May 07, 2014

It’s Time to Tango… Yelp arrives in Argentina!

Es hora de bailar un Tango… Yelp llega a la Argentina!

Durante la Copa del Mundo México 1986, en Argentina se escuchaba fervientemente la voz de Víctor Hugo Morales mientras relataba el gol decisivo de Diego Maradona frente a Inglaterra en lo que sería conocido como “El gol del siglo”. La voz de los argentinos hizo eco del triunfo. Desde hoy, esa voz se vuelve aún más fuerte con el poder de Yelp y el boca en boca de los usuarios en cada rincón del país.

Esta nación de 40 millones de habitantes es un ejercicio de contrastes. Aunque sea la número 214 en densidad de personas, las extensión de sus tierras la hace la octava más grande del mundo. Su montaña Aconcagua es el punto más alto en los hemisferios sur y oeste. Y la Laguna del Carbon es el más bajo. Nada ejemplifica mejor a la Argentina que la rabona, ese maravilloso pase de baile que el tango ofrece, y un lujo futbolístico.

La comida Argentina es un regalo para los fanáticos de la carne. La gente local genera casi un ritual alrededor del asado. Una mezcla de carnes asadas tan amada que es casi un símbolo nacional. Otra tradición local es el mate, una infusión de hierbas con cafeína bebida con una bombilla metálica en un recipiente casero y compartido. (Tip, si te dicen “mirá que no es un micrófono eh”, es hora de pasarlo de manos). Para el postre tenemos el dulce de leche, una reducción de leche azucarada tan versátil que puede ser combinada con casi cualquier cosa.

Yelp está orgulloso de convertirse en una parte de Argentina. Nuestra habilidad para construir comunidades arranca en Buenos Aires. Si estás de shopping por Recoleta, bailando Tango en San Telmo o de recorrida nocturna por Palermo, los Argentinos ahora pueden usar Yelp para conectarse con sus locales favoritos del país.

Ingresen a Yelp.com.ar o bajen nuestra aplicación móvil para empezar a compartir la sabiduría. Los comercios también pueden ser parte de Yelp entrando a biz.yelp.com.ar y así reclamar su negocio como propio para armar su perfil de forma gratuita.

Yelp Argentina Badge Screenshot

It’s Time to Tango… Yelp arrives in Argentina!

During the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, the people of Argentina listened intently to their radios as the voice of Victor Hugo Morales related the events of the tense match against England. When Diego Maradona landed the game-winning Goal Of The Century, the nation raised its voice in triumph. Starting today that voice gets even louder, as Yelp brings the power of word-of-mouth to consumers across the country.

This nation of 40 million people is an exercise in contrasts. Though it is 214th by population density, its sprawling landmass makes it the eighth largest country in the world. Their mountain Aconcagua is the highest point in both the Western and Southern Hemispheres, and the Laguna del Carbon the lowest. Argentina is maybe best exemplified by the rabona: a piece of fancy footwork you can find in the tango — and on a football pitch!

Argentinian food is a treat for carnivores since the locals are almost ritualistic in their consumption of asado: barbecue so beloved it has been exalted to a national symbol by decree. Another Argentinian tradition is mate, a caffeine-rich infusion sipped with a metal straw from a communal gourd (pro-tip: if you are warned, "no es un micrófono," it’s time to pass it on). For dessert, it’s dulce de leche, a sweetened milk reduction you can (and should) drizzle on just about anything.

Yelp is excited to be a part of Argentina, with our community building efforts beginning in Buenos Aires. Whether shopping in Recoleta, tangoing in San Telmo, or bar-hopping in Palermo, Argentinians will now be able to use Yelp to connect with their favorite businesses across the country.

Log on to Yelp.com.ar or download Yelp’s mobile app to start spreading the wisdom. Businesses can get in on the action too at biz.yelp.com.ar by claiming their page for free and building out their profile.

May 06, 2014

Success With Online Reviews Tour = Great Success!

Yelp and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) hit the road back in January to educate small business owners across America on what it takes to have success in a world where more consumers are using online reviews to make purchasing decisions.

