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Getting the Most Out of Your Yelp Business Listing

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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.

Screenshot of how to claim your business listing on Yelp

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.


Important parts of your Yelp listing

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.

  • Double-check that your business name is spelled correctly and you’ve chosen the most appropriate category.
  • Make sure your contact information is fully displayed. You should include phone numbers, address(es), and any other helpful information about locating you. Are there landmarks to help find your business? Is there anything that confuses potential customers when they’re trying to find your offices? Explain that here. If anything changes, update your listing pronto!
  • Include a link to your site (and make sure your site is optimized to convert!). If you run a restaurant, please, please, please … provide an online menu for them to study.
  • Make SURE you have at LEAST one good photo on your listing. Not including a photo, or displaying one that’s hard on the eyes, out of focus, or blurred is an instant and substantial blot on your reputation. Potential customers will not regard you as professional and will most likely click onward to another listing that shows immediate photos. Include at least one photo of the facade of your business: what a customer will see when he or she is searching for you. It’s a really good idea to bring in a photographer to get some professional shots. If you do this and set up a gallery of photos, you will stand out from your competitors.
  • If your business is a restaurant that makes use of, you can connect to that here and make it easy for the customer to make a reservation.
  • Make sure you fill out the important info area. You’d be surprised by how many businesses don’t take the time to complete this information. You want potential customers to have easy access to all the info they might desire or find useful. Put specials here, hours of operation, what kind of price range they can expect, etc.
  • There’s a tab right next to reviews for an “about” section. Use it! Again, this is one that many businesses ignore. Here is an opportunity to shine. Highlight your best points.

For more information about using your account, visit the business support page for Yelp.

Local Competitors

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.

Handling 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.

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Veronica has been writing online since 2007. She enjoys helping clients with copywriting and content needs, as well helping with SEO campaigns. Her experience ranges from helping small websites succeed with SEO and internet marketing campaigns to writing for Planet Green (Discovery Channel).

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1 Comment

  1. avatar


    Hi Veronica, I enjoyed reading your article….it’s very well written.

    However , I’d like to add that many businesses, even yelpers themselves, have issues with yelp and its “filter”.

    Here’s what some businesses and/or yelpers have to say, on the yelp website itself:

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