The world is currently abuzz about the iPhone 5. In addition to having a larger screen and a faster processor, the new phone is going to do away with Google Maps for the first time. Instead, there will be a Maps app by Apple. The new Maps app is going to be integrated with Yelp, which is the popular online review website. According to reports, users will not have to leave the Maps app to check out reviews or view Yelp profiles. They will also be able to check into local businesses. If you own a business, this makes it more important than ever to get active on Yelp.

Why Yelp Matters

With its integration into Apple’s new iPhone Maps app, Yelp is more important than ever. If you’re not already active on the site, it’s time you got moving. Does your business have many reviews on Yelp? Do you have a profile? Do you respond to reviews? Do you post reviews about other businesses? If you answered “no” to one or all of those questions, it’s time to make some changes. Businesses that have active presences on Yelp get more attention than those that don’t, so you could be missing out on a lot of business.

More People will Use Yelp than Ever

Yelp has been a popular site for some time, and a Yelp app for the iOS and Android devices has been available for awhile. However, the Apple Maps app is going to make Yelp more popular than ever. Most people will automatically use the map app that’s included on the iPhone 5. When browsing through a map, they will see Yelp entries for local businesses. Can you afford not to reach out to that audience?

The Importance of Yelp Reviews

Reviews drive consumer spending and behavior. With the integration of reviews directly into your restaurant or business listing on the Maps you should be compelled to get more reviews ASAP.  Now obviously can’t force people to post positive reviews about your business, but you can gently encourage them by mentioning the site on receipts, brochures and other materials. After someone completes a purchase, ask them to give you a positive review on Yelp.

Don’t be afraid of negative reviews either. Take them in stride and try to respond to them in a constructive way. As long as you provide excellent products and services, you will have nothing to worry about. Before you know it, you will have plenty of Yelp reviews, and your business will appear more prominently on the new iPhone. When it comes to positive word of mouth, it doesn’t get much better than that.