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We concluded our Success With Online Reviews tour last week in Miami, where we were joined by partners from the Small Business Development Center, the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce, and 880 AM the Biz radio host, Pete De La Torre, who broadcasted live from the event. Our panelists included Vic Ruiz, owner of Sweet Dogs, the highest rated hot dog joint on Yelp in Miami, and Julio F. of the Miami Yelp Elite squad. Vic told the audience he built his online reputation by focusing on solid customer service and a great product. As he puts it, “I don’t ask for reviews, I let my food speak for itself.” Julio (who has written over 200 reviews) says he’s motivated to write reviews for the same reason many other Yelpers get involved on our site -- a desire to share his experiences with the community in the hopes it helps them find great local businesses.

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From Portland, OR to Atlanta, GA, the Success With Online Reviews tour hit seven major cities and featured two nationally webcasted events. Several thousand small businesses registered for these workshops and attendees walked away with some valuable insights.

Want to learn more but didn’t get a chance to join one of these events? Don’t worry, there are still plenty of opportunities for small business owners to learn valuable online marketing tips. Yelp hosts free webinars every other week which businesses can register for here. Meanwhile, the U.S. Small Business Administration just announced the schedule of events for National Small Business Week which will be held May 12-16, 2014. For future updates on the Success With Online Reviews initiative, be sure to check out www.sba.gov/onlinereviews.

May 05, 2014

Are We There Yet? Seattle & Portland Yelpers Swap Cities for Yelp’s Road Trip

In 120 markets around the world, Yelpers are passionate about trying a new boutique or dive bar and sharing their discoveries online. Part of the fun of being a Yelper is getting to meet others who are equally as excited about finding and sharing their experiences of local businesses. Seattle and Portland Yelpers' enthusiasm for local exploration was on full display last month when they packed their bags, hopped on BoltBus, and ventured across state borders for Yelp’s Road Trip. Community Managers Katy H. and Don B. brought their communities together to do what they do best: explore the amazing shops, eats and hidden gems a city has to offer and mingle with other amazing community members! This road trip goes to show that whether at home or on the road, Yelpers truly share a common bond.

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Seattle and Portland Yelpers hit the road to explore each others’ cities

Hundreds of Yelpers took part in nine different events across each city. In total, over 30 local businesses participated, giving out-of-towners a unique opportunity to mingle with local Yelpers and get a personal introduction to the best businesses in town. Yelpers were exposed to a wide range of unique spots, such as Unexpected Productions, Seattle's oldest improv theater located by the famous gum wall in Pike Place Market. The business certainly had an impact on visiting Portland Elite Jesy B. who recalls, “The quality of the improv with our wildly random suggestions was downright hilarious...They even had a Yelp-themed skit just for us...I'm sure to be back in Seattle & would be remiss not to come back to this place!” Seattle Elite Harsha G. and her +1 loved Portland’s welcoming atmosphere, saying, “...this was our first trip to Portland and the way Don welcomed us and took care of us indicated the general attitude of people here. The stores we went to, coffee shops we hung out in, breweries and cabs we took and yes, the wonderful people at Jupiter - every one of them consistently had this warmth and friendly nature that was great…”

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L to R: Seattle & Portland Yelpers bonding over cocktails / Yelpers munched on Yelpcorn in Seattle / Yelp shades were a necessity on a sunny day / Enjoying sunshine and local eats in Portland

Whether you’re a longtime local resident or an urban explorer, the Yelp community’s expertise can help you uncover hidden gems in your own backyard and guide you to great local businesses in another city. With a presence in 26 countries, 57 million reviews contributed to date, and vibrant Yelp communities all over the globe - we know just the place.

May 01, 2014

Yelp Elite Spotlight: Doreen H. Shares Her Favorite Hamburg Hangouts

On this leg of the Elite Spotlight journey, we’re hopping over to Germany to meet a bubbly Elite who’s always on the lookout for the next best discovery. Join me in saying ‘guten tag’ to Hamburg’s very own Doreen H!

