once you open the photos and videos section
Yelp Portfolio Example with Image Dimensions

Recommended Image Dimensions for Yelp Portfolios and Photos

For the reason we recommend all photos uploaded to Yelp, including Portfolio Project photos be 1000 pixels squared. If your Yelp cover images are stock photos or highly contextual images, you don't need to worry too much about placement or how they will look on various devices or sections of Yelp. However, if you plan to use text or focus on a particular part of the image and want to make sure it is the focal point across all scenarios, it is recommended to place the focal point more towards the middle and allow about `100 pixels at both the top and bottom for less important elements since it will be cutoff in the portfolios section of your business profile.

Graphic showing the ideal pixel size and focus area for a Yelp Portfolio image.
Profile of Steve in white shirt and black sleeves.

Written by Steve Lepore

Steve Lepore is the co-founder at Circulation Studio and Circulation Dental and has been in the SEO (search engine optimization) game and building websites since 2011. In his free time he likes to camp, play guitar and argue about the NHL. GKG!