If you own a local business, being present and active on Yelp is a vital part of your success. Yelp has been described as “Google for local businesses” because of its potential to help these businesses gain greater online visibility and attract potential customers. Millions of people today use yelp to help them locate local businesses in their area and make purchasing decisions.
If you’re a local business owner then presumably, you are already on Yelp. But are you making the most of what it has to offer? How does your business currently appear in Yelp search rankings? Are you on top of your game when it comes to attracting potential customers from among the millions of daily Yelp users? Read on to find out how you can use Yelp dramatically boost your business.
The following steps will help you unleash the full potential of Yelp:
Analyze where you currently stand: Search for your business on Yelp and see what comes up. Where are you appearing in search rankings? Are your review rating positive (3.5 and above) or are they negative (below 3.5)? Is your business not listed at all or is it listed but doesn’t have any reviews? Analyzing your current standing will highlight where you need to start making improvements.
Claim your Yelp Page. Your Yelp page can greatly increase your overall online presence as well as your rankings on Google, Bing and other search engines. It is crucial that you take ownership of your Yelp business page. This will allow you to control your listings, interact with customers and other Yelp users and will make you eligible to buy advertisements for your business.
Optimize: Once you have claimed your business page, make sure it is fully optimized. An optimal Yelp page should accurately reflect the nature of your business and the types of services/products you have to offer. You can do this with a few simple steps:
- Make sure all your information is up to date. This includes contact information, business hours and the location of your business
- Include relevant details such as nearby parking or bus stations
- Make sure your business information is consistent with what you have on other sites, including your website and social media pages. Consistent information across the board will be picked up by Yelp and helps raise your rankings.
- Make sure you have a colorful and engaging photo gallery. Upload lots of photos of your business, products or services you offer. Include good exterior and interior shots of your business. Remember to include photos of yourself and even your These add personal touch because people always like to see ‘the face behind the name.’’ Consider hiring a professional photographer instead of doing it yourself. A professional can really bring your business to life and make them as engaging as possible. Ideally, your photo gallery should consist of 10 to 15 photos
Increase your exposure: Yelp listings are based primarily on exposure, which is the case with all search engines. Yelp differs in that it measures your online visibility and exposure by your customer reviews. The more reviews your business has and the more engagement you have with your customers through replying to reviews, the higher you and exposure. But your overall inline engagement is important so make sure you are interacting with customers through your blog and on social media.
Check out your competition: Not many local business owners pay attention to this but it can be a great tool. Check out how your competition is faring on Yelp. Examine their business listings and see how they display their business. Read their reviews, the good and the bad. Look for patterns or commonalities in customer feedback to gain insight as to what you should or should not be doing.
Stay on top of Yelp’s offerings. Regularly check the Business Owners’ Blog on Yelp to learn about any new tools they are offering which you can use to leverage your business.
Link to your Yelp page: Place links wherever you can. Add them to your email signature, on your website, business blog and social media pages to encourage more customers to visit your business page.
Reviews, reviews, reviews! Yelp is one of the biggest and most trusted review sites online. Potential customers will want to see what other people are saying about your business before that make the decision to buy your product or service. Having a steady stream of good reviews from satisfied customers is critical for boosting your rankings and generating business. Here are a few tips:
- It is critical that you have an excellent review strategy for collecting, monitoring and responding to reviews (ReviewerPro.com handles this perfectly).
- Always respond to good and bad reviews to generate more exposure
- Always respond to bad reviews professionally and courteously and resolve any issues immediately.
- Reviews must organic. Yelp has a smart filter that can detect if a review has been paid for or coached. Too many reviews in a short space of time will also be detected as spam and removed.
Run a Yelp Deal: This is a great way to promote your business and generate more customers. Yelp deals consist of discount coupons or gift certificates or other special offers for customers to your business. There is no upfront payment for running a Yelp deal, although Yelp will take a small percentage of your deal sales
Millions of people trust Yelp to help them make decisions about patronizing a local business. With over 60 million registered user, Yelp Is the place for any local business. Whether you are already active on Yelp or just starting out, the tips in this article should get you on the right track to getting the most out of Yelp.