If you are a local business is the United States, with over 142 million users, Yelp plays a very important role for customers to check your business out. Since 2004, it is giving important information about the business, along with rating and reviews of customers who have used your product or service to its users. These Yelp reviews plays a big part in deciding whether to choose your products and services or not.
Since, Yelp plays such an important role for customers, it is important that local businesses manage their profile on Yelp properly. The best part about Yelp is, it is free to set-up and manage. However, there are certain features for which you can pay for such as adding a Call To Action button, Removing Ads from the page, Using Enhanced Slideshow, PPC advertising, and providing deals and gift certificates to users.
To make best of Yelp, business should consider the following steps:
– Ask your loyal customers for a Yelp review
Most people use Yelp to find businesses and decide which one to go for basis their information and most importantly their reviews. Reviews are very important for your business as it helps customers to get an understanding of how the business treats their customers. Work on receiving high-quality reviews, loyal customers have used your products or service on a regular basis and will have good things to say about your business. Use your relationship with those loyal customers to receive more high-quality reviews which will help customers make a favorable decision about choosing your business.
Make sure the reviews are genuine. If Yelp decides that the review is inauthentic then it will not show it in your profile. Also, keep checking for fake reviews which might be given for extortion or planted by your competitors to bring down your ratings.
– Respond to customer reviews within 48 hours
A small gesture goes a long way. If a customer has taken time out of his schedule to write a positive review for your business, it is essential that you should thank the customer for taking out time to write some kind words for your business. It will also showcase to other customers that your business values customers.
Negative reviews if genuine should also be taken in a positive way. As there isn’t an option to take down the user review if it is genuine, the local business should respond to the customer to understand the problem areas and work to make their business better. Sometimes, this leads to the customer being satisfied and might take down the negative review. If the review is not taken down, it would be wise for business owners to explain the situation and steps taken to avoid it if needed in the future.
– Update your profile with information about your business
Provide as much information as possible, so users have more reason to choose your business over competitors. In order to keep your profile updated, local businesses should have a claim on their business. If you don’t claim your business then you will not be able to manage your profile with control in your hands.
The following information should be updated:
- Business name
- Physical address
- Website url
- Hours of operation
- Contact information
- Description of your business
- Photos of your business, team, products or services
- Other information such as whether you accept credit card, do you have Wi-fi, parking and so on
Your business name, address and phone number (NAP) should be consistent to the other platform where you are present. This will help in optimizing your Yelp page for SEO. Along with the NAP, choose the same categories as you have used in other platforms to boost your SEO. Include these categories in the pictures, description and other areas where it seems natural. As Yelp algorithm also cross check your business information with other platform, consistent information across platforms help is a positive factor for your business page. You can use your image section to include photos of your products and service to showcase them to your customer.
– Use enhanced business page features
For a small sum, Yelp provides certain features such as:
- Adding a Call To Action Button: It helps the customers to act when they visit your business page, something like ‘Request For A Quote’, ‘Call Us At ……’, ‘Book An Appointment’, etc can be used depending on the nature of business.
- Removing competitor ads from your business page: Which business would like to advertise for their competitor in their real estate? None. Similarly, you can turn off the ads of other similar businesses in your Yelp page such that customer is focused only on you.
- Enhanced photo gallery: Normally, whatever is being posted by a user or the owner, is being shown to the customer in a random or upload date order. However, using the enhanced photo gallery you can choose to showcase selected pictures at the top. This helps to project a better picture and impression of your business to the customer.
– Use Yelp deals and certificates
These help to get an edge over the competition as it gives an incentive to customers to choose your business. This are ideal for business to promote as they don’t have to pay any upfront fees. Yelp charges commission for deals and gift vouchers, when they collect the payment from the customer.
– Consider Yelp advertisement
These ads help your profile to reach to as many users as possible when they do a Yelp search and also inside a business page. It gives you higher visibility through its pay per click model to attract more customers to your business page. However, it should be noted that Yelp has a higher pay per click cost than other social media platforms.
– Keep your account active
Just creating an account and optimizing once doesn’t help in the long run. Yelp will showcase your profile more often if it is active. Regularly add images, reply to reviews, etc to keep your account active.
– Asking customers for Yelp ‘check-in’
You can ask customer to check-in to their Yelp mobile when they visit your business. This is a positive signal for higher ranking in Yelp.
– Yelp in email signature
It is always a good practice to promote your online presence using your email. You can dedicate a fixed period of time for different social media platforms to promote using your email signature. This will help in the targeted promotion of your social media accounts like Yelp.