How to Post a Review on Yelp

There’s no shortage of ratings and reviews for businesses on Yelp written by other people, some gushing with praise, and others carrying a tone of stern disapproval.  But what about what YOU think?  Whether you’ve been a customer at a store for a long time or just had a one-time drop-in, if you want to share your experience with other Yelp users, here’s how to do it.

How to write a review on Yelp

  1. Go to www.yelp.com in your web browser and log in.

  2. In order to review a business, you’ll need to find its page on Yelp.  See the “How to Search for a Business” section of our How to Use Yelp tutorial if you need help.

  3. In this example, we’ve chosen to review “The Bull BBQ Pit”, a popular local restaurant near Techboomers headquarters in Saint Catharines, Ontario, Canada (but not one we’re affiliated with in any way, just so you know!).  To get started, click Write a Review.

  4. You’ll be taken to the review screen.  The first thing you’re going to want to do is give the business an overall rating.  Click one of the stars beside the section labelled “Rating” to set your rating; you can click a different one to change your rating.  Stars closer to the left represent poorer ratings, while stars closer to the right represent better ratings.

  5. The next step is to actually write the review itself.  Click inside the box beside the section labelled “Your Review” and type in your thoughts about what you experienced at that business as a customer.  If you need some help with what to write or how to write it, click Read Our Review Guidelines to open a window with some general rules, and then click Review Guidelines in that window for some specific advice dealing with writing reviews.

    If you get stuck partway through your review and need some time to think on how you’re going to finish it, click Save Now to save what you’ve written so far, and then you can come back later and write the rest.

  6. The final step is to answer some questions about the business and its services. Click the buttons or check boxes beside the answers that match the business, to the best of your knowledge.  If you want to help out even more, click Show More Survey Questions at the bottom to display more questions for you to answer.

    NOTE: This step is totally optional, so you can skip it if you’re in a hurry or just don’t know enough about the business to answer honestly.

  7. When you’re all done, if you’ve had second thoughts and want to stop writing this review (or start over from the beginning), click Cancel.  Otherwise, click Post

    Don’t worry if you eventually have a change of heart concerning the business.  Your review isn’t set in stone once you post it, so you can come back and update it or delete it at any time.

  8. Once you post your review, you’ll be taken to a page that will confirm that your review has been posted.  From there, you can:

    – go to your review on the business’s page
    – fix your review if you’ve made a mistake or want to change it in any way
    – add the business to a “List” (of your favourite spots)
    – review a similar place nearby, or one that you’ve looked at recently
    – share your review via email or social media
    – go back to the top of the business’s page

Congratulations!  You now know how to write and post a business review on Yelp from start to finish!  Now, get out there and spread the word about your favourite hot spots!


How to Sign Up for Yelp

One of the good things about Yelp is that its core service doesn't require an account on the website in order to use it.  You can browse and search for local businesses — and read their information, ratings, and reviews — without signing up.  However, if you want to post ratings and reviews yourself, comment on the reviews of others, send private messages to other Yelp users, or post messages on Yelp's message boards, you will need your own account.

To create a Yelp account:

  1. Go to www.yelp.com in your web browser.  In the top-right corner, click Sign Up.

  2. If you have a Facebook account, you can use it to sign up for Yelp (you will be prompted to log in.)  For the purposes of this tutorial, though, let's assume that you don't have a Facebook account, or at least don't want to use it to sign into Yelp.

    In that case, simply click in the respective boxes in the screenshot below and type in:

    – Your first and last name (each in the appropriate box)
    – The address for an email account that you use
    – Asecurity password (appears as bullet points to keep it private)
    – Your mailing code (doesn't have to be a ZIP code if you're not from the U.S.)

    Also, if you'd like, you can click on each of the drop-down menus labelled "Birthday" and select the month, day, and year of your birth (but this is optional).

    When you've filled in the appropriate information, click Sign Up.

  3. Once you've signed up, you'll have the chance to create a profile to let fellow Yelp users know a bit about yourself.  If you don't feel like doing this, or at least not right now, you can click Skip.  You can go back and fill in your profile later, if you so choose.

  4. You will be taken to a screen where you can find people you know who already use Yelp by matching them against your email or social media account contacts.  Again, you can do this later.

    The thing that you want to notice right now is that Yelp tells you that it has sent a confirmation email to the address that you used to create your account on Yelp.

  5. Log into the email account that you used to sign up for Yelp.  You should see a new email from Yelp in your inbox; open it, and click either of the hyperlinks in blue to confirm your email address.

  6. You will be taken back to Yelp's home page, where you will receive a message from Yelp that your email address has been confirmed.

That's it!  You're all set to use all of Yelp's features!


How to Use Yelp

Now that you know a bit about Yelp, including how to create an account on the website, it’s time to start using it!  This tutorial will teach you how to do some of the most common things that you’ll be doing on Yelp.

To start, go to www.yelp.com in your web browser and log in.

How to Find a Specific Business

Say that you already know a little about a certain business, and you want to check their Yelp page for additional information, such as their hours of operation, where they’re located, or if they have a website.  Or maybe you just want to read the ratings and reviews to see if the place is any good.  In any case, it’s pretty easy to do.

