Does Yelp really serve your restaurant or service business? Pegasus Ventures emphatically says no.

Stay away from Yelp? Really?

Should I link to Yelp? How about managing my Yelp listing, will it help my business? Will it get me to the top?

Since starting the website design business back in 2005 Pegasus Ventures Michigan’s clients often tell of going to Yelp to manage listings, even paying Yelp to promote their restaurant or service business. It every case the effort failed significant traffic to the restaurant owner’s website or even significantly more traffic than not paying Yelp.

Reviews- Yelp, Trip Advisor, Facebook and Google

A client’s social media manager, not Pegasus Ventures Michigan, recently promoted the restaurant’s Yelp rating on the restaurant’s Facebook page. He created a nice graphic but missed two key points, (1) more people reviewed the restaurant on Facebook and (2) the people rated the restaurants higher on Facebook than Yelp.

Yelp frequently attracts a few more angry people than customers who like a restaurant and follow the business on Facebook

Google and Facebook Reviews, check your numbers!

With most clients Pegasus Ventures Michigan finds MORE people review business on Google than Facebook, usually a close second, and Yelp and Trip Advisor end up in the distance unless the company caters to tourist in which case Trip Advisor may beat everyone in numbers of reviews.

People see the reviews on Google far more as they appear in search results. People see the Facebook reviews as they spend more time on Facebook than Yelp or Trip Advisor.

 

Yelp and Trip Advisor serve mainly Yelp and Trip Advisor in the big picture

Yes, both sites generate traffic for most businesses but look at the numbers with your website designer. Pegasus Ventures Michigan finds restaurants with traffic on the order of an average of 150 visits a day get about 30 referrals a month from Yelp and fewer from Trip Advisor.

 

Consider the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) angle when choosing to manage a Yelp account

Managing Yelp, or for that matter Trip Advisor, creates content somewhere else competing with the small businesses’ website, Google presence and Facebook page.

Yelp attracts mountains of traffic using content added by visitors adding reviews and images. The more content created on Yelp the more Yelp competes with a restaurant’s own online platforms. An owner or manager actively adding content to the Yelp only amplifies the issue dispersing people searching from their website, Google My Business and Facebook platforms to Yelp.

Once started you are stuck with Yelp and their ilk

It’s a viscous cycle. An owner or manager starts adding content to Yelp. People searching the web find the Yelp page for their business as that page rises in search pushing down the website and Facebook. Reviews increase on Yelp along with customers adding images making the Yelp page all the stronger adding to that strength.

Step back and check the numbers. Most traffic comes from Google search. Monitor the Google My Business statistics to learn how many people find the restaurant on Google. A business pulling in 4,500 visits a month getting 30-40 referrals from Yelp or another service is not significant. 

More importantly building content on Google, through Google My Business, Facebook and the company’s website usually creates far more traffic with Google and Facebook being entirely free.