Yelp allows consumers to share the experiences they’ve had with local businesses, and lets business owners share information about their business with their customers. More than 33 million people used Yelp as of June 2010 to find, review, and learn what others think about businesses in their area.Yelp’s mobile application is very powerful, enabling users to find nearby businesses and even to “check in” to a business and tell friends where they are.
If your business has a physical location, chances are good that people have already reviewed you. You should make sure that you “claim” your business on Yelp to make sure all the information is correct such as your hours of operation, address, and phone number. However, claiming your business on Yelp has many other benefits, enabling you to communicate with customers who have reviewed you (publicly or privately), track how many people have viewed your business on Yelp, promote special offers, events, add photos, share a history of the business, specialties or featured items/services, events, special offers, web links, and more.
This way, when a user goes to search for your particular business, or is choosing between you and someplace else, you have put your best foot forward to set you apart. (Other popular ratings/review sites that are similar to Yelp include CitySearch, YahooLocal, and Merchant Circle. You may have also noticed that Google Maps and Google Search offer ratings and reviews for businesses through GooglePlaces. However, this feature is simply aggregating content from other ratings/review sites. Given the popularity of Google search and maps, it’s very important that all your information is correct across all ratings/review sites.)
What’s good about Yelp?
• The site’s motto says it all: “Real people, real reviews.” Users know they’re getting unvarnished commentary from people just like them.
• A business’ profile page can be claimed and customized with photos and other details.
• Owners can see who is commenting about their business thanks to the site’s free monitoring tools.
• Yelp allows business owners the choice of replying privately or publicly to anyone who has left a comment, positive or negative.
What’s not so good about it?
• The order in which reviews are displayed cannot be changed, which means if a negative review is the most recent one written, it will be the first one a new visitor sees.
To claim or create a page for your business, visit https://biz.yelp.com/signup. Once you claim your page, Yelp enables you to monitor the monthly and daily traffic to their site and to learn more about the people who are checking-in, commenting, and rating your business (everyone who does so has a profile on the site). Best of all: This information is free.