Have you claimed you’re Yelp Business Page yet? Yelp is the most frequently used online business review guide in the world and helps consumers connect with local businesses. If you own a business that relies on a strong local online presence and local mobile searches, then Yelp should be an integral part of your marketing strategy.
Whether you own a single location restaurant, or a national retail chain, people are talking about your business, and their reviews on a Yelp Business Page have incredible influence. With over 162 million unique visitors per month, the site trumps all other business review guides in popularity and has proven to increase annual revenue in businesses that have Yelp accounts. (Source: Yelp Factsheet, Q2)
In addition to increasing revenue, a recent survey of 812 businesses found that many companies are also seeing increased customer awareness since joining Yelp. Almost 77% percent said that Yelp has changed the way they respond to customer’s complaints, a change that only social media could bring about.
Yelp’s popularity among consumers and reviewers has made the site extremely influential to small businesses in local markets. The stats don’t lie. Virtually all Yelp users (98%) have made purchases at a business they found on Yelp, with nearly 90% of them doing so within a week! That number coupled with the fact that 4 out of 5 Yelp users visit Yelp because they intend to buy a product or service should be an alarm to any business owner not using Yelp. (Source: Neilsen Survey)
If that’s not enough to convince you of Yelp’s influence over local consumers, then this should be: More than half (55%) take action with a local business frequently, or every time they visit Yelp. These actions include calling, visiting, or making a purchase. That’s not just browsing, that’s direct engagement with local businesses. Essentially, users are searching for local businesses with the intent to spend money, and they’re using Yelp to decide where to spend it.
The benefits of a Yelp Business Page don’t stop there. The site has been shown to have industry leading data quality in the areas of map/location, business contact information, and business hours. Business information from a company’s Yelp page shows up in Google search and map results, and consumers can also find this business information on other services. Yelp has also partnered with Yahoo and Mapquest, and now fuels searches across these sites with local business reviews and listings.
As local mobile searches soar into the stratosphere in 2016, Yelp’s influence will undoubtedly continue to grow. As of the second quarter of 2015, over 51% of unique visitors to Yelp were mobile users! It makes sense. Consumers are much more likely to use Yelp from a mobile device because they can read and post reviews before, during, or after a retail experience. Go ahead and conduct a search of almost any restaurant or retail store. You’re guaranteed to find a Yelp listing in the top five results in Google search rankings. In fact, if you search for a restaurant, it will most likely be the top search result on Google!
Although Yelp has taken a recent hit on the stock market, it doesn’t mean that the review guide is going anywhere. The drop in stock value is the direct result of Yelp canceling all of its display advertising. “We believe that eliminating brand advertising, which we also refer to as our display advertising product, will benefit the company over the long term,” said Yelp founder and CEO Jeremy Stoppelman in a recent press release. “The industry trend toward increasingly disruptive display advertising is at odds with our focus on the consumer experience, particularly within [our mobile] app.”
That doesn’t mean that Yelp is getting out of the advertising game. Display ads only accounted for 6% of the company’s $133.9 million in second-quarter revenue. The largest portion of their overall revenue, 81%, came from local advertising. Yelp’s local advertising revenue grew 43% each year to $107.9 million and is expected to grow as it becomes the focus of the company’s business. (Source: adage.com)
There’s no doubt that claiming and updating the Yelp page for your local business widens your reach to potential new local customers, and should be the cornerstone of any business’ local online presence. Given the number of users, the local influence, and the easy-to-use and easy-on-the-eye user ability of the site and mobile app, we’d say that it’s here to stay and looks poised to continue being the most powerful online consumer review guide in the world.