Hamburg Community Manager Mareike Bruns says that Doreen is not only “sweet, witty and fun to be around,” she also “loves to discover her own city and the rest of the world through Yelp.” From her hilarious reviews, like this one of a recent visit to a Thai massage salon, to her contagious personality, Doreen consistently adds color to the Yelp Hamburg community and beyond. Mareike asks, “Could there be a more amazing Elite Yelper?” We’ll let Doreen’s charm speak for itself...

Screen Shot 2014-05-01 at 10.19.17 AMPhoto via Doreen H. on Yelp

What does it mean to you to be part of the Yelp Elite Squad?

Being an Elite Yelper has changed the way I look at my city when I walk around town. I now notice places I didn't before and am always on the hunt for new and undiscovered places. My idea of a city map doesn’t only consist of city districts and road maps, but also of burger diners, cafés and romantic spots to take in the sunset. I have made great new Yelper friends and am meeting new and interesting people through Yelp all the time!

What are the top 3 local spots you’re loving in your city right now?

1) You just gotta love Das Porezellanfräulein (translation: "the Porcelain Lady"). Lounging in this cute and old-fashioned tea room, you can get creative by decorating your own ceramics with colorful paintings. You can also sip on a cappuccino or a glass of champagne on the side to help your thoughts and paintings flow freely.

Screen Shot 2014-05-01 at 10.21.42 AMPhoto via Jasmin K. on Yelp

2) St. Pauli is the perfect place to explore any time of the day. Die Pauline (translation: "Lil' Paula") has something for every hungry tummy! You’ll feel like you're sitting in your mom's dining room as you enjoy a variety of different breakfast options, eat a cheap and yummy meal for lunch, or enjoy a piece of homemade cake while sipping on one of the delicious coffee options. There are also weekly themed buffets that will not fail to surprise or satisfy you! Die Pauline will never disappoint a hungry guest!

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Photo via Pauline on Yelp

3) The trade house Laegel is a must-do for everyone who is passionate about making delicious food! You can find all kinds of handy kitchen utensils and a wide variety of baking dishes, cute aprons, sugar garnishes to please the eye and the taste buds, as well as everything you need to make your own chocolate.

Describe your most memorable Yelp moment.

Wow, that's a tough one! I've had many great moments with Yelp, one of them definitely being when the judges for the "Yelp's crazy ice cream contest" event tried the ice cream I designed and mixed on the spot. It contained cheesecake, matcha and sunflower seed crunchy. I was so excited! I didn't win the contest in the end but I will never forget this event!

Yelp is more than just a restaurant review site. What else have you discovered on Yelp?

Is there anything you can't find on Yelp? I discovered a hole in the ground in the city of Bremen through Yelp that will reward you by making animal sounds once you throw a coin into it - no kiddin'! I’ve also found a café where the main activity isn’t drinking coffee or eating cake, but knitting with other fellow wool-lovers! Lastly, I found it comforting to discover that most of my Yelp contacts are just as crazy about food and addicted to enjoying exciting culinary delicacies as I am!

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Now that’s what we call local flavor! Drop a coin into the Bremer Loch in Bremen and you’ll be rewarded with an animal noise. Photo via Die Zwei M. on Yelp.

 

 

Continue reading "Yelp Elite Spotlight: Doreen H. Shares Her Favorite Hamburg Hangouts " »

April 28, 2014

Now on Yelp: Businesses that Accept Bitcoin

There’s a lot of information consumers can gather from the more than 53 million reviews that have been submitted to Yelp, but there are also times when people simply need to know some basic information before they decide to visit a local business.

Does the restaurant deliver?

Is that mechanic open?

What’s the dentist’s phone number?

Does the bowling alley accept credit cards?

Is it friendly for dogs?

Does the place have a “hipster” ambience?

Did this restaurant receive an “A” grade in its latest hygiene inspection?

All of these questions have something in common: they can be answered with a glance at a Yelp business listing.

