For businesses hoping to improve their online presence and branding, a positive Yelp profile can be a valuable asset. Created in 2004, Yelp has been around for nearly a decade, building up a database of businesses and user reviews. While other social media platforms may be just emerging into popularity, such as Pinterest, Yelp boasts an excess of 60 million register users with more than 20 million reviews posted, making it well worth the attention.
While most people associate Yelp with restaurants and food reviews, approximately 75% of listings on Yelp are for other types of businesses. As a result, businesses should take full advantage of Yelp, using the following techniques to stand out from other business listings and grab users attention.
1. Unlock Your Business Page.
Before getting into more sophisticated ways of managing your Yelp profile, you must first claim ownership of your business by clicking the hyperlink “Work here? Unlock This Business Page,” which is located beneath the basic information on a business’ profile. This signals to Yelp that you will henceforth be managing this page. It is advisable to claim ownership of your page as soon as possible in order to prevent any inaccurate information from being attached to your business.
2. Use Yelp as a resource.
Chances are, if you are reading this guide, you are not currently taking full advantage of Yelp as a resource for gathering valuable information. As with other social media platforms, Yelp can be essential in understanding competitorsí profiles and crafting your profile to stand above the masses.
Start by doing some research of your competitors, specifically those with exceptionally high ratings (4+) and those with lower ratings, comparing the differing characteristics which lead to these scores. Analyze these profiles and attempt to understand why they were rated as they were before adjusting your own profile.
3. Finalize your Business’ profile.
Once you have taken in what it takes to make an exceptional Yelp profile, complete your business’ profile using this information. Provide users with any features that might entice them and be sure to include all information that might be relevant to visitors, including the link to your website, contact information, and a small summary for the “About your business” section. Profiles that neglect to fill in this information or leave parts blank will be less reliable to users and will not succeed in capturing visitor’s attention.
4. Upload professional photos.
If you really want to be noticed and taken seriously on Yelp, professional photos are an absolute must. Users will instantly recognize poor photos taken by an unskilled hand or on a primitive camera, and this will greatly damage a business’ credibility. On the other hand, businesses that spend the time and effort to get professional photos have the opportunity to lead the customer on a guided tour of their brand, products, and services. Since it is much cheaper, using non-professional photos is a guaranteed way to blend in with the hundreds of other similar business pages.
5. Acknowledge and Respond to Reviews.
Each social media platform tends to have its own unique features for businesses and consumers to connect; with Yelp, this engagement typically stems from user Yelp reviews. Primarily, users come to Yelp in order to either write reviews of a positive or negative experience or read reviews to get an initial impression. As a result, reviews on Yelp should not be ignored or taken lightly.
Both positive and negative reviews can be beneficial to a business. The former can have extended positive effects on search engine rankings and on attracting more users, while the latter can provide invaluable criticism areas of the business that might need attention. In either case, businesses should respond to their reviews to show consumers that they truly care about their needs and wants and that they appreciate the feedback.
6. Track your progress.
After making all of these changes to your business’ Yelp profile, it is now time to analyze how well the strategy has worked. Businesses should take advantage of the Yelp dashboard to track metrics that provide insight on consumer behavior. With this information, businesses can adjust their strategy according to consumer trends and stay connected with their user base.
All in all, taking advantage of Yelp is not particularly difficult but may require an investment of some time and money. Using these methods, businesses can stand ahead above the generic crowd and attract a greater amount of visitors, benefiting further from their feedback and input. While Yelp may be older than many currently used social media channels, it can still make a significant difference in a business’ online presence.
Dave Landry jr. is a personal finance advisor and entrepreneur who will launch his second start-up company in the very near future. Dave is also a contributor to National Debt Relief.
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