Yelp is a great tool for improving the online presence of your local business. Yelp has been a resource for millions of visitors looking for information on local businesses since 2004. If you are looking to maximize the potential of your online presence and attract new customers, then Yelp is a great place to look.
Yelp has become a well recognized platform for social interaction and reputation management for your business. Regardless of whether you are new to Yelp or if you have been active in the past, this article will help you to make the best of your Yelp listing. Linking to your Yelp listing from your businesses website can add an important social media dynamic to your online presence. Here are 5 ways you can maximize the potential of your Yelp listing for your local business.
With so many choices in social media, such as Facebook, Pinterest, or LinkedIn, you might be wondering what Yelp has to offer. Yelp is unique because it offers a rich toolset for reputation management. Reviews have become a large part of the shopping, buying, and decision making process of the Internet savvy consumer. Yelp is by far the largest site when it comes to social reviews.
How to get started with Yelp.
There are a few items to cover before you get down to setting up your Yelp listing. First off, you may already have a Yelp listing that has been created for you, by a customer. You’ll want to search for your business name and see if you can claim an existing listing.
It’s always a good idea to claim your business listing, even if you don’t plan on utilizing it in the near future. Yelp is very popular, and someone else may claim it for you. Yelp.com has a section dedicated to Yelp for Business Owners, if you need more information on claiming your listing. Once you claim your listing, you are ready to take it to the next level.
#1 Check out the competition.
The first thing you should do is look at your competitor’s listings. This can give you valuable insight into which listings look the best, and how you can make yours stand out. Yelp has a system of stars for reviews where a 5 star rating is prestigious. Do you see any patterns in the listings of 4 star or higher businesses? Is their website linked, and does it look impressive? Do they have nice photos of the business location or menu? Make a short list of what you found appealing, and use it to spruce up your own listing.
#2 Get started on your business’s Yelp profile.
Your Yelp profile has several essential areas that you’ll want to configure. Having all of these elements present will maximize your Yelp presence.
- Name and Category – Make sure your business name is spelled correctly, and that you are in the correct category for your businesses service.
- Address and Phone Number – Include your street address, and any helpful information such as cross streets, or landmarks.
- A Link to your website – Yelp has a place for your website’s link. This is important because it allows customers to instantly go to your website for further information. A Yelp profile can only contain a portion of the information your website has.
- A nice set of photos – Photos are important to convey an impression of your store to customers. This is especially important for mobile customers, the photos are featured prominently on Yelps mobile website, and can be a strong factor in a buying decision.
- OpenTable.com – Does your restaurant take reservations via OpenTable?
- Detailed business information – Hours of operation, pricing, seating, parking, etc. Give the customer some basic information about your location and offerings.
- About This Business – Place any additional information you would like your customers to know about your store here. If you have a weekly special or event that you would like customers to know about, make sure to add it.
#3 Photo Galleries are a great way to convey your message.
Yelp’s website and mobile website will both prominently display any images your upload, offering customers a quick view of your storefront and products. This is an excellent way to share menu items, merchandise, and services.
#4 Customer reviews are a big part of Yelp.
As customers enjoy your products and services, they may review you on Yelp. Social reviews like Yelp have become an important part of the Internet landscape. If your business is not participating in this conversation, you could be missing a great opportunity to influence customers when it matters most, when they are ready to buy. Furthermore, you can positively reinforce customers that review you, with the “Add owner comment” ability. Being present in the conversation and engaging your customers socially is a great way to build brand awareness and generate some buzz in the community.
The flip side can happen if you get a negative review. We all hope this doesn’t happen, but if it does be sure to take a moment and decide how you want to respond. Is it a legitimate complaint? Can you offer a resolution in your response that shows you want to resolve the issue? Yelp has a few helpful hints when deciding how to respond to reviews.
#5 Yelp listings show up in search engine results
Yelp’s popularity and sheer volume of links makes for great search result ranking and search engine optimization. Your business website may rank at the top of searches, but you may be competing with other businesses for those very same customers. Filling out your Yelp listing can place another “virtual sign post” on the internet pointing to your business. Even businesses without a website can show up in searches due to their Yelp listing. Make sure you are utilizing Yelp to your competitive advantage.
These are just a few of the ways that Yelp can help the online presence of your local business. Feel free to share any other experiences you’ve had with Yelp with us!