YELP IS PERFECT FOR SMALL BUSINESS REVIEWS
Yelp is not just for foodies anymore. In fact, it’s become an important review site for small businesses in almost every sector, perhaps just behind Google in importance.
But for many, Yelp still remains a bit of a mystery. Here are five things you probably didn’t know about this popular site.
Restaurants aren’t the biggest category. It’s shopping. Shopping caught up with restaurants in September 2011, but has since surpassed that, according to Yelp.
You have to earn a “People Love Us On Yelp” sticker. The Yelp sticker seen in some businesses is a genuine accolade designed to be similar to a high Zagat rating. You can’t buy them. Instead, the company doles them out twice a year to companies with overall high ratings.
Customer service appears to have the strongest effect on reviews. Yelp’s research has found that a consumer whose review praises customer service is more than five times as likely to give a 5-star review than a 1-star review. Similarly, nearly 70% of those who trash a business’ customer service wind up giving a 1-star review.
Business owners can dispute negative reviews on Yelp. If someone complains about your business on Yelp, you don’t have to remain silent. In fact, Yelp encourages business owners to go on Yelp and dispute negative comments.
Yelp tends to favor independent businesses over chains. A McDonald’s franchisee shouldn’t be too concerned about Yelp reviews. According to a study from Harvard, Yelp’s effect on chains is “statistically insignificant and close to zero.” The study also found that when Yelp penetrates a market, “there is a shift in revenue toward independent restaurants.”