Updated May 7, 2019

Yelp for Business Review

Read more about Business

People are talking about your business and making it public on sites like Yelp. If you don't oversee what's being said or you don't manage your listing, you could be hurting your business.

Yelp has more than 100 million visitors per month. Among those visitors are many who don't hesitate to leave their opinion, good or bad, for the world to see. As a small business owner, you will likely benefit from checking out your Yelp listing and at the very least, keeping it updated.

Keep reading to see what else Yelp for Business has to offer and how you may or may not benefit.

Who Should Use Yelp for Business?

  • Anyone who owns a small business: Even if you don't add your business on Yelp, chances are you have a public listing already. If you don't update your information, you run the risk of misinformation being put out there, which can hurt your business. At the very least, use the free advertising and make sure your company's information is accurate.

  • Businesses that deal with the public: Because you might already have a Yelp listing out there, you may also have reviews (positive or negative) out there. If you stay up-to-date on your Yelp listing, you can see the reviews customers leave. This gives you a chance to respond to them, if necessary, or at the very least thank the customers privately for their feedback.

  • Businesses with a large marketing budget: If you've exhausted your marketing efforts elsewhere and you have money left over, Yelp may help a little bit. Their paid advertising programs do leave a little to be desired, but in the end, it's more advertising that could bring in potential business.

Reasons We Like Yelp for Business

  • You get free advertising for your business and its website. You can use Yelp as another marketing tool to drive business. You are free to upload your own pictures, add a link to your website, and update other pertinent facts about your business.

  • The platform is easy to use. Even if you don't have extra marketing dollars to advertise on Yelp, you can take advantage of their free options. The platform is easy enough for even the novice computer user to update their information and add photos. Since your business likely already exists on Yelp before you even put it on there, it makes sense to update the listing to reflect accurate information.

  • You'll receive helpful analytics. You can track traffic, see how businesses use your information on Yelp, and determine the average amount of revenue you receive from Yelp leads. All of these features are free with your Yelp listing.

  • You can connect directly with customers who left a review on Yelp. If a customer leaves a review, whether good or bad, you can respond to it right underneath their comment. Some business owners use this opportunity to thank the reviewer for their praise. Others use it as a chance to make up for an issue the reviewer reported. You also have the option to reply via direct message if you don't want to make your response public.

  • You can keep your business information updated. If your business hours change, you have a new website, or you want to advertise a new product, you can easily update your information on Yelp. Even if you just take advantage of the free account, you can update your information as often as necessary. This helps keep everyone up-to-date when they search for your business.

  • You can manage your Yelp page while on the go. You just have to download the Yelp app, and you can have the same features you'd have on your PC on your mobile phone. This makes it easier to engage with customers in a timely fashion. You can avoid letting issues take the back burner by addressing them while the topic is hot.

  • You can buy targeted business ads. If you've ever searched for a business on Yelp only to find competitor ads at the top of your page, you've seen the targeted business ads. You too can pay for these ads and show up on competitor's Yelp pages. This may help you drive in more business. The ads are available in both the self-service and full-service packages.

  • You can add a "call to action" button with the full service program. If you choose to pay for advertising on Yelp, you can add a "book appointment," "print coupon," or "join us now" button on your Yelp page. This will encourage action on the part of the consumer, rather than letting them get away without making a purchase or some type of action.

  • You can add features like Yelp Reservations, Yelp Nowait, and Yelp WiFi. These features help you tie in your reservations, waiting list, and free Wi-Fi services into your Yelp services. Viewers can make reservations online right through Yelp in real-time; add their name to the waitlist while still at home; and have access to free Wi-Fi. When you use the Yelp WiFi service, you also capture customer information, such as their email or mobile number to use for advertising purposes.

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  • Yelp manages inaccurate reviews. While anyone can leave a review on the Yelp website, Yelp has proprietary software that can tell when a review isn't true. While the software may not be 100% accurate, it does help to keep unnecessary negative reviews off the site. While Yelp still posts the reviews they deemed inappropriate, they are located in a small link at the bottom of the page that most users don't know exists.

Reasons You May Want to Look Elsewhere

  • Your ability to target ads is very limited. When you pay for advertising, you'd hope you'd be able to restrict your advertisements to certain boundaries. While Yelp does allow you to set a specific radius, such as 5 or 10 miles, they don't allow any customization from there.

  • You won't know the keywords Yelp uses for your ads. The lack of keyword transparency can be frightening when you are spending precious marketing dollars on Yelp. If you have a very distinct business that needs targeted keywords, you may be better off using your marketing budget elsewhere.

  • Yelp is not transparent with their prices. You'll find a lot of information about the "free version of Yelp," but nothing on how much it costs. They want you to sign up or call for more information. This is a chance for their sales representatives to try to lure you in without having a predetermined answer already knowing the costs ahead of time.

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How It Compares

  • Google Reviews: Google Reviews offers a similar platform to Yelp for Business. But Google Reviews is just that—reviews. They don't offer any other advertising programs. While Google itself has Google Ads, it's not tied to Google Reviews. The Google Reviews are located next to your listing in Google or on Google Maps.

  • Foursquare: Foursquare also allows you to "claim your business" by updating the information listed for your business (for a fee). Customers can leave reviews or "tips" about your business. You can use the free platform or pay for targeted advertising to boost your sales. You can also add special deals for customers who "check in," which lets others on their social media pages know about your business.

  • TripAdvisor: Just like Yelp, your business probably already exists on TripAdvisor. It's up to you to "claim it." You can manage your listing, oversee reviews, and review your analytics. Like Yelp, you can upgrade to a paid membership and add features, such as Instant Booking or Sponsored Placements.

Bottom Line

Yelp for Business is almost a must for business owners with any type of following. Chances are that you have some reviews out there. You might as well know what they say, so you can address the ones that require follow-up.

Whether you pay for the additional Yelp programs is up to your discretion. While it probably shouldn't be the first program you pay for, a little more advertising certainly never hurt anyone.

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