Digital Marketing Services… Done For You ℠

How to Maximize Your Business’s Presence on Yelp

 Renew Marketing    Internet Marketing

How to Maximize Your Business’s Presence on Yelp

Yelp is one of the most powerful websites in the world. Yelp is filled with reviews of local services. A single good or bad Yelp review can make or break your business.

Yelp lets business owners create their own business profiles. Businesses can interact with customers and publically respond to positive or negative reviews. Business owners can also buy advertising space to promote their business.

Obviously, Yelp has a lot of marketing tools your business can use. Today, I’m going to show you how to maximize the effectiveness of these tools and put Yelp to work for your business.

Vital Yelp statistics

Think Yelp isn’t important enough to warrant your attention? Here are some of the most important statistics to know about Yelp:

-In Q1 2014, Yelp had approximately 132 million monthly unique visitors

-In Q1 2014, 61 million monthly unique visitors viewed the site from mobile devices

-Over 57 million local reviews are currently posted on Yelp

-Yelp uses automated software to sort reviews based on their perceived accuracy and to filter out spammy, fake, or low-quality reviews

-Yelp makes money by selling advertising space to local businesses

Creating an effective Yelp profile

Any business owner can launch their Yelp profile. You can use this Yelp profile to post photos, map directions, updated contact information, hours, and other important business information.

You can also message customers and respond to specific reviews. To setup your business’s page on Yelp – or to gain access to your existing business profile on Yelp – visit this page: https://biz.yelp.ca/

When you first setup your Yelp profile, you want it to be 100% unique. Your Yelp profile should tell potential customers your address, map location, menu information, and other important details. Post photos of the interior and exterior of your restaurant and make the images as visually appealing as possible – many customers will click or avoid your business based on the image they see when they first open Yelp.

Manage bad reviews and encourage good ones

One thing business owners cannot do on Yelp is edit or delete customer reviews.

That can either be really good or really bad. At some point, most businesses will have to deal with a bad online review. On Yelp, there are a few effective ways to do that:

-Respond directly to the customer using the Yelp ‘Send Message’ feature and identify the problem at the source

-Drown out the bad review with lots of good reviews. Encourage happy customers to leave reviews on Yelp. Leave “Yelp” stickers around your business or post a Yelp reminder on your receipt.

-Publically respond to the review on your Yelp page. There are right and wrong ways to do this. Do not engage in a “flame war” with your customer and avoid responding to the review based on your impulses and emotions. Instead, thank the customer for the feedback and avoid launching into an angry rant.

-Do not drown out the bad review with fake reviews for your business. Most people can spot fake reviews from a mile away – especially if oddly-written positive reviews are surrounded by genuinely-written negative reviews.

Highlight positive reviews

As many small business owners know, a single positive Yelp review can make your day. When a customer says nice things about your business, it brings a smile to your face.

Lots of people will see your positive reviews on Yelp. But even more people will see your positive reviews if you put them on your menus, your front windows, or other parts of your business.

Consider adding a “People Love Us On Yelp” sticker to your business. They’re free from Yelp.com.

Your Yelp reputation is about more than just reviews

Your restaurant may serve the best food at the lowest prices in town, but that doesn’t matter if you mismanage your Yelp profile.

Your Yelp profile is a big part of your business’s online presence. Like any part of your online presence, you need to carefully manage that reputation.

A Yelp reputation is about more than just your positive and negative reviews. It’s also about how you display your business and how you respond to customers on that page. No matter what you’re doing on your Yelp profile, conduct yourself in the same way as you want your business to be portrayed. And don’t forget the message you leave for your customers could become part of your business’s reputation for years to come.

Should you use Yelp ads?

Yelp has been heavily promoting its advertising system. In fact, Yelp advertising is the primary way in which the website generates revenue.

According to some rumors, Yelp has resorted to some shady selling practices when it comes to their advertising. Specifically, rumors state that businesses which don’t pay for Yelp advertising will see more negative reviews pop up on their page.

We don’t know if that’s true, but we do know that the FTC has received over 2,000 complaints about Yelp since 2008.

In any case, Yelp advertising can be an effective marketing tool. With Yelp advertising, your business can pay to post itself at the top of the search rankings.

When someone searches for “Dentist” in your local area, then your practice can be the number one entry that pops up. Your entry is shaded in a slightly yellow color and is displayed with a “Yelp Ad” emblem in the top right corner.

Additionally, you can promote a specific offer. Customers can pay $75 for a $100 gift certificate, for example.

If your business is trying to attract new customers, then Yelp ads may be an effective tool for you to use. However, they tend to be expensive, charging as much as $600 CPM (cost per thousand views). For small restaurants, this might be too expensive. But for larger legal firms or medical practices, Yelp ads can be a powerful marketing tool.

Conclusion: Is Yelp right for you?

Whether you like it or not, your customers are currently searching for you on Yelp. When your business has an incomplete Yelp profile – or worse, a malicious Yelp profile – then Yelp can be a toxic cancer to your business’s growth.

The best time to start using Yelp is now. As one of the Internet’s premier review networks, Yelp isn’t likely to disappear anytime soon. If you offer a local service, then you need to start taking full advantage of Yelp’s marketing tools today.