Have you heard of Yelp? Most people have—and most people use it daily to figure out a staggering number of decisions in their day, from where they plan to get their hair cut to the location of lunch with the ladies to the window contractor they plan to use to repair a broken pane.
Yelp is like a trusted, go-to friend when it comes to recommendations—except that it’s crowd-sourced and it can often be brutal. If you’re an owner of a business, it’s definitely in your best interest to make sure that you have a Yelp business listing—and that it’s a good one. The more stars you have on Yelp, the more fleshed out your listing is and the more reviews you have, the more good business you’ll get—it’s a simple fact.
Because it’s a great idea to optimize your Yelp business listing, you should likely start to invest in that right away. However, it can be an overwhelming process — there’s a lot to do! We’ve put together this helpful step by step guide to help you out. Keep reading for an easy guide to making your Yelp profile sing.
Step One: Check Whether You Already Have a Profile (Even if You Don’t Know It!)
Because Yelp is a crowdsourced platform, it’s not ridiculous to think that someone else may have already started your homework for you. It a user has already visited your business or utilized your services and wanted to leave you a review, they may have gone ahead and set up a profile for your business so they could write nice things about you.
That’s fantastic—but you definitely need to take it from there. If you can claim your profile, you’ll be able to do a lot more with it, from customization to advertising to giving your potential customers crucial information about your business (like parking and rates for services!).
Start by going to the business side of the Yelp page, and entering the name of your business (or your address). Search for various keywords about what you do. See if your business comes up! Keep a lookout for anything which may have been misspelled or incorrectly categorized, too—if you recognize your business, you can claim the page, keep the reviews, and update anything which needs to be changed.
If you notice that your business comes up in the search results, click the “Claim Business” button which is to the right of your business’s hyperlink. Yelp will email you once the verification process is complete, and then you should be good to go. If you don’t already have a profile, it’s a very quick process to make one—just follow the prompts on the Yelp home page.
Step Two: Make Sure to Provide as Much Information as Possible About Your Business
Now that you have your profile, whether you claimed it or built it yourself, you can easily ensure that all of the information you want to have out there is easily available on your profile.
This will only help drive business to your location! If potential customers can adequately prepare themselves to visit your location, they’re much more likely to do so. Giving them as much information as possible about parking, rates, pet policies, what’s in the area, and more will give the impression that you care about their experience—which is one of the best and easiest ways to help customers trust that they’ll have a good experience with you.
Think carefully about the pictures you upload—you’ll want to present the highlights and offerings of your business in a clean and well-apportioned way while sticking as closely to the truth as you can. In this day and age of Photoshop, most customers can suss out inauthenticity from a mile away. Be open about what you’re doing—it’ll make people want to know more.
If you have a business profile, you can log in to Yelp at any time and edit this business information as you see fit — for example, if you rebrand, or for something as simple as if your opening and closing hours change.
Don’t shy away from being very clear about what your establishment offers! Yelp has a section which has simple radio buttons indicating whether (for example) your business takes differing types of payment, if you have television or wifi or other entertainment amenities, if you offer delivery, or if you cater (depending on what your type of business is.)
It’s easy to be tempted to say that you offer all of those things — after all, wouldn’t anything otherwise be negative marketing? You want to stand out from the crowd, and seeing those options laid out there can make it seem like you’re missing something! However, rest assured that that isn’t the case.
You never know precisely what the customer is looking for. Perhaps they want to go to a place which doesn’t have television or wifi! In any case, it’s in your best interest to reflect what you have accurately; you don’t want someone to visit, be disappointed, and then be able to accurately say that you misrepresented your business on Yelp!
Flesh out the History section of your business profile with a story about your business which will connect to the humanity within your customer, perhaps telling about how you founded the business or the types of customers you enjoy seeing every day. Humans crave good stories—you’d be surprised at how this simple step might help you drum up business!
Finally, when you’re filing in the “Meet the Manager” section, it’s important to sound as friendly as possible. Take the time to make sure that you sound like someone you’d want to meet—regardless of what your company does.
Taking the time to optimize your business’s Yelp profile can seem like a simple task, but it’s easily one of the most important things you can do to ensure that you have a great online presence. Log in today to take actionable steps towards tomorrow’s better business! You can also ask the experts here at Reputation Desk for some tips!