4 Steps to Yelp Success
By now, I’m sure most of you have at least heard of if not used Yelp at least once to find a place to eat, shop, or visit. Yelp is considered to be a combination of a social network, user review site; as well as a local search web site. The key word in that last sentence is “Local Search Website.” For small local businesses, Yelp should not be an option but a requirement. Whether you like it or not, people will be searching Yelp to see what others are saying about your business, this is why it is absolutely crucial to make sure that you keep a close watch on your Yelp page. Below I will discuss the 4 steps every small business should take into account when creating and managing their Yelp Pages.
1. Fill Out Your Business Page
Claiming your Yelp Page is super easy to do. All you have to do is head over to Yelp.com, fill out a few forms and answer a quick automated phone call to verify that you are indeed the owner of the place you are trying to claim on Yelp. It literally takes under 5 minutes and will be the best 5 minutes you’ve ever spent online if you are a small business owner.
Once you have claimed your page and it’s been verified, it’s time to fill out all the crucial information about your business. Customers will refer to your Yelp Business page and if you don’t have the correct information, chances are they will move on to a competitor that has provided the right amount of information for which they were looking for. People don’t want to waste their time with a business, if they know from the start that they can’t even provide the correct basic information about their business. They key here is to answer every question with accurate information and make sure to keep it updated on a regular basis since things always change.
2. Respond to Customer Reviews
The truth of the matter is that not all reviews are going to paint the best picture of your business. Your job is not to defend your company but to respond in a constructive way that will show your company in a positive light that also lets the reviewer that you are actively addressing their issue to make sure that it is fixed.
Yelp, has given business owners the ability to respond to negative reviews, either privately or publicly. Don’t skip out on using this feature because you are afraid of making it worse. If you can make a positive impression on the reviewer and let them know that you value their input, chances are they may give you a second chance if you can correct the problem they had with you in the first place.
3. Update Your Offers Regularly
This one is a no brainer. Yelp gives business owners the ability to share special offers and announcements to not only those who visit your page but with members of the community who may not even know about your business. Every time you create a new offer or announcement, it will appear in the offers and announcements directory for the city in which your business is located in. anyone searching this section will have the ability to see your business, increasing your exposure. This is why it is imperative for you to regularly up date your offers and announcements so that you continually appear atop this page.
4. Proudly Display Your Yelp Page
Once you’ve verified your business page on Yelp, they will send you some sticker to put in your window. I highly suggest that you make these visible on your front door so that people can see that you are actively engaged on the site. Yelp also offers an online badge for users to put on their websites or blogs. Again I highly suggest placing these on your site or blog to allow people easy access to your Yelp business page, where they can check out your reviews, add some of their own or just find out some more information about your business. The more that you publicize the fact that you are on Yelp, the higher probability that people will engage in a positive manner with your brand on your business page.