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To Yelp or Not to Yelp?  Do You need a business Yelp Account?

Everyone has heard of Yelp.  Did you know it is one of the most powerful social media sites out there?  Based on Google Analytics, every month there are 84 million average desk top users, 73 million mobile web users, and 24 million Yelp app mobile viewers.  68% of views are done on a mobile device.

That is a lot of people.  The big question is – should viewers be seeing your business on Yelp?

Many business owners don’t think of Yelp for their business.  Some think if they don’t have a restaurant, why do they need to be on Yelp.  They may be missing a great opportunity as viewers are doing their homework on a number of businesses on Yelp.  In fact, Restaurants are listed as #2.  Shopping is #1, and Home and Local Service businesses are #3.

Here is another surprising fact:  Who are the consumers using Yelp?  According to a Media Metrix Multi-Platform report in February 2017, #1 age is 35-54, #1 education level is college, and #1 income is $100K+.  Do your clients fit those categores?

So how do you know if your business should be on Yelp?  Well here is how to test that out.  Go to the Yelp business site either through the website or the Android or Apple app.  Next step, type in businesses types similar to your own – a personal chef, an insurance agency, a real-estate agent, attorney, physician, even social media marketing.  Second step, add your location.  As you type in the specialty, different options will be displayed in the drop-down box.  More businesses than you thought, right?  They still need to add a few like coaches and authors but not today.  But check to see if your business is one of their categories.


Why would you benefit by having a Yelp account?  Here are a few reasons:

  1. A Yelp account for your business is totally free.
  2. Claim your own business so no-one else does, particularly if someone has a name similar to yours.
  3. Your Yelp business account will be displayed in Google if someone is “googling” your business. The more your business shows up, the better. Being able to be “googled” is what social media is all about.
  4. Since Yelp has opened they have now received 127 million reviews from their viewers.  When people are on their Yelp app, they research reviews.  It’s all part of their decision-making process, being an educated consumer.
  5. You can buy advertising on your Yelp account. Now I will warn you, it is expensive.  But the results can be profitable.  But know that buying advertising is entirely optional.  A free account will still work if you are on a Shoe String Budget.

I have set up Yelp Accounts for businesses and have found the process fairly easy.  There is a specific process.  First you claim your business by going to  Once Yelp has verified your business, they will email you a link so you can get started filling in your account details. Lots of great customer service if you get stuck.  They welcome calls to their 800 line.  You will need a few pictures and a short bio of your business, the details of how people can reach you, like your address, phone number, email, hours, and website if you have one.  If you don’t have a website use your Facebook Business Page

Once you are up and running let your clients know you are on YELP and welcome them to give you a review.  Do know that you are prohibited from incentivizing them to give you a review.   But posting a notice on your website or your store saying you welcome a review on Yelp is totally ok.

Having a Yelp account is one more way to grow your Social Media marketing.  See if a Yelp Account is right for you.

By Janet Elie

Internet Marketing Specialist