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15 Things You May Not Know About Yelp

Yelp can help more people discover your local businesses and grow your revenue. You need to know these essential Yelp stats and facts.

15 Facts You Didn’t Know About Yelp

Where do you go when you need to find the best Italian restaurant in your city?

Or the trendiest salon in the town you’re visiting?

If your answer is Google, you’re right.

But there’s another site you can go to find “the best local businesses in your area.”

A site that helps you choose one business over the other based on ratings and reviews.

It’s Yelp.

Let’s find out more about it!

What Is Yelp?

Yelp homepage

Yelp is a social site for everything local.

When you sign up, you can find the best businesses in town.

There are lists of restaurants, hotels, dentists, and gyms.

If you’re looking for professional services, you can find landscapers, contractors, electricians, and plumbers.

Curious about that new restaurant down the block?

You can check Yelp to read customer reviews.

Want to do something fun this weekend?

Yelp lists the popular activities near you.

What Yelp does is bring out the best in your area for you.

If you aren’t using Yelp yet, read on to find out why it might be a good fit for your business.

If you already have an account, it’s great to know Yelp’s history and fun facts not many of your fellow Yelpers know.

Here are 15 facts you might not know about Yelp.

1. Yelp Was Once a ‘Glorified Email Circle’

In 2004, PayPal employee Jeremy Stoppelman fell sick.

When he searched online for the best doctor, he realized there wasn’t much information on whether Doctor A or Doctor B was a better option.

To fill in the information gap, Jeremy and his PayPal colleague Russell Simmons raised $1 million to form an email circle. Friends inside the circle could write and swap business reviews with each other.

This is how Yelp was born.

2. What’s Behind the Name?

Jeremy Stoppelman wanted to call his business “Yocal,” but was unable to obtain the domain name.

The business continued without a name until one of its earliest employees, David Calbraith, came up with “Yelp.”

The idea was rejected at first because “Yelp” sounds close to “Help.”

After thinking about it, however, Stoppelman realized the name made perfect sense. Yelp’s first mission, after all, is to help people with their local needs.

3. 92% of Yelp Visitors Make a Purchase after Visiting the Social Network

Need incentive to list your business on Yelp?

Consider these facts:

  • 42% of people who visit Yelp will make a purchase on the same day.
  • 25% will make a purchase within a few hours.
  • 85% of Yelp users who are satisfied with a business will share it with their friends.

Yelp stats

4. Yelp Is the #1 Site for Public Directories Online

The average Yelp visit is 3:10 minutes long, and the average visitor clicks through to 7.10 pages, per SimilarWeb.

Yelp #1 for public directories

5. 55% of People Searching for a Restaurant on Yelp Have Ordered Delivery or Takeout from a Restaurant They Found on the Platform

53% of people who ordered from a restaurant on Yelp weren’t familiar with the restaurant before they found it on the platform.

Yelp helps people find new restaurants

6. Yelp Doesn’t Issue ‘People Love Us on Yelp’ Stickers to Everyone

Ever notice this sticker on the window of a restaurant you love?

Although it seems a simple enough sticker, these are given only to qualified businesses.

If you get one, it means Yelp appreciates your establishment. You:

  • Provide excellent customer services.
  • Earned a ton of good reviews and high ratings from customers.
  • Respond quickly to both positive and negative comments.
  • Follow Yelp’s best business practices.

To apply for a Yelp sticker, fill in this form.

7. Businesses with Higher Yelp Ratings & More Reviews Experience Faster Revenue Growth

If your rating increases by one star on Yelp, you’ll enjoy a revenue growth of one to two percentage points.

Ten new business reviews mean you’ll get an average of two revenue growth percentage points.

8. Businesses with 4.5 Ratings Experienced the Largest Revenue Growth from 2016-2019

Surprisingly, businesses with 4.5 stars on Yelp grew more than businesses with five stars!

Highly-rated businesses on Yelp grow more

9. Google Offered to Buy Yelp in 2005

Yelp started out with a two-year license that allowed Google to use Yelp content in organic search. In 2005, Google offered to buy Yelp for $550 million.

Stoppelman, however, refused to sell his company. Here’s what he said in an interview with Time.

Stoppelman quote

10. You Can Now Personalize the Yelp App

Are you a vegetarian? Indicate this on the app, and your home screen will display the best vegetarian-friendly restaurants in your area.

Do you love hiking? Yelp will show you excellent places for day trips, picnics, and family activities.

A fan of coffee? You’ll get suggestions about amazing breweries to visit near you.

Simply spend two minutes indicating your preferences on the Yelp app, and you’ll get a personalized home screen and experience.

11. Yelp Has 68.76 Million Mobile Web Unique Visitors

It also has 35.6 million mobile app unique visitors.

12. 64% of Yelp Users Have Gone to College; Other Yelp User Facts

  • 18% of Yelp users haven’t been to college, while 18% have gone to graduate school.
  • Yelp usage is evenly divided by age group. 35% of users are aged 35-54. 33% are 18-33, and 32% are over 55.
  • 51% of Yelp users earn over $100K. 25% earn below $59K and 24% earn $60-$99K.

13. Restaurants Are the #1 Reviewed Business on Yelp

Next to restaurants come Home/Local Services and Shopping.

They’re followed closely by Beauty and Fitness, Health, Auto, Travel and Hotel, Arts, and Nightlife.

14. Yelp Has 205 Million Reviews

Each year, Yelp obtains 16% more reviews than the year before.

15. Yelp Enjoys Global Domination

Yelp isn’t only used to find local businesses in the U.S. In fact, people from over 35 countries worldwide use the app.

It’s available in 42 different languages (including local variants).

How Yelp Can Increase Your Business’s ROI

Of the 2 trillion online searches per year, 46% will be a local search.

But it isn’t enough to get noticed by prospects.

You need to impress them and show them they’ll be satisfied with your products or services.

And what better way to do this than by “word of mouth?”

With Yelp, you’re taking word of mouth to the next level.

If you have something excellent to offer plus great customer services, people will start talking about you with their Yelp “friends.”

And the more reviews you have, the higher your revenue growth will be.

More Resources:

Image Credits

All images taken by author, April 2020


What is Yelp?

Founded in 2004, Yelp is a social site for everything local. Using Yelp, one can find nearby restaurants, bars, shops, etc., read reviews customers left for businesses, and write reviews with ease.

Is Yelp free?

Yes, Yelp is free. Business owners can claim their listing for free. Yelp has advertising features that are paid.

Category Local Search
VIP CONTRIBUTOR Julia McCoy Founder, Author, Educator at The Content Hacker™

Julia McCoy is an 8x author and a leading strategist around creating exceptional content and presence that lasts online. As ...

15 Things You May Not Know About Yelp

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