We’re constantly thinking about how to make our business attributes more useful for consumers and businesses. That’s why we’re excited to announce that as of today, we’re adding a new attribute: “Accepts Bitcoin: Yes”

For an example of what it looks like, check out Little Lucy’s Mini Donuts in Austin:

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As a business owner, you can let your customers know you’re accepting Bitcoin by logging into your free business owner tools on biz.yelp.com and updating your payment attributes.

Why does this matter? For those who haven’t heard the buzz about Bitcoin, it’s a new payment technology that allows consumers and businesses to make fast, secure and low-cost digital payments from any Internet-enabled device. Bitcoin also allows for consumers and businesses to transact without having to store sensitive data like a credit card number. Finally, like cash, Bitcoin's transactions are one-way, so businesses don't have to worry about chargebacks.

We’re hopeful the introduction of the Bitcoin attribute will provide yet another way for consumers to connect with great local businesses.

April 24, 2014

Yelp Deals & Gift Certificates are Available in Canada Now, Eh?

When we launched Yelp Deals in 2011, we wanted to provide consumers with a great benefit - discounts at local businesses they were already searching for online. We know a whopping 82% of Yelp users turn to the site when they’re already planning to spend money, and finding a great deal on an oil change or fitness class is just one more reason to search Yelp before you buy. As of today, our neighbors to the north can join the party and start racking up savings at great local businesses in all categories with the launch of Yelp Deals and Gift Certificates in Canada.

More than 80,000 Yelp Deals are live on our site, offering consumers the opportunity to save on everything from spa treatments to moving services. In fact, the bestselling Yelp Deal to date is an offer from a moving company in Los Angeles that has saved money for the more than 1,800 people who have taken advantage of the $20 for $50 deal (that's more than $55,000 saved through just one offer!). Those customers, and those that have purchased one of the one million plus Yelp Deals sold to date, are not only getting a great deal, they’re also helping small businesses thrive by pledging to spend their money locally. While you’re at it, there’s also plenty of opportunity to share the gift of a five-star local experience with a lucky someone with over 40,000 Yelp Gift Certificates available.

For consumers looking to get in on this action, it’s easy to filter Yelp search results on the website and mobile app to see businesses offering a Yelp Deal. Go ahead, give it a whirl. More and more Deals will be available in Canada as this feature is utilized by Canadian business owners, like Mink Makeup & Hair in Vancouver, who is catching the eye of anyone looking for a makeup artist with a compelling $50 for $75 deal.

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Mink Gift Certificate Canada
For business owners wanting to attract new customers, setting up a Yelp Deal or Gift Certificate is super simple and takes only a few minutes. Start here, and give people searching on Yelp an additional reason to try your business over the competition.

April 08, 2014

Kimono’ver, Yelp has launched in Japan!

ついにYelpが日本に上陸!

サンフランシスコのYelp本社から太平洋を横断して5,144マイルほど進んだら、どこにたどり着くでしょうか? そう、沢山の島々(正確には6,852の島)が集まってできた国、日出づる国で知られる、日本です! 日本といえば、アジア大陸の玄関口として、そして驚くべき科学技術と素晴らしい文化を持った国として知られていますよね。 さらに、これから日本は、Yelpが上陸する26カ国目の国としても知られることになるでしょう!

日本の人口は1億2,600万人を超え、世界で10番目に人口の多い国です。日本はアメリカと中国に次ぐ第三のGDPを誇り、任天堂、シャープ、東芝やソニーなど、世界の電化製品を支える会社の本社が存在する、エレクトロニクス産業国でもあるのです。なるほど、そう考えると日本には世界最古の企業(なんと創業1400年以上!)があるというのも頷けますね。

日本人は息抜きの仕方だってちゃんと心得ています。 時にカラオケボックスで大騒ぎしたり、 コスプレレストランでディナーを楽しんだり、森林浴でリラックスしたり。日本の国民的スポーツ、野球を観て過ごすのも大好きです。それから、動物愛好家が多いこの国には、子供の数よりペットの数の方が多いんですって。でも、ペットがいない人も心配ご無用。いつでも猫カフェで、疲れた心を癒せますからね!

