Yelp is an online source for consumer reviews that is growing at a rate of about one million unique users a month and is seen as the place to find out about businesses ranging from doctors to restaurants from people who have used the services or eaten the food.
Revenue comes from advertisers looking for that consumer audience known as Yelpers who write the positive and negative reviews.
The idea for the company founded in 2004 in San Francisco, Calif, began with a question faced by many people, says Luther Lowe, manager of local business outreach at Yelp: “How do you find a trustworthy doctor online if you’re moving to a new city?”
That question posed by co-founders Jeremy Stoppelman and Russel Simmons has generated more than seven million consumer reviews posted online at Yelp, which has spread to dozens of cities in 35 states plus Washington, D.C.
Yelp emphazes that it provides an avenue for a two-way conversation by also offering ways for business owners to reach Yelpers by creating a presence using free tools at http://www.yelp.com/business/unlocking, Lowe explains in the video and points out that studies show that consumers are becoming more dependent on online reviews to guide spending decisions.
Lowe shares his insights into what businesses are doing well — and what they can do better.
Links mentioned in this video include:
- Yelp business owner’s guide – http://www.yelp.com/business
- Yelp free business account tools – http://www.yelp.com/business/unlocking
- Businesses offer advice — http://www.yelp.com/business/review_response