Online reviews can, and should, play an active role in growing and improving your business. According to a recent consumer review survey, more than 90 percent of consumers read online reviews before deciding whether to buy a product. With that in mind, it is crucial that your small business has a substantial number of attractive reviews online.
With more than 175 million visitors monthly and 155 million total reviews, Yelp is an undeniably popular platform for business reviews. Envisioned as a site where consumers can post pictures, comment, and rate different businesses, Yelp offers an invaluable means of communication between companies and consumers. Optimizing your Yelp presence is a simple and free way to improve your search engine ranking, market your business, and create a dialog between you and your customers.
Here are 4 tips for using Yelp to leverage your business and generate leads:
- Optimize Your Profile.
Once you have claimed your business’s Yelp profile, it’s important for the page to rank as highly as possible so that when anyone searches for the products and services that you are offering, your site is among the first to appear. Follow these guidelines to set up a robust, search-friendly profile:
- Verify the spelling of your business name and make sure the correct address, business hours, phone number, and website are listed. You may also consider adding a menu of your business’s products or services.
- Select appropriate categories for your business.
- Include a comprehensive description of the business and its owners. Incorporate specific keywords that consumers use when searching for your business. Research keywords that are popular in search engine searches for your business.
- Build a photo gallery of at least 10 attractive photos for your profile, including photos of your store façade, interiors, and service or product offerings. Although you can’t control every photo on the site, posting pictures of renovations or improvements of your service or products will go a long way in boosting your business. Be very descriptive when sharing such photos and include a title tag to inform Yelpers of when the modifications took place. This way, bad reviews or inaccurate images from angry customers won’t damage your business’s reputation
- Respond to reviews.
Respond objectively to all reviews (both positive and negative). It won’t do any good to respond to a negative review negatively, so be respectful and kind to everybody and thank them for their feedback regardless. Explain your situation clearly and then offer a viable way to rectify the mistake or show how you will enhance the service or product in the future.
Respond to positive reviews, too. Thank the customer for doing business with you and tell them how great you feel when they enjoy their experience. By responding to reviews for your business, you will show consumers that you sincerely care about their welfare and that you will go out of your way to ensure they have a fantastic experience.
- Display Yelp badges and positive Yelp reviews on your blog or website.
Yelp provides badges that business owners can display on their sites to show visitors that their business is on Yelp and is actively engaged with the community. The badges also show how many positive reviews your business has. These badges are very important because they give your visitors the impression that you have satisfied customers and they promote trust. What’s more, the badges act as getaway links between your Yelp profile and your other online marketing efforts.
- Get a Yelp Verified License
A Yelp Verified License badge identifies your business as having a valid state-issued trade license. This quickly establishes your business as reputable and makes your business stand out from others that don’t have the badge. As an exclusive Yelp Agency Partner, Lighthouse Graphics can guide you through the process of getting your Verified License badge.
- Advertise on Yelp.
Apart from the free service, there are two additional ways to advertise your business on the platform:
First, you can advertise by creating targeted local advertisements that display your business to clients who are nearby and are looking for your line of business. According to Yelp, more than 80 percent of users usually intend to buy something when they visit the site, so the odds that your ad will lead to conversions are very high. Yelp’s ad service includes dedicated support, a dashboard for tracking user interaction with your Yelp profile, and competitor ad removal.
Second, you can run a Yelp Deal. These are prepaid vouchers that you offer customers to use as a discount when they make a purchase from your business. This gives Yelpers an incentive and can influence them to choose your business instead of the competition.
As a leading online review site, Yelp offers an excellent opportunity for your business to be seen by customers actively seeking your products or services. When fully utilized, Yelp can play a productive role in your online marketing portfolio. LightHouse Graphics is a Yelp Authorized Agency and one of the first to do a pilot program with the site. Interested in taking your Yelp presence to the next level? We have to tools and resources to help you make the most of your profile and implement successful, performance-based ads. Contact us today.