Yelp is one of the best revenue-generating directories there is. The only other site I would put on par with Yelp is your Google Business Listing. If you have both of these pages looking great, I guarantee that your business will be generating more revenue from your online presence. Let’s look at the reasons that your Yelp page impacts your business so much.
1. Yelp and Apple are in bed together. Are you an Apple phone user? If so, then you are using Yelp and you probably don’t even know it. Try opening Apple Maps, or ask “Hey Siri, find me a restaurant” and you might be surprised.
Look at how many times you see the words “on Yelp” on those screens! So all Apple products function the same way. Since Apple doesn’t have their own review system, parting with Yelp makes a lot of sense for them. And they aren’t the only one…
2. Yelp and Amazon are Buddys too. Do you have an Amazon Alexa or Echo at home? Have you ever asked it to find you a local restaurant? Do you know where those results are coming from? The answer is directly from Yelp. That’s right, even using Amazon products lead you back to Yelp, and they do this for the same reasons that Apple does. Here is a snip directly from the Amazon Alexa help page.
3. Yelp is everywhere that Google isn’t. Most people search Google for sure, but did you know that their market share has actually been decreasing over the last few years? The biggest reason is Badui, the Chinese search engine, but there is also interesting to note how many people still use Bing and Yahoo for their searches. Do you know what Bing and Yahoo use for their review platform? You guessed it, Yelp again. Take a look at these local search results for “restaurants near me”, one of the most common searched phrases on any search engine
4. Voice Search is getting BIG. How many people do you know to own an Amazon Alexa, Google Home or Apple HomePod? Probably more than you thought. Pair those users with people who use their own phone for voice search, and you have an enormous market and growing. In the broader virtual assistant market, a recent survey by Microsoft found that consumers were using Siri and Google Assistant equally (36%), followed by Alexa (25%) and then Cortana (19%). The top use cases were: Searching for a quick fact — 68% (Marketingland). That means that between Siri and Alexa, Yelp results account for 61% of voice searches. Voice search continues to grow too, and not by the people you would expect it to be. Notice the graph below.
The largest user base for voice search is the 25-49 year old demographic, also the biggest spenders for categories Yelp is most often used for. Surprisingly though, 50+ year old voice search users use it more often than both of the groups, and the amount of voice search enabled devices has permeated the entire culture. It is difficult to find any device that isn’t voice-enabled in some capacity.
5. People Google Everything… Yeah, they do. Yelp’s performance on Google search engine queries continues to improve. If you know anything about how Google SERPs work (Search Engine Results Pages), you know that Google’s whole purpose is to determine the value from websites that could potentially answer the search query in the fastest and most specific manner so that people continue to use their search engine. Because of that, and because Yelp is such a dominant force in the amount of content and value of that content for many of the most popular searches (“restaurants near me” for example), more often than not, you will see a list of “THE BEST 10…” from Yelp.com towards the top of the search. What is interesting about that is people love to see a top 10 list, and those links are extremely popular. That means you do not necessarily have to do any SEO for your company website as long as you are utilizing Yelp.
6. Conversion on Yelp is SUPER efficient. How often have you looked at the conversions coming from your website? From your Social Media Pages? Email Campaigns or other digital advertising avenues? If you don’t know, that’s a problem, but if you do, you know that just getting to 5+% would put you in rarified air. You would think that your website would be the best place you want potential customers to find you right? Website bounce rates (users that leave the site within a minute of landing on it) continue to rise across the board (between 45-65% depending on industry), so half of the people that land on your site are gone. Your social sites are really designed for conversion unless you place an emphasis on them, and even then, they don’t convert all that well. Email open rates are between 8%-15%, and the conversion on that percentage is pretty low as well. That means Yelp, and their 15% conversion rate is a great value. That conversion rate can be increased by using other tools like the call to action buttons, verified licenses, business highlights, pushing your conversion rate up into the 30% range
Reason Why People Say Yelp Sucks
Yelp Sucks and they take advantage of Business Owners. If you haven’t seen the documentary “Billion Dollar Bully”, it is well worth it. I’ve heard from dozens and dozens of small business owners how much they hate the pressure sales from Yelp. There are hundreds if not thousands of horror stories about reviews being filtered out after discontinuing advertising with Yelp, fake reviews not being addressed, and lack of support to business owners. All of these things are out there and factor into the customer decision-making process, and it SUCKS. I don’t work for Yelp, but, full disclaimer, I am an advertising partner for Yelp. I have a few dozen businesses that initially told me that they HATE Yelp, they hated their salesperson, and their account representative was unable to get them good results. This why Yelp has increased the use of Agency Partners like us. Having a digital marketing expert in your corner who understands how Cost Per Click, Conversion, and Digital Analytics works and can hold Yelp accountable for the performance of your business page means the business owner is finally in a position to find success with their Yelp page. No longer is there a massive company that doesn’t give a shit about you taking advantage of your lack of digital advertising knowledge. Use Agency Partners instead of dealing with Yelp directly and the results will be evident.
In order to stay ahead of the competition, it is important to focus on both online visibility and lead generation. Traffic is key, but you're losing out on potential business if you can't convert that traffic into leads.