Yelp used to be one of the most popular review sites for local businesses with millions of visitors per month, making it an essential component of a company’s online presence. While it has lost ground to Google and Facebook in the consumer feedback space, the review platform is still a place for millions of consumers to compare businesses and make purchase decisions.
If you created your Yelp profile years ago and haven’t reviewed it since Google and Facebook took over the top spots for consumer reviews, or if you think Yelp is only for restaurants, think again. Yelp is still the third most trafficked review directory in the world, and optimizing your listing means more digital and foot traffic to your brand.
Here’s our comprehensive 2020 guide on how to optimize your Yelp profile, from setting it up to responding to reviews.
You’ll learn how to:
- Claim or register your business listing on Yelp
- Optimize your profile
- Utilize keywords in the right places
- Enhance your business page
- Manage and reply to reviews
Step 1: Claim Your Business Listing on Yelp
If you are a new company or haven’t taken the time to register your business, now is the time!
Yelp is particularly important for these industries:
- Restaurants and bars
- Home repair and services
- Hair and beauty services
- Gyms and other wellness
- Car dealers and repair shops
- Local retailers
- Healthcare providers
- Apartment complexes
All businesses that fall into the above categories should have a profile on Yelp and optimize it to put their best foot forward.
First, make sure your business is not already listed on Yelp before creating a new profile. Don’t create a new profile if your business is already listed! Start by searching here. If a profile exists, follow the steps necessary to complete the claiming process.
If not, you can create a new profile here.
Step 2: Optimize NAP and Business Information
After Yelp receives your business listing request, you should be able to confirm your email address and view your page. Your listing will not appear in search results until all of the submitted information has been verified and approved by Yelp’s team of moderators.
Claimed businesses are able to add additional information, like your history and parking availability. The more information you can get on the page, the better.
At the very least, you will want to provide the below details:
- Your NAP (name, address, phone number), which match your Facebook, Google and other listings
- A profile picture
- Hours of operation (including holidays)
- A link to your website
- A detailed business description
- A correctly labeled business category
- A meet-the-owner/manager section to personalize your page
You should also link to your Yelp profile from other sources, including your website, Google My Business page, company emails and on social media accounts. This will help boost your page visibility, making it more likely people will see your listing in search results and leave reviews.
Step 3: Use Keywords in Important Real Estate
Using the right keywords can make a significant difference in traffic flow to your Yelp profile.
Start by putting the primary keywords associated with your business or service in your business description, photo captions and, if possible, even in your company name. For example: “North Grove Dental Associates: Dental Care in Austin” may work if you run a dental practice in Austin, Texas.
The key is to use the keywords naturally, in a way that is appealing to your customers and doesn’t come across as spammy or robotic.
Similarly, you will want to use the right keywords in your specialty section (all of your different kinds of services) and all of the relevant neighborhoods that your customers are in. Make sure you only input the nearest locations, so you are driving the right traffic to your listing – instead of people who aren’t likely to drive an hour to your location.
If you have multiple locations, you will want to make sure that each location has their own information and profile listed. You can claim multiple locations by following these directions once you set up your profile. Optimize your strategy to impact the most people by focusing on location keywords that are most relevant for the area, especially with multiple locations.
Step 4: Consider Using Enhanced Business Pages
Yelp offers businesses a chance to improve their pages with additional upgrades and paid features. Some of these include a call to action button, exclusive deals for customers, improved photo galleries and ad removal.
You can also look into creating paid ad campaigns through Yelp, though they can get expensive depending on the traffic and clicks you accumulate. Prices typically will range from $4 per click to upwards of $15. Yelp also offers special deals and gift certificate options, though you will be charged a commission on sales at 30% for deals and 10% for gift certificates.
Paid ads are a great way to attract more potential customers, but they aren’t right for every business. What is necessary for every business, regardless of industry, is to follow our final Yelp profile optimization tip: responding to reviews.
Step 5: Respond to All Types of Reviews
Yelp is designed to be a dynamic experience for businesses and customers alike. It is meant to be a place for social interaction, not a set-it-and-forget-it business listing.
Make sure you take the time to monitor and respond to your customers’ reviews. You should be checking your account daily for new reviews and replying to them publicly as soon as possible.
This goes for both positive and negative reviews. Responding to Yelp reviews shows that you care about the customer experience, creating a favorable perception of your brand if you respond quickly and politely to negative reviews.
If you need help figuring out how to respond to negative reviews, check out our complete guide here.
Responding to reviews not only influences your current customers, it also can help you attract new ones. People like seeing engaged owners and managers interacting with real people.
If you respond to reviews and fix the problems they bring up, you will be able to attract new customers and make them life-long clients.
One last note about reviews: never offer rewards, promise financial compensation or ask for positive reviews. These practices go against Yelp’s policies and can cause a massive headache for your business if you get caught.
If you want to help optimize your business’s Yelp page and greatly improve your online presence, responding to reviews and making operational changes based on that feedback is a great place to get started.
About the Author
Content Marketing Specialist