Yelpは日本の首都であり世界最大の主要都市である東京と、日本の経済中枢部である大阪に着目。本日より、Yelpの日本サイトを一般公開し、利用いただけるようになりました! ビンテージのお店クラフトショップアートギャラリー、100円均一ショップなどなど、お手持ちのスマートフォンやウェブサイトから簡単に、日本全国のローカルビジネスにアクセスし、あなたのお気に入りを見つけることが出来ます!

皆さん、早速、Yelp.co.jp にログイン、もしくはYelpのモバイルアプリをダウンロードして下さいね! ビジネスオーナーの皆様もbiz.yelp.co.jpから無料で店舗登録し、プロフィールを作成してYelpをご活用下さい。

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If you skipped a stone from Yelp’s SF headquarters some 5,144 miles across the Pacific Ocean, what would you find? An archipelago of islands (6,852 of them to be exact) known as the Land of the Rising Sun. Not merely a gateway to the Asian continent, Japan is a technological and cultural marvel — and the 26th nation to enter the Yelp fold.

With over 126 million people, Japan is the tenth most populated country on the planet, and economically speaking, it’s no shrinking cherry blossom. Only the US and China have a greater nominal GDP, and Japan touts an unparalleled electronics industry with companies like Nintendo, Sharp, Toshiba, and Sony headquartered there. It’s no wonder that Japan was home to the world’s oldest continuously operated business (which ran for over 1,400 years)!

But hey, the Japanese know how to let off some steam too! You’ll find them belting away in a karaoke box, noshing down at a cosplay restaurant, forest bathing, getting tipsy with crab-like monsters, or enjoying their favorite sport, baseball. This nation of animal lovers also has more pets than children, but the petless need not worry: you can always snuggle up at a cat cafe!

Yelp’s efforts will begin in Tokyo, the largest metropolis on Earth, and Osaka, the country’s economic nerve center. And starting today, all of Japan can use Yelp to find their favorite local businesses: vintage stores, craft shops, art galleries, even ‘100 yen shops’ — all from their smartphone or the web.

Log on to Yelp.co.jp or download Yelp’s mobile app to start spreading the wisdom. Businesses can get in on the action too at biz.yelp.co.jp by claiming their page for free and building out their profile.

 

Yelp Platform is Growing: Did Someone Say Spa Day?

Before consumers decide to spend money at a local business, they turn to Yelp -- whether it’s to help them discover the best pizza joint, a trustworthy locksmith or a quaint B&B for a weekend getaway. This is exactly why we introduced Yelp Platform last year, to give people a seamless way to transact directly with the businesses they’re already discovering on Yelp. We launched with delivery.com and Eat24 for food ordering and delivery, and today we’re excited to expand Yelp Platform with Booker for spas and salons!

H Salon Appt Book Platform

Been dying to treat your better half to a pamper sesh? Now you can head to Yelp to find just the place, then schedule your appointment directly from a Booker supported salon or spa (like The H Salon in Beverly Hills). Not only can you book directly from your computer or Yelp’s mobile apps, you can choose to save your payment details so you won’t have to enter them again for the billionth time.

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A select number of spas and salons are available for booking on Yelp Platform today and we’ll continue to roll out more in the coming weeks.

We’re continuing to add new categories and partners in order to bring consumers more ways to transact directly on Yelp. For more information on partnering with Yelp, please check out yelp.com/developers or contact bizdev@yelp.com.

March 31, 2014

Yelp Hackathon 13: Hacking and Unhacking from Hamburg to San Francisco

Hackathon has become a time-honored tradition here at Yelp, with engineers putting everyday responsibilities aside for 48 hours to work on any project that strikes their fancy. For the first time in Hackathon history we made it a global event, with engineers in Yelp’s Hamburg office joining in on the action for our recent Hackathon 13.

One SF-based mobile engineer even traveled to Germany to work with teammates based in Hamburg. The result of their project? Inventive use of hardware circuit boards and a realization that “beer is much better in Hamburg than in San Francisco.”

