Don’t Be Afraid of Yelp

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This time of year, there are lots of things to be afraid of. Saw marathons on AMC. Halloween karaoke at work. Even fear of running out of candy for trick-or-treaters on the big night. 

Yelp isn’t one of those things. 

We’ve had various blogs discussing how to handle reviews. We’ve talked of the importance of ensuring all of your information is consistent and correct on review sites. 

But in this Halloween blog from MyAdvice, let’s get into the scariest of the review sites, Yelp. Well, it’s not really scary, unless the occasional 2-star review keeps you up at night. 

Since the term “Yelp” almost sounds apropos for Halloween, let’s get into some stats of this review behemoth. 

Many users 

In case you’d like to ignore Yelp, that wouldn’t be such a great idea. Yelp has 73 million unique monthly users on their mobile app, and over 100 million unique monthly users on their desktop site. This was in 2019 before everything shut down with COVID. 

And those numbers mean clout. A study from 2017 found that Yelp searches drove more people to a business than Google and Facebook. Users trust Yelp as the “most trusted, most influential, and most used.” 

Yelp achieved this by not being terse. Unlike other reviews on all sorts of sites, where reviewers say bland platitudes such as “Great burger” or “Good dentist,” Yelp encourages long reviews. This helps readers trust the reviews, as the reviewer can get into details that could only be gleaned from actual patronage. 

Here are some other Yelp statistics from June 2021: 

  •     Reviewers are educated — Over 80% have at least some college.
  •     Yelp reviews are generally positive — 49% of Yelp reviews are five-star.
  •     Recommended — Nearly three quarters (71%) of reviewers say they would recommend the business they reviewed.
  •     But not all — 17% of reviews are 1-star and 7% are 2-star.
  •     View before buying — 45% of consumers check out Yelp reviews before making a purchase decision.
  •     Google incorporates Yelp reviews (and others) — Organic rankings take into account business reviews and responses to them.
  •     Reviewers have money — 55% of Yelp reviewers earn over $100K.
  •     Age is evenly distributed — About one third of Yelp reviewers fall into the 18-34 age group (31%), the 35-54 age group (36%), and the 55+ age group (33%) categories.

This is the breakout of those reviews by business category: 

  •     18% — Restaurants
  •     18% — Home and Local Services
  •     16% — Shopping
  •     12% — Other
  •     11% — Beauty and Fitness
  •     8% — Health
  •     6% — Auto
  •     5% — Travel and Hotel
  •     4% — Arts, Entertainment, and Events
  •     2% — Nightlife

Our MyAdvice medical and legal practices could actually fall into a few of these categories, but no matter the category the percentage of reviews on Yelp is sizable. 

How you can help with Yelp 

First off, look at the rating stats above. Over two thirds of reviews are positive, 68%, so Yelp isn’t local business troll heaven. Plus, if you simply respond to your reviews actively, the company says that over time you will see a .4-star improvement in your rating. 

A couple things to do: 

  •     Be sure to log into your Yelp profile and respond to reviews. Show that your practice is paying attention and you appreciate the feedback.
  •      Monitor your reviews regularly, as any bad review can possibly be turned around with some interaction. And then you can encourage that reviewer to update his or her review to acknowledge your attentiveness.
  •     Install the Yelp review widget or a direct link to the Yelp site on your practice website.
  •     Share positive reviews from within the Yelp site through the share feature on the left side of the review.
  •     Don’t send out direct links to your business profile on Yelp, as Yelp is able to track referring URLs. Those reviews will not be “recommended,” so no one will see them.

If you need help with Yelp, fill out the contact form on this page or give your MyAdvice rep a ring. We can help you turn Yelp into something far less scary than a Barney Halloween costume.

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