Yelp gets an average of 145 million visits per month and is home to well over 125 million reviews. If you want to get in on the action and promote your business on this handy local directory, follow the tips outlined below. They include tried and proven ways to optimize your business on Yelp no matter what industry you work in.

Get Listed

Naturally, the first step thing you need to do to optimize your business on Yelp is to get listed on the site. There is a chance that your business may be already listed there even if you haven't used the site before; in such an instance you can simply click on the “Claim This Business” button. If your business is not listed, you will need to add it.

Provide as Much Information as Possible

Tell Yelp as much as you can about your business. Be as specific as possible; remember, the goal is not to simply get as many views as possible but to get views from as many potential customers as possible.

Once you fill out the details outlining what kind of business you operate, you will be taken to the Yelp form asking about basic services. If you don't provide a certain service, click “no” instead of leaving it blank. Doing so will save you the pain of dealing with angry potential customers who were expecting something that you don't offer.

Three other sections that provide you with invaluable opportunities to tell people about your company are the Specialties, History and Meet the Owner sections. Create brand new content for these sections instead of using portions of your website. Include keywords you want a good rank for if at all possible and make sure your style of writing appeals to your target audience.

Make Sure it's All Accurate, All the Time

Make sure your address, phone number and schedule are accurate and up to date. Edit this information immediately if you move to a new location or close temporarily for renovations. Be sure to also update your basic information if you add new services or stop offering current ones.

It is also important to make sure your map information is up to date so people can find you easily. Many Yelp users rely on maps to find the business that is closest to them instead of looking at each business address.

Use Top Quality Photos

As the old saying goes, “A picture is worth 1,000 words”. Add up to date, high quality images of your business so that customers can get a good idea of who you are and what you have to offer. Some good photo ideas include:

  • The front of your business
  • Specialty products/services
  • Special events held at the business
  • Appealing interior shots of the business if you work in the restaurant, hotel, tourist or entertainment industry
  • Advertisements for special deals
  • A good photo of yourself if you are an entrepreneur offering services rather than products for sale

Optimize Your Business on Yelp with Reviews

Make it Easy for Customers to Leave Reviews

Reviewers tend to inadvertently use keywords that are highly relevant to your business. This boost your standing in Google in addition to showing potential customers you can be trusted with their business.

Yelp actively discourages companies from asking customers for reviews in order to ensure that all reviews are accurate and genuine. However, this doesn't mean that you can never ask a client to give an honest opinion of your business. One good way to get Yelp reviews is to add a link to your Yelp business profile to your business website and social media channels.

Another good way to get reviews is to let existing customers know they can easily find you on Yelp. A large “Find us on Yelp” sign on a store window or another appropriate location is a good way to encourage people who buy from you to visit your business page and leave a comment. If you are one of the lucky businesses that have managed to earn a “People Love us on Yelp” sticker, be sure to display this in a prominent location.

Answer Negative Reviews

Don't be discouraged if you get negative reviews. All legitimate businesses have at least one. Perhaps an employee was having a bad day and didn't pay enough attention to a customer or made a mistake with an order. Perhaps a particular item was defective or maybe the customer expected something you don't offer.

If you get a negative review, answer it professionally and politely. When warranted, offer a freebie or discount. Doing so shows potential customers you care about them and their feelings and needs. It also gives you a chance to optimize your business on Yelp by using some target keywords.

Keeping up with a Yelp profile and other aspects of promoting your business online can be a lot of work; thankfully, you don't have to go it alone. Brandgy specializes in various aspects of online marketing, including local SEO and off-site marketingGet in touch with us to discover how we can help you not only optimize your business on Yelp but also create a well-rounded, professional, SEO-friendly online image that will enable you to effectively reach potential clients both now and in the future.