Yelp is a familiar name in the sphere of local businesses.
If you have ever had to look up a restaurant or hotel online, Yelp would undoubtedly have been at the top of the result page. For many years – over a decade now – yelp has grown to be a giant in the online business directory sphere making over $900 million in revenue in 2019 alone.
Yelp is also one of the largest and most popular online review platforms in the world. As of this year, it averages a monthly visit of over 120 million people. In June 30th 2019, it recorded a website visit of 192 million.
A true giant by any standard.
But a new giant is on the horizon. Or should I say is already here.
Google My Business is a business listing service offered by Google that helps local, offline businesses get found online.
The service also allows customers write reviews about any brand listed on there that they have done business with. Since Google is the largest search engine in the world, enabling reviews on their business listing service has made them the fastest growing review platform on the internet.
Google business review has surpassed Yelp by nearly 200% and has also dwarfed Facebook in the reviews game.
Has There Been Any Significant Impact On Local Businesses?
The answer is an emphatic yes. Many offline businesses with listings on Google have noticed a drastic turn around in their review sources. Some restaurants have witnessed a review increase on their Google listing that is 4 to 5 times what they get on Yelp.
With this trend undeniably happening, there are few questions on the lips of local business owners.
Some of these questions include:
Will This Trend Continue? And for How Long?
Will This Trend Continue? The answer for me is a big yes. For how long? Well, let’s consider a few points and then you will be the judge as to how long.
The first thing you must consider is that Google maps is the primary search tool on nearly all smartphones, regardless of the operating system they run on. Now, a new feature on Google maps prompts users to leave a review if they have just visited a business they searched for earlier.
This alone makes it easy for users to write reviews for businesses. This is unlike other review sites where users have to open a browser or an app in other to leave a review.
Another thing to note is that Google has the largest search engine in the world. Over 75% of all searches that takes place on the internet happen through Google. Google records over 3.5 billion searches per day.
So, since they control what shows up on the results page, they can easily push down other review sites to positions where traffic is low.
Therefore, it simply means that Google isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Should Business Owners Abandon Yelp and Stay with Google?
I’d say no, they shouldn’t. Yes, Google is a growing giant in the review space and yes, they aren’t going away in a hurry. It doesn’t mean Yelp is useless.
If Google continues in its current path, they may totally outclass and outpace every review site out there by far. But when that happens, then you can switch over completely to them.
However, for the meantime, it’s wise have one foot in yelp and the other in Google.
Yelp has one advantage over Google – more detailed reviews.
While Google’s reviews are about 150 characters max, yelp has about 450 characters.
Why is this important?
It allows the reviewer to say more. This way, their reviews have more details.
As a result, businesses can gather meaningful information about what their customers really want.
What Can We (You) Do About The Changing Trend?
Flow with it.
If you can’t beat them, use them.
If you don’t have a listing on Google My Business, go get yourself listed. You are better off with two sources of reviews than one.
Moreover, and more importantly, listing your business on Google gets you more exposure than on Yelp. Just ensure your information on there is accurate.
Ultimately, having your local business on Google and Yelp gives you the best of both worlds which is good.
Though Google has left Yelp in the dust in the online reviews space, they haven’t totally taken over. Yelp is still growing and still has a couple of advantages over Google. And so, you shouldn’t ignore any of them.
A smart business owner would list their business on both platforms to get maximum exposure online. While you are at it, don’t forget to respond to all reviews and handle all negative reviews.
Before you go, did you know…
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How, you ask?
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A Wi-Fi marketing and analytics tool is your best shot.
It is highly effective, easy to use, and really affordable. If you want to know more about how our product can help your location marketing, contact us and let’s get you started.POSTED ON November 30, 2019