Your competition is definitely on Yelp. You should be, too. Marketing your brand on Yelp is great for improving:
- Your online reputation
- Search engine visibility
- Customer engagement
Let’s walk through the steps of driving more customer traffic to your business through Yelp.
How to Put Your Business on Yelp
Yelp is a free service for business owners. Take advantage of this online-review company to bolster your visibility.
Here’s how you go about getting your company on Yelp:
Claim Your Company Name
Search for your business name on Yelp using the site’s search bar. Then check the yelp business listings to find your business name. Be sure to:
- Click on the business listing
- Open the profile
- Click on the “Claim this listing” link next to your company’s name.
You can then follow the given prompts to claim your business listing profile, giving you more control over your Yelp business listing.
If your business isn’t in Yelp’s directory, you’ll need to create a listing. Here’s how:
- Scroll down to the bottom of the Yelp page.
- Under the “Yelp for Business Owners” section, open the “Claim your Business Page” tab.
- Click on the “Manage my free listing” button.
Follow the prompts and insert your zip code, business name, telephone number and email as well as the website and physical address.
Remember to select your business category. Do you run a restaurant, a medical clinic or a beauty salon? Be specific.
Punch Up Your Profile
Next, provide a business description and information about your business.
What kind of beauty salon do you operate? Do you have free Wi-Fi? Is there free parking? Is your business pet-friendly?
If you have claimed an existing listing, change any inaccurate information.
Want to share an interesting tidbit about your business that people will find appealing? Did your business premises once feature in a movie? Note that in your Yelp profile.
Include your work hours for customer convenience. It makes you look helpful.
Share high-quality photos of your business. People are visual beings and process images better than text.
Encourage Yelp Business Reviews
Once you’ve set up your Yelp business page and bolstered your profile, it’s time to gather some reviews.
Ways to Foster Reviews
Yelp discourages aggressive soliciting of reviews for businesses. So don’t offer freebies or other kinds of incentives. Instead, consider:
- Letting your existing customers know that you’re now on Yelp and that any feedback will be greatly appreciated. Do so respectfully. A subtle prompt may work in your favor.
- Adding a Yelp widget to your website. By using Yelp’s Review Badges, you will be able to showcase user reviews on your business site. This can help encourage traffic from your website to your Yelp business listing, increasing your visibility on that platform.
- Reminding people through your company newsletters you are on Yelp. Include the Yelp link in your email signature. Use the same strategy in your social media content.
- Adding attention-grabbing signs on your business cards, in your workplace and on your product packaging that your business is listed on Yelp. Keep in mind that Yelp offers “Find us on Yelp” signage for businesses in the U.S and Canada, so take advantage of that.
Be creative and you’ll find something that works for your business.
How to Handle Good Yelp Reviews
Thank your customers for their positive feedback. It leaves a positive impression in their minds and makes them more willing to recommend your business in the future.
How to Handle Bad Yelp Reviews
Be savvy with bad reviews. How you handle them may determine how other Yelp users and people in their social circles judge your business.
- Don’t get defensive when a customer complains about your business. Rather, listen. What is the grievance?
- Apologize, always.
- Make the customer feel heard and understood. Contact the reviewer or request them to contact you so that you can come to an understanding.
- Sometimes you may need to offer a free product or extra service to pacify the customer. Find a solution that works and use it to make it up to your customer.
- You might consider asking dissatisfied customers to share feedback on how your business can improve. If you take their advice, encourage them to visit your business again.
Handling issues in a respectful manner will net you more customers in the end. Other customers who followed the situation may appreciate how you have handled the matter.
Responding to Yelp Reviews
Dealing with reviews goes beyond handling good and bad ones.
- Check into the review section of your Yelp business account often so that your reviews don’t remain unattended. Make it a habit to respond to each one quickly. The Yelp for Business Owners app can help with this.
- Some reviews end up getting flagged by Yelp’s review filter. You should deal with them. If there are positive reviews in the “not currently recommended” section, find out why they didn’t count. Reach out to the reviewer and let them know that their comments are invisible, then work with them to address that.
- Go to the 1-, 2- and 3-star reviews factored into your rating and ask Yelp to review the ones you find irrelevant. Are there comments that don’t follow Yelp’s content guidelines? Get them removed. Are there comments where a customer complains about a product or service that isn’t related to what your business is about? Alert Yelp and get them removed.
How to Alert Yelp
You can do this by clicking on the flag icon at the bottom of the comments in question, then select a valid reason for why you want to report those reviews. The moderators will then evaluate your report and may end up granting your request.
Other Yelp Factors to Consider
Take advantage of other Yelp tools to expand your small business.
Keep customers up to date on your company’s latest news through Yelp’s announcement tool (And be sure blast your announcements through other online channels). This is an excellent way to increase customer engagement.
Announcing incentives through Yelp can help increase traffic to your business. Consider:
- Special one-time discounts
- Group discounts
- Gift certificates
Track Your Metrics
Take advantage of the available Yelp tracking tools to learn more about your customers and what keeps them engaged.
That too can help you improve your online reputation and your marketing strategies.
How much is a yelp business account in this case? Well, it depends on the upgrades that you choose. Perks can include:
- The ability to remove your competition’s ads at the bottom of your business listing page.
- Targeted local ads.
- Wider national-reach ads.
The cost varies depending on the ads you use.
Consider using some of your business growth funding to buy Yelp Ads to increase your visibility on the platform. You can get a free estimate to determine what might work for your business.
If you can invest a little time and effort, Yelp can help your small business.