Yelp is an American multinational corporation headquartered in San Francisco, California. It develops, hosts and markets Yelp and the Yelp mobile app, which publish crowd-sourced reviews about local businesses, as well as online reservation service SeatMe and food delivery service Eat24. The company also trains small businesses to respond to reviews responsibly, hosts social events for reviewers, and provides data about businesses, such as health inspection scores.
Next to Google, there’s probably no more important site for small businesses than Yelp. Yet perhaps no other site is as poorly understood. For instance, is it a good idea to encourage your customers to give you good reviews on the site? Does Yelp pay for reviews? How do you go about countering bad reviews? Since Yelp is such a juggernaut, it’s important to get the facts straight. With that in mind, take a look at these things you may not have known about the service.
Most of Its Traffic Is From Its Home Page
You might think that in 2015, most people would be accessing Yelp from their smartphones, but that’s not the case. Sixty percent of searches are from desktops, and the company’s mobile apps are used by about 7 million people. Yelp.com gets 78 million visitors per month. However, like other social media companies, the trend is definitely favoring mobile.
Restaurants Aren’t the Biggest Category
Yelp’s biggest category is actually shopping. Shopping reached parity with restaurants in September 2011, but has since surpassed that, says Darnell Holloway, Yelp’s manager of local business outreach. Though Holloway says that perception still lingers; he believes that restaurants have a natural advantage because they get so many customers compared to, say, a dentist. Says Holloway: “If I’m a diner, I’m probably going to see more people coming through the door.”
Every Star in a Review Leads to a 5-9% Jump in Revenues
A study by Michael Luca, a professor at Harvard Business School, found that there was a correlation between a high Yelp ranking and revenues. Luca just looked at the restaurant industry in Seattle, but his findings were a ringing endorsement for Yelp. Among other things, it found there were far more Yelp restaurant reviews than there were from Zagat or The Seattle Times.