As the most popular and well-known business review website, Yelp has become the place to connect with customers, promote your business, offer discounts and accept online reservations all in one place.
They have status:
The site, which now has an average 135 million monthly users, dominates online search engine results. The site compliments their power-house status as the number one review website with their own “Elite Squad” for Yelp customers. This status is inclusive to customers who are active in the Yelp community and who are role models both on and off the site. This status is not just based on the number of ratings, but include the quality of their reviews, tips, profile, and active voting and complimenting record, and a history of “playing well with others”.
Businesses who have managed to earn high ratings and reviews from customers on Yelp are eligible for the coveted “People Love Us on Yelp” sticker. Why does this sticker hold such value, you ask? Well, the “People Love Us on Yelp” sticker cannot be requested; it must be earned. When proudly displayed in a door or window it shows customers offline that the business and its service(s) has garnered approval from the world’s leading review website. It also adds an increase to walk-in traffic, especially if one’s business is located near active foot-traffic or popular tourist destinations.
They offer business perks:
Yelp doesn’t just focus on providing its Yelpers perks, as the website also offers businesses tools to increase visibility and sales as well. These tools help businesses engage with customers while helping spread the word about what they’re offering to the community. With Yelp’s business analytics, businesses can track the amount of traffic their profile receives and allows them to see how many times their business showed up in search results on Yelp.
Yelp also allows businesses to share special offer sand announcements not just with the people who visit your page, but also to potential customers. Businesses have the option to pay to have their Yelp page featured, displayed prominently above their competitors and having competing ads removed from their listing.
In addition, the site also allows participating businesses the ability to accept online reservations by linking theirOpenTable.com account to their business page. This added convenience offers customers a fast and easy way to find and book service online or through Yelp’s mobile app.
They give you a voice and a platform when it comes to reviews:
Yelp is the review site of choice for many restaurant-goers, but many experts will say that not all bad reviews are bad for business. Many businesses might even find that negative reviews are a unique opportunity to let their business shine.
How a business responds(or doesn’t respond) can have a large and lasting impact on their company brand and image. Have you heard of Amy’s Bakery? This “KitchenNightmare” got attention from reality show producers after the business directed public insults to Yelpers who gave less than 5 star reviews. Knowing how to respond with care and compassion is what can help turn a bad customer review into a shining moment for businesses and their customer service, which in turn enables them to respect and loyalty in return.
UPDATE: Apple uses a Yelp review feed in its map app. Yelp’s SEO delivers front page of Google search results for your business faster than any other review or local listing web site.