At the top of the screen, there are two search boxes.  The one on the left, labelled “Find”, is for the name or type of business.  The one on the right, labelled “Near”, is for the location of the business.   We recommend starting with the box on the right, since by entering a location first, it will narrow down the names of businesses you find in the left box to those that are in that location.

Simply click in the right-hand box and type in where the business is located.  As you do so, Yelp will suggest places that might match what you’re trying to type in.  Click one to select it.

Now, click in the left box and type in the name of the business that you’re looking for.  Again, Yelp will give you suggestions on what might match your search terms.  Click a result with a picture beside it to go directly to that business’s page on Yelp.

It’s pretty much as simple as that!

Reading Ratings and Reviews

Once you get to a specific business’s page on Yelp, you can read the ratings and reviews for that business.  At the top of the page, under the business’s name, you can see their average rating (from 1 to 5 stars), and the number of reviews that were used to calculate that rating.  You can click Details to see a breakdown of the number of reviews that gave the business each score.

If you scroll down a little, you will see a section labelled “Recommended Reviews”.  This is where Yelp will show you the reviews that it thinks will be most helpful in deciding how to judge the business.  You can click the buttons under the heading to sort reviews by:

  • Yelp Sort: This will sort the reviews to have the ones that Yelp thinks are the fairest and most useful appear near the top.

  • Date: This sorts the reviews from latest to earliest.  Click this button again to reverse the order and show the earliest reviews first, followed by the latest ones.

  • Rating: This sorts the reviews from highest rating to lowest rating.  Click this button again to reverse the order and show reviews with the lowest ratings first, followed by ones with the highest ratings.

  • Elites: This will sort the reviews so that ones by Yelp’s “elite” users (i.e. those who post frequent, honest reviews and are otherwise very active on the website) will appear near the top.

You can also click in the box that says “Search Reviews” and type in a specific word or phrase that you’re looking to see in reviews.  Then click the search icon () to filter the reviews.

Finally, if there are reviews in multiple languages for this business, you can click the name of the language under the search box to see only reviews in that language.

Now, let’s look at an actual review.  You’ll notice there are three buttons along the bottom; you can click any of them to mark this review as Useful, Funny, or Cool.  Click the same button again to unmark it. 

You can mark as many or as few of them as you want.  You can also click the flag icon () to report this review if it contains foul language, offensive content, or something that’s otherwise fishy.

You’ll also notice options on the left-hand side, under the user’s details.  Click the respective option to:

  • Share Review: You can send a link to this review to someone via email, or post a link to it on your Facebook or Twitter account.

  • Compliment: This allows you to send a word of praise to this user, letting you choose what kind of endorsement you want to give them (e.g. their reviews are funny, they have a good profile picture, or you just want to say thanks for a helpful review), and then add some additional comments.  A compliment will show up on the user’s profile for all to see.

  • Send Message: This allows you to send a private message to this user by typing in a subject, and then what you want to say about that subject.  Nobody else but you and this user will be able to see the message.

  • Follow [user]: This allows you to receive notifications when this user posts a new review.  Click the button again to stop receiving notifications.

 

If there is a large enough quantity reviews for the same business, not all of them will appear on the same screen.  Scroll to the bottom of the screen to where it says “Page [X] of [Y]” and click the arrow buttons ( or )  to move forward or back a page of reviews.  You can also click one of the numbers here to skip immediately to that page of reviews; the black number with the blue box around it tells you what page of reviews you’re currently on.

You can also click [Z] Other Reviews That Are Not Currently Recommended to read some of the reviews that were filtered out by Yelp.  Just because Yelp doesn’t think they’re useful doesn’t mean that they won’t contain some insightful tidbits…

Anyway, those are some of the basics to reading ratings and reviews on Yelp!

How to Search for a Business by Category

Yelp’s search function has uses beyond helping you find a business that you already know about!  You can also use it to search for a certain category of business, and then use additional parameters to sort and narrow down what you’re looking for.

For example, let’s say you live in the Toronto, Canada area and are looking for a good plumber service.  Start by using the right search box to pick out your location.

Now, in the left search box, instead of typing in the specific name of a business, try typing in something general, like “plumbing”.  You can click one of the suggestions that appears that DOESN’T have a picture beside it, or you can click the search icon () to search for exactly what you typed in.

Now, when you get to the results page, click Show Filters (it will change to Hide Filters if they are already showing) to show options for sorting your results.  On the left, you can sort your results by:

  • Best Matches: the businesses whose information most closely matches your search terms

  • Highest Rated: the businesses with the highest ratings

  • Most Reviewed: the businesses that have been most frequently reviewed by Yelp’s users

You can click to check off or select the additional options at the top of the search page here to look for a business based on:

  • what neighbourhood it’s in

  • how far away it is from your current location

  • what features it offers (e.g. accepts credit cards, has parking available, is open now)

  • the category of service that Yelp classifies it as

When you’ve found a business that you like by using your sorting and filtering options, click on its name to go to its page on Yelp.

And that’s a quick tour of how to use some of the most common features of Yelp!