Everyone and their mother has heard of Yelp. Whether it’s to find out whether the new trendy Italian restaurant down the street is worth trying out or if the food truck by the park still serves the best shrimp tacos, it’s the go-to platform for millions of Americans to check for legitimate reviews about businesses. It helps people determine whether an establishment is worth their time and money or if they’ll pass it up in favor of another.
As a trusted review platform for decades, Yelp is where over 140 million people in the U.S. go to in order to make informed decisions about the businesses they’re looking to support. But make no mistake—Yelp does not exclusively cater to restaurants, bars, or the food industry in general. It also accommodates local retailers, entertainment establishments, home services, auto services, health and fitness studios, beauty services, repair companies, and so much more. Yelp is specifically designed to help consumers discover and review businesses, which just means one thing: If you’re not on Yelp, you’re losing out on potential customers.
As a platform that has existed since 2004, Yelp has established itself as the most honest and robust reviews engine on the internet. With millions of users scrolling through the app, it’s also a prime spot for marketing, and the best part is you don’t have to pay anything to throw your business’ name in the ring. Now that businesses are opening back up, it’s more important than ever to have a presence on trusted sites. Customers need to know that a business will keep them safe and deliver on its promises, and with Yelp, you can show them what you’re made of, what you can offer, and how different you are from your competitors.
Many business owners are under the impression that you need to deal with a local Yelp sales rep to register their establishment on Yelp, but the platform features a self-serve business account portal where anyone can sign up for and manage all its services in a do-it-yourself manner. You can take total control of your local promotion through Yelp’s self-serve tools to determine how much you want to spend and what products you would like to test. You can set your own budget for ads and it will target people searching for similar services to yours within the areas you cover. You can spend as much as you like or even none at all. It’s all up to you, and you can cancel at any time—there are no long-term contracts.
Being on Yelp also increases your search engine rankings when people browse through results for “near me” and “local” searches. In short, you’ll get the chance to be listed on the first page of search results without paying for costly SEO services for your own business’ website. In fact, for some businesses, their Yelp Business Page serves as their digital storefront before building out their own website.
Before Yelp and other similar platforms existed, people mostly relied on word of mouth for business recommendations. But now in the age of the internet, an overwhelming majority of consumers trust online recommendations just as much as personal recommendations from friends and family. With Yelp, you can let your business’ testimonials do the marketing and advertising for you.