Last Updated: October 27, 2015 2

A Beginner’s Guide to Using Yelp

Found In: Mobile

My Life is Better with Yelp

Being an avid traveler and a foodie, one of my absolute favorite sites when I’m exploring the country is an amazingly useful website called Yelp.  I have spent many days and many dollars visiting restaurants, shops, and events that ultimately left me disappointed because some friend or local told me how amazing it would be.  That one opinion was all I had to go on, so I took their advice and ended up wasting my valuable time and money on something that didn’t live up to its reputation.  I used to think, “Wouldn’t it be nice if I could get dozens of people to give me an opinion before I went somewhere, so I’d know where the hot spots really were, and which places were going to be duds?”

Well, my prayers have been answered by a popular growing website called Yelp.  The creators of Yelp have developed a program that allows you to research places you want to go before you go there and gives you a description of the business or event, photos, contact information, and best of all, reviews by a community of people who have actually been there and experienced what they have to offer.  I no longer have to depend on the advice of someone who might have horrible taste, or at least tastes that don’t match my own.  Now I can go on Yelp and look up potential places to visit, and then get ratings and reviews by a large number of people who have been there and seen first-hand what is happening.  Before I waste my time and money, I know what I’m getting myself into. If you’re like me, your free time is limited and you don’t have an unlimited budget, so Yelp is like finding an internet “treasure chest” when it comes to entertainment.

If you use the internet for business or entertainment research at any point, you are bound to have come across it, or at least heard of this website.  However, you may have no clue what it is or what it can do for you personally.  I didn’t know either, but my curious nature led me to explore it one day when I had a little bit of free time.  The site is surprisingly easy to navigate, and it’s actually entertaining if you are someone like me who likes to get out of the house and explore the events around where I live and where I might be traveling.  There are no confusing clusters of buttons and no barrage of pop-ups or advertisements to aggravate me and slow me down.  Like I said before, I hate wasting time and money; and the creators of Yelp must feel the same way.

Yelp is an amazingly useful social networking website where people can research local restaurants, businesses, and events; along with leaving their own personal reviews of these businesses for others.  It is basically an online community of people who want to share their experiences so that others know what places they should go, what events they should attend, and which of those they should absolutely avoid.

Yelp is very intuitive in its use, and as you create an account it will guide you every step of the way.  It runs on automated software to organize the reviews by what you are interested in, the location of the business or events, and the time that the experience is available.

Where to Start

The first thing you need to do to become a part of the Yelp community is to click this link or type  in your address bar at the top of the browser.  If you’re having any trouble with that, then simply do a Google search for Yelp and follow the link.  Yelp is a very popular site for all ages of people who enjoy dining, shopping, and entertainment; so it will be the very first website to come up in your search.

Yelp is available on any computer that has internet access, whether you are using a PC or Mac.  You can also use your iPhone or Android to access the Yelp mobile apps from wherever you may be, whether you are searching locally or you are out of town.  No matter where you are, you will be able to instantly find weekly updates about local business openings and other community activities.

Signing up for Yelp is super easy.  If you have a Facebook account already, you can just click a button and use that account in order to access Yelp.  Just remember to write down your password so you don’t forget it.  Maybe your memory is better than mine but better safe than sorry.  However, they will ask for your e-mail address too, and this is in the event you DO lose your password (like I did, twice).  They can easily send you a link to recover your password, or create a new one.  Then they will ask you a few questions just to make sure you’re human, and then you’re done and ready to explore the world around you from the comfort of wherever you are at the moment.

With your account activated you can not only read reviews, but you are a part of the community that can leave personal reviews as well.  If you attend something that turns out to be terrible, then you can go straight to Yelp and warn everyone about your experience.  Don’t let any business or event take advantage of people, blast them on Yelp and put them out of business for good!  How satisfying is that?  I find it to be quite fun myself; almost worth attending the horrible event!  Now I have a say in things, and there can be some justice in this world.

Yelp impacts businesses and events of all sizes, and it has revolutionized the way businesses earn their reputation.  You get to see honest reviews by real people like yourself instead of paid advertisements or the opinions of aloof critics.  Check it out before your next night out or your next vacation.  You’ll be glad that you did.