The Pros and Cons of Yelp

  • Do you have a Yelp profile?
  • Do you have Yelp reviews?
  • Do you get constant calls and emails from Yelp Sales Reps offering help to “boost your visibility” on Yelp?

If you have wondered if it’s worth it or not, you need to judge for yourself.

What is Yelp

Yelp is a business directory service and crowd-sourced review form designed to help local businesses by publishing crowd-sourced reviews about businesses. (Wikipedia)

Allowing consumers to view reviews and make purchasing decisions based on these reviews.

Yelp by the Numbers

  1. 35 million unique visitors, on average, visit the site monthly.
  2. Over 184 million reviews were written on yelp (by the end of Q1 2019.)
  3. 45% of consumers say they are likely to check reviews on Yelp before visiting a business.

The five most reviewed business categories on the site are:

  1. Restaurants
  2. Home and Local Services
  3. Beauty and Fitness
  4. Arts and Entertainment
  5. Events

How consumers find reviews on Yelp:

  • 75% use the Search feature.
  • 21% look up the business directly.
  • 1% link to reviews through email.
  • 94% find reviews via Social Media (46% of these people find the links on Facebook.)
  • 03% find business reviews via display advertising.


Claiming your business profile is free.  Once claimed you can upload photos, menus, services, address, phone number, etc.  You can also add links to your website and Social Media profiles.

Claiming your business profile also gives you the opportunity to respond to reviews, questions, complaints, either publicly or privately.


The bounce rate of traffic from Yelp to your website is around 25-30%.  However, in general Yelp sends very little traffic to websites as most people stay in the Yelp app or website.

Reviewers who do not use the site frequently will not meet the guidelines of Yelp’s algorithm, thus their reviews will be pushed toward the bottom.  So, you could have a fantastic, glowing review, but if the reviewer doesn’t often leave reviews on the site that great review may not show up on your profile.

Yelp Advertising

Yelp has increased its efforts at monetization by pushing display ads on the site.  Yelp Sales Reps call and email businesses frequently.

For the minimum ad package of around $300 a month the results are not fantastic.  The views and clicks for $300 on Facebook or Google generate better results. Audience targeting is also more limited on Yelp. Additionally, the cost-per-click on a Yelp Ad is around $10 per click, which is quite high.

In order to generate a significant amount of views and clicks your budget needs to be around 6 times the minimum, so around $1,800.

Using Yelp

Businesses that get reviews should absolutely claim their free business profile on the site and check it frequently, responding to reviews, answering questions, providing updated business information.

Businesses in one of the top 5 categories may want to consider advertising, since consumers of their business type are using the site most.

Businesses with a large advertising budget should absolutely try Yelp advertising to see how well it works for them.

Though, if you have a limited advertising budget it is best to figure out which platform will generate the most bang for your buck.

Laura M. Donovan Written by:

Laura Donovan is President of The Word Pro, a nationally recognized, award winning Digital Media Marketing Firm. She is a graduate of North Central College with a degree in Organizational Communications, a discipline that has proved valuable in her Social Media endeavors. Laura been managing Facebook, Google+, Twitter, etc. since 2009. I have helped hundreds of small-to-medium-sized businesses, in a variety of industries, across the U.S. with Digital and Social Media Marketing and Advertising. At The Word Pro, Inc. you get one-on-one service that is customized to your business goals and specific needs. From the first conversation we have, I help to build your digital and social media solutions that are affordable and effective. I have provided training sessions, conducted seminars and webinars, and manage the entire process so all you need to do is run your business, my team and I take care of the rest!