The local business online review industry is absolutely booming, if the most recent earnings report from Yelp is any indication. An online urban guide and business review site founded in October of 2004, Yelp brought in an astounding $46 million in the first quarter of 2013, up almost 70% from the same quarter in 2012.
This marks a new quarterly earnings record for Yelp, and begs the question: if you own a local business that isn’t listed on Yelp, are you missing out on an opportunity to reach a huge segment of your potential audience and hence, a broader revenue stream?
102 Million Unique Visitors Per Month
Yelp is now receiving about 102 million unique visitors every month, according to the report, an increase of 43% from this time last year. Approximately 45,000 local businesses have accounts on the site as of now, a 63% increase from a year ago. Finally, the site contains over 39 million different reviews, an increase commensurate with the percentage increase in unique monthly visitors.
Jeremy Stoppelman, Yelp’s CEO, says the company intends to focus on improving Yelp’s “mobile experience” and product innovation in order to stay competitive through the rest of 2013, as well as working toward further international expansion. Right now, Yelp is available in 21 countries. One of the specific new features coming to Yelp will be health inspection ratings for restaurants, which will be introduced initially in San Francisco before it’s brought to the wider market.
Should Your Business Get on Yelp?
Good question – and to help you decide, Yelp is offering a free revenue estimation tool that will give you some idea of how much revenue you stand to gain by getting your business listed on the site, which is done free of charge. On average, Yelp says that local businesses tend to earn about $8,000 more in yearly revenue when they have an account, while advertisers make closer to $23,000 annually.
Yelp’s business accounts are mostly in the Shopping (23%) and Restaurant (21%) verticals. However, you should still strongly consider starting a Yelp account if your business is involved in Home and Local Services (11%), Beauty and Fitness (9%), Arts and Entertainment (7%), Health (6%), Auto (4%), Nightlife (4%) or Travel and Hotels (4%). Really, if you own a local business of any type, there’s no reason not to start an account with Yelp – unless, of course, you think you’d garner more negative reviews than positive ones!