Yelp: 27% of Searches Now from iPhone

Yelp said that in May it had 32 million unique visitors, making it one of the leading local sites on the Internet. The company also released some data about iPhone usage, which are quite impressive. This is verbatim from the associated Yelp blog post:

  • On average, 27% of all Yelp searches come from our iPhone App. That number dips during the week when Yelp.com traffic surges. Then on the weekend, it moves up again as people pull out their Yelp mobile apps when they're on the go - a trend we've already been seeing for quite some time!
  • Last month, over half a million calls were made to local businesses directly from our Yelp iPhone App. That's about 1 call every 5 seconds to a business as a result of Yelp.
  • Nearly a million people generated point-to-point directions to a local business from their Yelp iPhone App last month.
  • In the past 30 days, Yelp for iPhone has had over 1.4 million unique visitors.

Sites like Zillow and Trulia have expressed that about 10% to 15% of traffic comes from their mobile apps. The Yelp number is huge by comparison and shows how significant mobile has become to the company's overall brand and strategy.

Yelp's content and use cases, in most cases, are a direct fit for mobile. Non entertainment related verticals might not see the same levels of traffic and usage. But the data above illustrate that the mobile market and mobile strategies cannot be put off by publishers and advertisers for much longer.  

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Yelp has also taken another step in the direction of Foursquare et al by adding badges:

Now when a user checks-in to a combination of businesses, they will be able to earn "Yelp Badges." Badges you earn will help show off where you're checking in. For example, if a yelper loves to get their nigiri on at sushi restaurants, they can earn the "Sushi Sensei" badge . . . Once earned, badges can be shared with friends both via the Yelp iPhone app, as well as on Twitter and Facebook.

If users are checking into the same businesses in a given time period and/or neighborhood, they can also earn "Royal" status. Got the most check-ins at a business? You're the Duke, good sir (or Duchess, for the ladies). Most Dukedoms in a 'hood? You're the Baron! Most in the city? You're the King! . . .