Amongst the various home service groups I belong to, bringing up Yelp is typically met by many groans and sneers. While some find success with the platform – many others disagree with their “less than above board” sales tactics. (A search for Yelp Lawsuit produces over 1.5 million results)
Aside from their sales tactics, it is still widely used by the public when researching local businesses – as such, it’s important to have a profile on there.
Who’s On Yelp?
Before optimizing for the platform, it’s helpful to know exactly who is using Yelp. According to a 2018 comScore analysis, over 60% of Yelp users are college-educated adults over the age of 35. Just shy of 50% of Yelp users earn over $100k annually.
Here are the 7 steps we take to optimize our client’s listings on Yelp. Let us know if you have other steps you like to take.
7. Build Your Profile
Establish your Yelp business page on biz.yelp.com. Log into “Yelp for Business Owners.” Seize every opportunity to be seen. Much like with Google My Business, complete your profile with relevant information that makes you the right choice at every angle:
- multiple ways to contact you
- business hours
6. Introduce Yourself
Step out and introduce yourself through the “Meet the Owner” tab. Greet the customer with the tone you would give to someone walking into the entrance of your business.
5. Add in Categories
Locate the link that allows you to add categories and find up to three categories that are most relevant to you. Finally, utilize Yelp messenger to allow potential customers to get in touch with you.
4. Highlight Pictures that Highlight You
Offer an inviting tour of your business through pictures that show exactly what your business has to offer.
- Introduce your team,
- highlight the owner
- bring visibility and awareness to your areas of service and expertise.
Keep an eye on how users are engaging with the pictures on your page and update them from time to time.
3. Reach out With Reviews and Recommendations
Customers gain confidence in reviews. They want a partner in decision-making. Currently, over three-fourths of potential buyers look to review sites for online conversations about their needs. Be there. As you receive reviews, respond to them. Businesses that respond tend to experience a higher star rating on average.
2. Promote the Positive
Cultivate those customer recommendations. Share positive reviews and customer feedback from your Yelp presence to other forms of social media to give credence to both forms of free advertising. Click “Share Reviews” to post on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and tag with a headline such as this one: “We are proud to serve so many satisfied customers.” Obtain multiple levels of marketing value, while allowing clients and potential customers know that you are paying attention.
1. Design a Deal
Add a Yelp deal or gift certificate to attract new customers with incentives, such as a twenty percent reduction for first-time buyers. Yelp offers this incredible revenue-booster completely free and collects a fee only if the offer is used.
Are You Willing to Invest?
After maximizing the free features Yelp offers, the next move is to switch to a paid plan. I typically, well, always suggest against this for my clients.
While I do hear of some having success with the Yelp platform, sadly, I hear too many stories of people not being able to get out of contracts, having 5-star reviews taken down if they stop advertising, and generally a poor ROI on marketing dollars.
I like to build up a profile on Yelp and then check in every few months – but outside of that, there are many other marketing channels that earn a better return on your marketing dollars.