Since 2004, Yelp has helped small businesses find their niche in the local market. With over 60 million reviews, chances are your company has already made its appearance on Yelp. Whether this is good news or bad news for your business is an entirely different matter.
The Good – Yelp benefits many businesses by providing user-generated reviews. Most Yelp reviews are positive – 85% are scored three stars or higher. A lot of the time, these word-of-mouth style reviews can create genuine public interest, giving your company’s revenue a boost.
The Bad – Sponsored results pop up for companies that have paid for ad placement. This creates competition that can only be met by creating and contributing to your own Yelp account.
The Ugly – Not all reviews are as tasteful as the positive 85%. Who is in charge of publishing these reviews? This may come as a shock, but Yelp filters their submitted reviews. One rumor circulating is that Yelp accepts advertising dollars to support positive business reviews. This rumor cannot be confirmed or denied; however, many unhappy Yelp users claim that their negative reviews have been deleted.
At the end of the day, businesses strive to make profit. Just as your company works to increase profit, Yelp is out doing the same thing. Reviews on Yelp and other sites have a substantial impact on your company’s standing. Always be conscious of your business’s reviews and local reputation, and continually brainstorm ways to maintain or improve public perception.