Yelp Workshop Rated Five Stars by MEDA Business Development Clients

We’ve all heard of Yelp, the tech giant that offers a popular platform to discover local businesses, with everything at your fingertips from finding the best nearby burrito joint to locating a well-respected plumber in your neighborhood. With 115 million reviews to date, Yelp is a platform on which every small business needs to make its presence known.

That’s why MEDA’s Business Development team held a free workshop yesterday. Called “Yelp 101: Quick & Easy Tips for Getting Your Business Started on Yelp,” the score of attendees showed up ready to demystify the many ways to optimize all of the tools available on the site.

Business owners on hand ran ventures ranging from a skincare shop and plus-sized women’s clothing store to print services and a Peruvian restaurant. Despite differences in the type of enterprise, maximizing their Yelp page was important to all.

“Having your profile on Yelp is not enough. As a business owner, you need to learn how to interact with your audience and manage reviews in a smart way,” stated Business Development & Lending Liaison Andrea Krell, who arranged the workshop, which was held in English and Spanish for cultural relevancy.

Krell knew that the ideal way to serve MEDA clients was to directly get advice from Yelp, so she brought in their Local Business Outreach Manager John Carroll to lead the presentation. Mission resident Carroll spoke about the types of free tools Yelp offers business owners, such as his mother who owns a deli in New York and who inspired him to help businesses grow as his own career. Carroll also advised of the proven ways to use these tools to build relationships with potential customers. It all leads to a robust business.

The presentation was in three parts: (1) The Basics; (2) Your Free Tools on Yelp; and (3) Reviews on Yelp.

Carroll put forth many interesting stats, such as:

  • Seventy-four percent of Yelp searches now come from mobile, meaning GPS tracking occurs
  • Seventy-six percent of users have a college degree
  • Over 40 percent of users make $60,000+ per year
  • Eighty-two percent of users intend to buy a product or service
  • Fewer than 3 percent of users search for a specific business name, with generic searches the norm (e.g., “Thai restaurant”)
  • Forty-four percent of reviews are five stars, with just 15 percent one-star reviews

Carroll put forth some savvy tips. You can create a deal specific to Yelp. You can change the language of your profile — good news for Spanish-speaking business owners. You can analyze metrics to determine ways to engage your customers.

Additionally, Carroll strongly encouraged these small-business owners to respond to positive customer feedback, the same way you would if they stated something good about your business in person, bringing the personal into the digital world for any business.

Workshop participants responded positively to Carroll’s spot-on presentation, as they left ready to enhance their Yelp presence.

“With this workshop, we provided the knowledge business owners need to thrive using Yelp’s powerful platform, and I know that our clients will increase their sales,” explained Krell, thankful to Yelp for stopping by and providing invaluable insight.


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