December 14, 2017

3 stats that prove small businesses should be on Yelp

Would it surprise you to know that restaurants are not the number one reviewed category of local business on Yelp? (It’s actually shopping.) Or that Home & Local Services come in closely behind restaurants?

If you thought Yelp was just for bars, dives, and foodies, you’re not alone. A lot of people think Yelp is just a restaurant app. But it’s time to re-think Yelp and see what role it can play in your small business’ 2018 growth strategy.

We found three interesting statistics that confirm that you should be claiming your online listings and review sites.

  • Reason 1: Restaurants only make up 17% of reviewed businesses on Yelp
  • Reason 2: Nearly 70% of the ratings reviewers leave are 4+ stars
  • Reason 3: 71% of Yelp users are recommending the businesses they patronize

We are going to break down these statistics from the fact sheet Yelp released this fall. These three stats paint a rather compelling picture as to why all businesses should be leveraging Yelp.

Reason 1: Your shoppers know Yelp isn’t just for restaurants. It’s time you did, too

As you can see in the fact sheet Yelp released, restaurants represent less than 1/5th of the businesses people use the app.

Image Source: Yelp

Clearly, every small business should have a plan for using Yelp to its advantage. A little-known fact among many small business owners is that whether or not you set up a Yelp listing, your business could still be listed and existing in the wild.

Yelp allows small business owners to claim their listing, but they don’t require the business to create the listing. People want to be able to find, review, and read feedback on all businesses, especially when it comes to shopping locally. So whether or not you’re currently on Yelp, your customers are, and they’re looking for you. Take control.

Those late to adopt a Yelp listing could unintentionally leave unchecked reviews about their business. The listed information may be wrong or totally missing. Over 70% of people will look-up and confirm a business’s contact info, location, and hour of operation before visiting, so even if you don’t worry about the review aspect of the app, it’s worth claiming to ensure your shoppers can find you.

Reason 2: Yelp users are far more supportive than most people assume

One of the most common stigmas around Yelp is that reviewers are mostly negative—that they are complaining about businesses and leaving rude comments. But that’s not the case at all. To the contrary, Yelp users are actually extremely supportive of the businesses they review.

Nearly half of the reviews consumers leave on Yelp are 5 stars. And when you add up the four and five-star ratings, we see that 2 out of 3 reviewers left a high rating. This is huge for small businesses. Many shoppers won’t even consider visiting a business that has a rating below 4 stars. On the flip-side, 94% of shoppers will use a business with a 4-star rating.

Reason 3: Yelp reviewers are recommending business like crazy

Interestingly enough, roughly the same number of people leaving four and five-star ratings are recommending the business.

Before Yelp and other similar tools, people relied on word of mouth for business recommendations. Today, 88% of shoppers trust online recommendations as much as personal recommendations from friends and family. Recommendations are one of the most influential aspects of review sites like Yelp have on your business.

With online reviews playing such a vital role in consumer behavior, serious business owners can’t afford to ignore them. They can (and should) play a leading role in your plan to attract new customers and give your best customers a place to speak highly of you.

These stats don’t guarantee Yelp success. But we hope they quell some of the hesitations you may have around incorporating Yelp in your business this coming year. You stand a far better chance at getting positive reviews and recommendations. Fear of bad reviews or negative ratings shouldn’t scare you off, nor should thinking it’s only a place for restaurants and foodies.

Take Action

Reputation management is a key ingredient for small business success. While a robust review strategy requires more than just having a Yelp listing, that is the place to start.

Take time this week to claim a few of your online listings. Be sure the information you provide is accurate customers can find and contact your shop. Below are links to the most used review sites and their respective claim my business pages.

Google         Yelp         Facebook         TripAdvisor

If you’d like to learn more how to manage these listings from one location, get notifications for new reviews, missing information, or when information may be outdated simply request a free walkthrough of Womply.

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