For many people, the relationship they have with Yelp is one that can only be described as a love/hate relationship. There are some fantastic people who use Yelp and leave honest, authentic reviews that can really promote the reputation of a business. This leads to a boost in organic traffic and local word of mouth advertising.
On the other hand, the feedback that is presented to users can sometimes see very flawed. Some reviews that would highly recommend a business are not displayed, but several poor reviews that may not even be authentic do get displayed. There are several more pros and cons of Yelp that should be considered as well. Here are the key points to look at.
What Are the Pros of Yelp?
1. You’re reaching people who are ready to purchase.
One of the final steps that people take when they’re preparing to purchase something is to take a look at other customer experiences. This means people come to Yelp to see if the value of doing business with a certain company meets their potential expectations. When the reviews are generally positive, Yelp helps to close the deal for that company.
2. Paid advertising on Yelp is a tremendous advantage.
Yelp will generally display just 1-2 ads per search for a consumer. That’s even assuming there is advertising in place that targets the search keywords that were entered. For many businesses that compete in high-rank keywords, Yelp offers a way to get noticed at a local level that may not be available through other online paid marketing options.
3. You can eliminate competitive profiles.
One of the biggest struggles that businesses on Yelp face is the placement of competitive ads on their own profile. Yelp allows for these ads to be removed if the business joins the paid program. You can also add a slideshow and take advantage of other profile benefits so that the business can really stand out in terms of quality.
4. You can have customers order services directly from Yelp.
The time it takes for a customer to choose a restaurant and then travel there offers a number of opportunities to have them change their mind. Online ordering is possible with Yelp for simple pricing: just a 12.5% commission and credit card processing for each order. Any tips and tax is kept by your business and this system is up 24/7 with free live support.
5. Yelp gets a lot of traffic.
It is approaching 150 million unique visitors per month on a regular basis. This means the site can give your business a lot of exposure.
What Are the Cons of Yelp?
1. A paid presence on Yelp requires a long-term commitment.
Yelp generally wants businesses on their site to commit to a 1-year contract. Although this is more of an expectation than a policy, choosing to remove a paid presence before the 12 months is over can be a difficult process.
2. Businesses must pay for an enhanced listing to run advertising.
Enhanced listings on Yelp are far from cheap for some small businesses. As of December 2016, the cost of having an enhanced listing on Yelp is estimated to be at least $350, though official prices are not published. You are asked to contact Yelp directly if you’re interested in advertising and enhanced listings.
3. You have no control over the reviews that are listed.
Yelp allows business owners to respond to reviews that are left, but unless a review violates the terms of service on the site, there is very little a business owner can do to remove reviews that may seem to be false. Even with active responses, the negative information can influence potential customers because of the 5-star rating system that is employed. It only takes one negative 1-star review to counter numerous enthusiastic reviews.
4. A business gathers reviews even if it hasn’t been claimed on Yelp.
You don’t need to have an active presence on Yelp for review information to be left. This means there can be several negative reviews online without a business owner realizing it and this could dramatically impact their incoming revenues for a long period of time.
The pros and cons of Yelp will likely always be up for debate. From their filtered reviews to their costs of advertising, there is a lot to not like about this platform. With the number of people who use it, however, and the amount of information it contains, it is difficult to ignore the potential of what Yelp can be for any business.