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Yelp engineers hacking away in our Hamburg office

Hackathon is truly a team effort, with everyone from interns to VPs working on projects to display at the big reveal. After lots of whiteboarding, secretive brainstorming, late night snacks, and one too many Red Bulls, tons of useful, funny and cool projects are unveiled, and the entire engineering team votes to declare winners in each category.

Some people stay business-minded with “unhacks” and set aside the time to do projects that have been on the backburner, like setting up an additional testing framework or running a backlog of code reviews. Others go the creative route. For Hackathon 13, one team imagined what a virtual reality experience may look like for Yelp Monocle. Prepare yourself...for the future.

Dying to get your hands dirty at a Yelp Hackathon? Check out the job openings posted at yelp.com/careers. Apply today, and you may be showing off your project at Yelp Hackathon 14.

March 18, 2014

Want More Customers? Try Yelp Ads

An average of 120 million unique visitors turn to Yelp each month to help them make a spending decision.* Since these consumers are already searching for a business with which to spend money, Yelp offers local businesses a wide range of advertising options that allow them to get in front of even more of these highly engaged Yelp users. In fact, a study done by The Boston Consulting Group last year found that Yelp advertisers generate average annual revenues of more than $23,000 from Yelp. With the average Yelp advertiser spending $4,200 annually, that’s a pretty impressive potential return on investment.

To meet the wide range of budgets and goals local business owners have, we offer an array of products that are tailored to fit everyone’s needs. While some might want the ease and convenience of subscription-based packages and the ability to talk things through with someone on the phone, others may want to manage their own budget. For that reason, we have a variety of advertising programs and products which include:

Flat-Rate Subscription Bundles:

(Guaranteed Ads + Profile Features + Account Management)

Offer targeted advertising via guaranteed impressions to increase a business' exposure when consumers on Yelp are searching for a related business. Businesses also get profile enhancements, including a photo slideshow, customized 60-second video and the Call to Action Button which helps to drive customers to the action the business values most (e.g. “schedule an appointment”). Businesses also get an account manager to help make the most of their ad program. A majority of our clients prefer this package because of its convenience and predictability.

Packaged CPC Bundles:

(Auction CPC Ads + Profile Features + Account Management)

Offer the same targeted advertising as impression ads but a business pays only when a user clicks on the ad. Yelp displays ads for a business in search results and on competitors' business pages and each time a user clicks on that business’ ad, the business pays Yelp for the click. The cost per click is based on advertiser demand in the category and the regional area. Multi-location businesses and chains that have their own experienced digital marketing departments have been using this option on Yelp for a few years. This full-service performance-based advertising package has also been available to Yelp's single-location business owners since last year and is growing quickly. Like the flat-rate bundle, this program also comes with profile enhancements and account management.

Self-Serve CPC Ads:

(Ads Only)

For businesses that wish to manage their own ad budget via our website, Yelp's self-serve CPC ad program is a great option. These are also auction and performance-based cost-per-click ads but don't come with full service account management or the profile enhancements that our full service programs offer.  

What’s more, business owners can measure the impact advertising has on their business with the free metrics Yelp provides as part of the suite of tools accessible to anyone who claims their free Business Account. See how Yelp Ads work for you by tracking pageviews and generation of customer leads, including mobile phone calls, clicks for directions, clicks to the business’ website and more. 

For many business owners, however, the real way they determine an advertising campaign’s success is by how many new customers they get from it. In many verticals, even one new customer a month can pay for a Yelp advertising campaign. But don’t just take our word for it. Check out the video below to hear about how Yelp advertising can impact your business, straight from a few small business owners. As Andrew C. of San Francisco’s Press Club puts it, “Yelp has made a dramatic impact on our client base. You can actually see - from the beginning when we opened to where we are now - a pretty direct correlation between the number of visitors we get through Yelp and our revenue.” 

So, can a business owner pay to get a better star rating? Absolutely not. We treat advertisers and non-advertisers exactly the same and you'll find plenty of Yelp advertisers with negative reviews, and plenty of non-advertisers with stellar ratings.

For more information on advertising on Yelp, click here.

*As of Q4 2013, per Google Analytics