Are you taking full advantage of the marketing opportunities happy customers can provide? If you run a local business, then you need to be putting Yelp to good use.
If you somehow don’t know about Yelp, it’s a site that was launched in 2004 to host customer reviews of local businesses. Millions of people search Yelp every month to retrieve information about services near their home or wherever they’re about to travel. If you aren’t actively using it, then you’re probably missing out on a large slice of potential customers.
Yelp is one of the biggest social review sites out there, with more than 60 million registered users. Don’t assume that just because you’ve heard about it for a long time, it must be old and not worth pursuing.
Don’t tell yourself it’s just for restaurants, either. All kinds of businesses are featured on Yelp. In fact, restaurants make up only a small percentage of Yelp’s listings.
Getting Started with Yelp
Chances are that, even if you haven’t been using Yelp, you already have a page there. The first thing you need to do is search the site for your business name and see if anything comes up. If it does, then you need to “claim” your listing. An unclaimed listing can be dangerous. Others can upload inaccurate information on it and make your business look bad.
So go check whether you’re listed. Now. We’ll wait ….
Find your listing? Click on the “Work Here? Unlock this business page” link.
Once you do, you’ll need to log in and Yelp will call the business number with a code for you to enter. This confirms you’re actually associated with or own the business. Once you verify, you’ll be able to edit all the basic information on the page. You’ll also be able to add more sections to your listing. Add them and fill them out completely.
There are several areas of your listing that you’ll want to fill out and optimize. Make sure you complete all the areas I’ve boxed in red in the above screenshot.
For more information about using your account, visit the business support page for Yelp.
It’s a good idea to take a few minutes to view how your competitors are doing on Yelp. Search for the top three or four of them. See how they’ve set up their listings. Take note of the differences between those with 3- and 4-star ratings and those that have ranked lower.
Do the ones with higher ratings have better pictures? More reviews?
What about the content of the reviews? Reading the reviews of your competitors is an easy way to identify the things that make customers happy and encourage them to post good notices. Same goes for what makes them leave a bad review.
This can be invaluable information for you. It will help you understand your customer base and what’s most important to them … and in the end, what you need to do to earn your own supply of good reviews.
Believe it or not, both good and bad reviews can be helpful for you. It’s obvious what the good ones accomplish: they make you look good and help convert potential customers. You can also use a quote or two from good reviews to post on your own website or on social sites.
Got a bad review? First, don’t freak out. Respond to them directly and swiftly — and be kind, calm, and collected. Be sincere in your desire to remedy the situation.
Good or bad, you should always try to respond to reviews. Showing that you care, in both positive and negative situations, and that you appreciate everyone’s business, can go a long way.
Monitor Your Listing’s Performance
Be active with your listing and pay attention to how it’s performing. As a business owner, you have access to a wealth of information about visitors, click-throughs, whether people visited on a mobile device or not, and much more. You can learn about monitoring your listing performance here.
If used correctly, Yelp can send a lot of business your way. There’s a reason why any local SEO professional worth a grain of salt will always include it in your online marketing plan.
Contact us if you need help with your rankings and landing more business. We live and breathe this stuff, and we guarantee we can help you.