As small businesses grow more attuned to the need for a digital marketing strategy, the focus on social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter often overshadow another huge player in increasing business: Yelp. While all of these platforms help a business to connect with its audience and increase exposure, Yelp is often the deciding factor between similar businesses in an area. With user-generated reviews, most customers trust what they read on Yelp more than a personal recommendation from a friend.

According to the data collected in this infographic from Merchant Warehouse, 90% of Yelp users say that their buying choices are influenced by positive reviews. Online reviews are what 44% of consumers take into consideration when deciding which business to go to, more than business ratings, number of reviews, or reviews from family or friends. In fact, the small businesses who have realized the power of Yelp with a business account have seen an increase in annual revenue of $8,000 on average; for those who pay to advertise on the site this figure jumps to $23,000.

Although the power of Yelp for growth potential is evident, the vast majority (87%) of small businesses are not taking advantage. Check out the figures below and reconsider the value Yelp can play in your digital marketing action plan.