How Does Yelp Make Money|2022 Full Business Model

In the past years, small businesses could struggle just to gain exposure, but today, Yelp has made it easy for the word to spread quickly about the quality of all kinds of services.

People can easily get to Yelp, look through reviews, and read about other people’s experiences before patronizing any business.

Beyond reviews, Yelp also features events and special offers from businesses. You can make friends and also send direct messages to other users just as it is done on Facebook. In fact, you can see specific reviewers’ posts when you’re looking at a business.

With all these features and benefits Yelp offers to businesses, you can tell that they make a lot of money but, how?

To know how Yelp makes money you must first learn about the full business model, from there, you can decipher their source of income.

Yelp was started in 2004 by two former PayPal employees, Jeremy Stoppelman and Russel Simmons, with a $1 million funding. The idea was to create an ’email circle’ that allowed friends to swap business reviews.

Today, Yelp has become the biggest platform that connects people with local businesses. It allows them to search, locate, book, and review the local businesses.

How Yelp’s Business Works

Yelp is a social network that lets its users search for and review businesses around them. Unlike other directories, Yelp focuses more on engaging with its users and making them engage with other users and businesses as well.

Users can create a profile, add friends, chat in forums, and visit offline Yelp events too. They can also become a part of the Elite Squad by posting well-written reviews, high-quality photos and by fulfilling other prerequisites.

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Customers of Yelp

Yelp has three customer segments: local businesses, Users, and content contributors

Local Businesses covers the following:

  • Location (City or suburb)
  • Type of service (home or auto services, dentist, spa, bar)
  • Restaurant Cuisine (Italian, Mexican, Thai)
  • Price point (inexpensive or highly expensive)
  • Hours of operations
  • Food Delivery or takeout
  • Reservation

Users are targeted to their:

  • Demographics
  • Location
  • Interests
  • Spending profile

Content contributors (Active reviewers) – it’s a vibrant community of active reviewers that are engaged in fun social exchanges.

Who are the Key Partners of Yelp?

Yelp has three key partners, including; Content Creators who build on the platform, Extended partners(lobbyists, government agencies, content licensing, electronic payment transaction companies), and partnership(GrubHub, DexYp, Sprinklr, Chatmeter, and InMoment).

What are the key activities of Yelp?

Yelp’s primary activities include:

  • Network Effects
  • Ad Selling
  • Grow local communities
  • Raise brand awareness
  • Manage day to day operation
  • Customer Experience
  • Platform Growth

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How Does Yelp Make Money?

Yelp makes most of its money through its service programs both self-service and full. Its other money-making strategy is invested in its advertisement and profile enhancement services that benefit businesses greatly.

#1. Advertisement

Yelp generates almost all of its revenue from advertising. Yelp provides businesses with both paid and free advertising products. It also utilizes its website and mobile app to deliver targeted search advertising to a broader audience

#2. Self Service Program

Yelp’s Self Service program provides Yelp’s free tools plus some advertising solutions and profile enhancements to the businesses. With the Self Service Advertisement program, businesses can:

  • Run Targeted Advertisements
  • Make Use Of Other Yelp Premium Tools
  • Deals And Gift Certificates
  • Yelp Reservations
  • Online Ordering
  • Profile Enhancements
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#3. Full Service Program

Yelp’s Full-Service programs provide all Yelp’s free tools and Self Service program tools plus targeted Yelp ads, upgraded business page features, and dedicated support.

#4. Other Services

Yelp garners much of its revenue from its subscription services as well. The same goes for its non-transaction and non-advertising arrangements.

  • Yelp Reservations
  • Yelp Waitlist
  • Wi-Fi Marketing
  • Yelp Knowledge
  • Other Partnerships

How To Write A Review On Yelp

A review is an important part of a business. It has always been a catalyst for the growth of Yelp’s Business Model. Through reviews, a small business gets established.

Let’s say you visit a new restaurant, enjoy a great meal plus an exceptional service, and in a pleasant atmosphere, you will want to tell others so that they get to benefit from that service, and then, you land on Yelp’s app and wondering how to get started.

The following instructions will guide you on how to write a review on Yelp:

  • Visit Yelp’s official website from your browser
  • Click on the “search bar” and type the name of the business you want to review.
  • Select ‘Write a Review
  • Select the ‘star icons‘ then rate the business out of five stars.
  • Proceed and write a review. You can see other reviews about that business on the right-hand side.
  • If you want to attach an image to your review, select ‘Upload‘.
  • Drag and drop your image into the box or select Browse to locate the image. Write a short description of its content.

How To Add A Business On Yelp

Anyone can add a business on Yelp. If you have an existing one, get a device that has an internet connect and let’s get started.

  1. Open the Yelp app on your device
  2. Tap the More icon on the bottom right.
  3. Select Add Business.
  4. Select I work at the business if you work for this business or if you’re the owner.
  5. Fill in your business name, address, and business category then, you can take your time and add other information about the business as you can.
  6. Click Submit. Once your business is approved will go live on the Yelp apps and website within 24 to 72 hours.
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Does Yelp Have a Good Prospect?

Data from Forbes shows that Yelp company’s Local Advertising business is expected to contribute $1.1 billion to the company’s 2022 revenues, making up 98% of the company’s $1.1 billion in revenues for 2019.

Also, Yelp is moving away from its Deals and other services business, and therefore its expected contribution is only 2% of the total revenues.


Yelp has helped expose a lot of businesses by fostering new corporate partnerships. It has a promising future and with enough investment can become a global brand in the coming years.

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