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Be it a hunt for the best plate of sushi in town, the best dentist, or audio technician, Yelp can be a great tool for people to find professionals and stores nearby. A positive review can really boost your credibility, more customers coming to your business as a result. However, Yelp can also serve as a double-edged sword, negative reviews damaging your revenue and stunting your growth. Here are some pros and cons of setting your business up with Yelp.

Benefits

Traffic
Good reviews on Yelp can help increase your clientele base, attracting new customers to your business based off the good word. Additionally, Yelp has nearly 150 million unique visitors per month on a regular basis. That’s a lot of exposure! Placing your business on Yelp can open it up to this multitude of users and increase your visibility.

Ease of Use
Yelp is relatively easy to use. Customers don’t even need a username to view a business’ reviews and data on Yelp. This makes it more likely for people to look up your account through a fairly simple process with no hassle of signup.

Trustworthy Reviews
A study found that 91% of people trust online reviews just as much as they trust personal recommendations. Yelp is a go-to review site for many people. Additionally, Yelp filters reviews, “recommending” certain verified reviews. The unrecommended reviews are typically deemed fake, unhelpful, or biased by Yelp, helping people find only trustworthy reviews. This adds to Yelp’s credibility as a review service.

Easy to Find and Reach You
Yelp allows for you to add your contact information, so a customer can easily call or email you with inquiries. This is simple and easy conversion at your fingertips. Yelp’s layout is also very intuitive, incredibly easy to navigate for users. Potential customers can find your company with the click of a button.

Credibility
Customers will typically expect to find your business on Yelp. If your business is not listed, it may indicate it could be a red flag to users. No listing on Yelp could imply that your services and credibility are not reliable. This may cause customers to opt for a competitor who does have a Yelp listing instead.

Paid advertising is a huge advantage on Yelp.
Setting your business up with a paid advertising deal will place your business at the top, allowing for you to get noticed at a local level in a way not offered through other services. Yelp only shows 1-2 ads per customer search. Being one of these ads will put you at a great advantage over your competitors.

Cons

Paid Presence on Yelp requires a long-term commitment.
In general, Yelp prefers businesses on their website to commit to a 1-year contract. This is not a rigid requirement, rather an expectation than policy. However, removing your paid presence before your 12 months is up will be a difficult and long process.

Filtered Reviews
Perhaps the most frustrating feature of Yelp is that positive reviews from customers can be filtered out. Indeed, Yelp has even stated about 25% of user reviews are not recommended and filtered out by the algorithm.

At the bottom of every business’ Yelp page, there is a gray text that reads “X other reviews that are not currently recommended.” These are the reviews that have been filtered out by Yelp and are not counted in your business’ overall rating.

A visitor can peruse your reviews to dig for these reviews to read them, but they are hard to find, and not reflected in your star rating.

Lead Inflation
Yelp is not always honest about what they consider a lead. Most business owners consider a lead as a contact form fill out, email, or a phone call. However, Yelp counts uploaded photos, map views, clicks to your website, and bookmarks as “leads.” Yelp attempts to inflate their ideas of leads as a way to justify the amount of money they charge to a business for using their services.

Expensive Enhanced Listings
The cost of an enhanced listing on Yelp is estimated to be about $350 dollars, though the price is not officially published. An enhanced profile includes a photo slideshow, a Call to Action button, and a video, which can be very useful for your business to gain conversions. However, this price barrier can be significant, especially for small businesses.

A business gathers reviews even if it hasn’t been claimed on Yelp
Customers can publish reviews on your business’ Yelp listing, even if you don’t have an active presence on Yelp as a business owner. This can result in customers leaving multiple negative reviews on your business without an owner even realizing it.

Evidently, there are a few pros and cons of using Yelp for your business. On the one hand, it can be a very powerful tool for feeding organic traffic if people sincerely review your business and leave you positive reviews. It can also be an easy way for potential customers to reach you. On the other hand, the algorithm is severely flawed, and some of the best features of Yelp can be too costly, and not worth the effort.

Overall, there are just too many users on Yelp to not set yourself up. It is one of, if not the most popular service people use to find reviews.

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