Small business owners absolutely HATE Yelp.

Actual quotes I’ve heard in the past 2 weeks:

“I F***ing HATE YELP. Can’t it just go away?”
“I seriously have PTSD from my experience from Yelp.”


Why is Yelp so Horrible?

  1. Those STUPID salespeople call non-stop and won’t take no for an answer. UGH.
  2. Yelp often has shoppers looking for the cheapest option and they want it ASAP.
  3. Yelp reviews can be RUTHLESS. Lengthy, detailed & honest. It puts business owners on the defensive.
  4. Valid, positive reviews are often FILTERED and hidden from view (and don’t count towards rankings)
  5. Historically, Yelp has engaged in SLIMY and CONTROVERSIAL tactics for years.

Business owners believe that if they start advertising on Yelp, their filtered reviews will stop being filtered. Is this true? Is this a MYTH? Has this happened to you? Man, that would be so SLEAZY if true.


Why is Yelp Important?

  1. Yelp Ranks well & can drive traffic to your website. Yelp ranks on page 1 in Google search results for so many searches with local intent. So if your business ranks well on Yelp, it might likely be at the top of that page that ranks well.
  2. Yelp is a major player in the online ecosystem. For instance, Yelp sells their listing data to many other directories such as Apple Maps & Bing, and keeps those other directories updated.
  3. Google rankings are affected by Yelp reviews. The actual content written by Yelp reviewers can inform Google of what your business offers and how well it’s doing. Google seems to trust Yelp reviews – possibly due to their strong filter.

As a business owner, I agree that Yelp is terrible but also potentially profitable.

I actually love Yelp as a user, and I respect them for what they’ve built for users – which are your potential customers. I use it all the time. Okay, you don’t have to love Yelp like I do but Yelp is here to stay.

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How to Interact Better with Yelp

  1. Promptly respond to Yelp Reviews – always.
  2. Don’t hide from Yelp sales calls. Pick up the phone & tell them to call me.
  3. Download the Yelp Business Owners app onto your phone and turn on notifications. It’s a great app.
  4. Turn on “Messaging” for your listing and reply promptly to all inquiries.
  5. Don’t solicit Yelp reviews from folks that are not regular Yelpers. Reviews from Yelp newbies will get filtered every time.
  6. Complete all your business information on your Yelp profile (specialties/history/bio) and add lots of images with keyword-rich image captions – This will help your business rank better on Yelp.
  7. If you have any problems with Yelp – reach out to Yelp support on Twitter. They are consistently prompt, courteous and professional – and actually AWESOME.


Good luck! And if you have real problems with Yelp, give us a call. Perhaps we can help you out.


Jeffrey Magner

Jeffrey Magner

Local SEO Strategist

Jeffrey Magner has been focused on Local SEO since 2008 and has worked directly with thousands of small business clients. Jeffrey founded Trumpet Local Media in Boulder, Colorado as a local SEO agency that was sold to Ramblin Jackson in 2013. Bighorn Local SEO has offices in Portland and Sisters, Oregon and offers monthly packages focusing on marketing strategy for local business owners. Our actual testimonials show how some of our clients feel about working with us.

If you are looking for a trustworthy Local SEO professional, you must do your research first! Take a peek at who we are and what we've been up to. We're based in Portland, Oregon but work with clients from around the country. We're good at getting Google to trust your business and understand precisely what you offer and where you offer it. Then it's up to you to simply be awesome with all your new customers.