What Is Yelp And How Does It Work?

Yelp is a super-popular business directory used worldwide

Businesswoman eating a salad and counting its calories with a calorie counter app on her iPhone
Using a calorie counter app is the easiest way to keep track of what food you eat.


Founded in 2004, Yelp is a popular online directory for discovering local businesses ranging from bars, restaurants, and cafes to hairdressers, spas, and gas stations.

Users can search Yelp via its website or with the official Yelp apps on iOS and Android smart devices. Listings are sorted by business type and results can be filtered by geographical location, price range, and unique features like outdoor seating, delivery service, or the ability to accept reservations.

Yelp has a strong social aspect and encourages its users to leave written reviews, star ratings, and photos of their experience with each business they visit.

Each Yelp account has a friends list which can be populated by connecting the app with Facebook and a smartphone or tablet's address book. Reviews posted on Yelp can in turn also be reviewed by other users while popular reviewers have the potential to be promoted to Yelp Elite status.

How To Write A Review On Yelp

  1. Search for the name of the business via the search bar in the Yelp app.

    Reviewing a business in the iPhone Yelp app.
  2. You should see five grayed out star icons. Tap the icons to rate the business out of five stars.

    The left star will give the business a one star rating while the right star will give it five.

  3. Type your written Yelp review. You can also dictate your review by tapping the microphone icon. To view other users' reviews of this business, tap on the star icon next to the microphone icon.

    Reviewing a business in the iPhone Yelp app.

    You can change your star rating at any time on this screen by tapping on the star icons.

  4. If you want to attach an image to your Yelp review, tap the camera icon.

    When you first attach an image, the Yelp app will ask for perimission to access your device's photos. Tap OK.

  5. Tap Attach Photos.

    Reviewing a business in the iPhone Yelp app.
  6. Tap Take Photo to take a new photo directly from within the app or tap Select from library to upload one you've already taken and have saved on your device.

  7. Tap the photo you want to add to your review and then type a short description of its content.

    This information will be used to categorize your photo on Yelp.

  8. Tap Done.

    Reviewing a business in the iPhone Yelp app.
  9. Feel free to make any changes you want to make to your review. You can also add more photos by repeating the above step.

    When you're ready, tap Post Review.

  10. Your Yelp review will now be live on the business' profile on the Yelp apps and website. Your photo will need to be processes before it's published. This can take up to a day.

How To Add A Business On Yelp

Sometimes when checking in or reviewing a business on Yelp, it can be hard to locate the correct listing. This can be due to a company changing its address, but at other times it can be because Yelp simply hasn't added the business to the directory yet.

Fortunately, anyone can add a new business to Yelp. Here's how to do so by using the Yelp apps. New businesses can also be added via the Yelp website by filling in this form.

Submitting a new business to Yelp isn't a guarantee that it will be accepted. Each submission can take up to two days to be manually approved and it could be rejected if some of the information is incorrect.

  1. Open the Yelp app and tap the search bar.

    Adding a new business in the Yelp iOS app.
  2. Don't type anything. Tap Search.

  3. Scroll down to the bottom of the search results and tap Can't find what you're looking for? Add a business.

  4. If you work for this business or if you're the owner, tap I work at the business. For these instructions though, we're going to assume that you're a customer wanting to check in and review a location so tap I'm a customer.

  5. Fill in as much information on the business as you can.

    Its name, address, and business category are compulsory but taking the time to add its hours, phone number, website address, and any other information you have can also improve your submission's chances of being accepted.

  6. Tap Add. If your new business submission is approved, it should go live on the Yelp apps and website within one to two days.