5 Fascinating Yelp Facts
In case you are unaware of the leading local reviews site, Yelp is an online urban city guide that helps people find places to eat, shop, drink and relax, based on a collection of reviews from the Yelp community. The Yelp website encourages Yelpers (people registered with the website) to review and rate businesses using a 5-star rating system that has become both a blessing and a curse.

Yelp is a blessing because 79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations and yet a curse because local businesses have given up a lot of brand control – not to mention feeling powerless against the dreaded Yelp Review Filter. As a result, Yelp has been the focus of media inquiries, law suits and anti-trust discussion and at the same time has steadily increased its consumer use because of the inherent utility.

In 2004 Yelp was founded in San Fransico by Jeremy Stoppleman and since then Yelpers have written over 47 million local reviews, making it perhaps the largest repository of its kind.. The company has three major components, the contributors who write reviews, the consumers who read them and the local businesses that they describe.

5 Fascinating Facts About Yelp

1.) People leave more positive than negative reviews

Yelp rating breakdown As of Q3 2013, 66 percent of all reviews were either 4 or 5 stars. This means it’s even more important to acknowledge the negative reviews by responding to them, while promoting and sharing the positive reviews. Take the positive reviews and post them on your website and social media profiles.

According to Yelp, businesses are 5 times more likely to receive a 5 star review than a 1 star review, but that is only if the person had good customer service.

2.) Yelp is mobile in every sense

Car manufacturers have begun to integrate Yelp into their navigation systems. The company has created mobile apps for the major smartphone operating systems (iPhone, Android and BlackBerry), as well as having a mobile website.

During the third quarter of 2013, the app was used by 11.2M unique devices, with 62 percent of searches coming from mobile devices. The app generated 27M clicks for directions and 19M calls to businesses. Your Yelp presence is critical to mobile local search.

3.) People who search Yelp are ready to buy

People who review a business on Yelp are very likely to make a purchase within a week. 35 percent of Yelp users will visit a searched business within 24 hours of searching Yelp.

4.) Yelp is quickly growing

In late 2012 Yelp had 33.3M cumulative reviews, as of Q3 2013, Yelp had over 47.3M reviews. 25 percent of the reviews came from a mobile device, which became a feature of the Yelp app in mid-2013. Allowing Yelpers to post reviews from their mobile phone came with resistance, due to fears of shorter and more negative reviews. None the less, Yelpers have embraced the idea of leaving mobile reviews.

5.) Yelp covers more than restaurants
Reviewed Businesses in Every Category

Only 20 percent of the reviews on Yelp are for restaurants. People are searching for everything from doctors open on Saturdays to boutiques to mechanics.

Many business owners are surprised to learn that their business is already listed and may already have some reviews. Yelp adds new businesses based on information they obtain from third party data providers who gather the information from public records.

Every business owner needs to check their business listing to ensure that the information is correct and to respond to any unwarranted reviews.

Regardless of the type of business, business owners need to embrace Yelp, not shun it. It is a fact that restaurants with a slight half-star improvement in ratings can increase a they are full during peak dining hours by 63 percent! And a star rating can make a 5-19% difference in top line revenue, depending on the study! It’s important to recognize that Yelp ratings can affect customer flows and the probability of somebody booking an appointment or reservation.