Yelp, Your Online Customer Service Department

Increase Your Customer Base With Yelp Online

As a small business owner, you are always looking for new and cost efficient ways to market your business and bring in new customers. One of the best ways for new customers to find you is to hang out where they hang out. The internet has become the new Yellow Pages and it’s your responsibility as a small business owner to start creating a presence there for your business. When looking for ways to market your small business online, Yelp is an easy and free customer review site that can help drive new customers to your business.

Online Review Sites Can Draw In New Customers

Online review sites are fast becoming the de facto way for customers to find great products and services. has built a multi-billion dollar business off of customer reviews. Everyone loves to express their opinion when they have a great, or an awful experience at a business.  In the past they would tell their friends and family about their experience, but the internet has opened up a whole new ball game where one disgruntled customer can influence thousands of customers with a single review.  Talk about a powerful platform for voicing your opinions.

Online review sites like Yelp are built off of Word of Mouth marketing.  Just a few well written reviews on your business, good or bad, can make a huge impact on your business.  If you are not part of the online community, how do you know what it being said about you?  By not being online and part of the conversation, you may be missing important opportunities to thank customers who leave a great review, or to apologize for a customer who had a disappointing experience.  It’s you responsibility to know how your business is being represented online by your customers.   Since the business owner does not have to be the one to create the business profile on Yelp, you may find your business is already listed and people are leaving reviews.  If you have never been to before, maybe you should stop now for a minute and check.

Yelp business dashboard for small business

Yelp Can Help

Yelp is an online service that was created in 2004 to get businesses and people connected. It provides a platform for people to write customer reviews on the businesses they frequent in their local area. Yelp was designed to make the regular customer the expert reviewer and to provide a way for people to tell other people about businesses that they like, and don’t like. Some examples of businesses on Yelp are restaurants, dentists, doctors, mechanics, spas, hair stylists, clothing stores and just about everything else.

How Yelp Works

Yelp can be accessed via computer or through smart phones such as the iPhone and Android via it’s mobile app. When people visit a business, they can go on Yelp and create a review, positive or negative. When other people are looking for that type of business, they can search on Yelp, read the reviews, and when they find a business with good ratings, they may just become a customer. Customers now have the ability to read reviews about your business while they stand outside of it trying to decide where to eat or to shop.

Customers use mobile apps to find your business

Marketing Your Business on Yelp

How to market your small business online with Yelp is easy. Go to and set up your business profile. Your business may already be listed, so in that case all you have to do is “claim it” by verifying that you are the owner of the business.  Once you are logged in, you can post photographs, videos, menus, or price lists. You can also set up deals for people to view and purchase, send them out to Yelp users and entice them to visit your business.

What Yelp Provides

When you set up your business account with Yelp, they help you track the progress of your business, providing invaluable customer information that will help you market your business more effectively. Within the business dashboard you can:

  • View charts and statistics measuring the performance of your page.
  • Track the number of people who view your business page.
  • Communicate with customers either publicly or privately.
  • Add photographs, video, description of your business and specialty.
  • Create deals to draw customers to your business.
  • Connect with other businesses.
  • Recommend other businesses.

Get customer data from Yelp

Yelp makes their money through the businesses advertising on the site and they have very affordable options for small businesses. You also have the ability to set up deals that cost nothing to create, and you only pay a percentage of each customer purchase.

Why Yelp is Good for Small Business

According to the most recent information, ‘Yelpers’ have submitted over 20 million reviews. Eighty-three percent of those reviews are positive. That could be 83% of your current customers providing good reviews about your business. Good reviews are going to bring new people through your doors.

Through Yelp, people get to see businesses they never knew existed, offering them the chance to try something new.  The Social Proof of the online reviews helps to make the decision to try new businesses a little easier. The opportunity to share a good experience with others also gives people a feeling of community. When you and your business become part of that community, it will ultimately reflect in a positive way on your business.

Go to Yelp today and see what you customers are saying about you.


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CEO at 3Bug Media
Gary Shouldis is the founder of 3Bug Media, a web marketing company that helps businesses create 360 Marketing Strategies to dominate their market. His blog is read by over 20 thousand small business owners a month and has been featured in the N.Y. Times Small Business, Business Insider and Yahoo Small Business.