Are you ready to supercharge your Yelp profile? It’s never been more important to spend a little time and effort on this ubiquitous consumer review site that boasts a monthly average of 120 million unique visitors. Fifty-five million of those visitors are mobile users.
What you might not know is that Yelp’s data aggregation is becoming a force to reckon with. Already, the review site has brokered deals with Apple Maps, Bing, Yahoo and other brands (including a partnership with YP). These partners love Yelp because they can deliver even richer content to their existing data streams featuring a business’s name, address and phone number.
So, let’s get right to it: you want to be on Yelp. Bing, Apple Maps and Yahoo want you to be on Yelp. Use these five tips to start rocking Yelp like a, well, rockstar.
1. Create a Stellar Yelp Listing with Photos
With Yelp, there are brownie points for being teacher’s pet. Fill out every single piece of information asked. Showcase your business with great photos. Spend time or money or both to have quality shots taken of your building (if it’s clean and well maintained); shop or office interior; products; services; and employees in action. The folks at Review Trackers note that Yelpers spend more time on a local business Yelp listing with photos by a factor of 2.5.
Don’t forget your URL to your business. Double check every piece of information, especially street address, phone number and hours of operation.
2. Encourage Yelp Reviews But Don’t Beg
Yelp loves popular businesses. In fact, if your business has only one review, you won’t even show up on Yelp. Following customers around the store with an iPad to solicit reviews is bad form, but you can certainly let customers know your business is on Yelp.
Yelp provides automatically updated review badges to place on your website. Some businesses post a “Find us on Yelp” sign in their front window or by the counter. (Pro Tip: make your own sign using Yelp’s brand assets, or request a sticker from Yelp using this form.)
3. Make Your Yelp Listing Sing with Keywords
You optimized your website; now it’s time to use those same keywords for your Yelp listing description. Once your Yelp location is claimed, having that page earn backlinks is a great strategy. Make sure the page is mentioned by guest bloggers, press releases and local news directories, among others.
4. Multi-location Business: Take the Fast Lane
But it will cost you. To avoid the tediousness of claiming more than a few locations, Yelp offers bulk uploading to its advertisers. Enterprise clients fancy this route, especially since your Yelp account manager will often do the heavy work of uploading dozens or hundreds of locations for you.
5. Smile! You’re on Camera: Negative and Positive Reviews
To respond to reviews on Yelp (negative or positive), you will need to upload a photo as the business owner. Make sure you’re not wearing sunglasses or standing on the deck of your yacht. Yelp requires a photo to encourage personal interaction. Your responses should be professional. Make sure to thank the reviewer for their feedback, no matter what they wrote. If it was a positive review, privately messaging the Yelper with a nice note of thanks is appropriate. For negative reviews, you can choose to respond publicly. This shows a willingness on your part as the business owner (or in the enterprise case, the community manager) to listen and respond to feedback. (Pro Tip: Read more about responding to Negative Reviews in our post, “What Kind of Business Owner Are You?”).
If you follow most of the above tips, Yelp should be a breeze for your business. But remember the first and best rule of succeeding on any customer review site: provide world-class customer service that makes people feel valued and appreciated.
Alex is Connectivity’s VP of Marketing.