This October, Yelp will celebrate 10 years operating their online review service, or as they like to call it, an "online urban guide and business review website". Over the past decade, the site has evolved dramatically, and has proven to be an excellent consumer resource for finding local services within various industries. Whether a customer is looking for a nearby restaurant, or a trusted plumber, Yelp pages are among the first sites prospective customers visit to find what they are looking for.
As a business owner, you may have set up your very own Yelp profile many years back, and have been actively monitoring it ever since. If so, that's fantastic and you're on the right track. On the other hand, you may be the type who created your business profile and haven't looked at it since – Not good! As well, there's always those business owners that haven't even developed a company Yelp profile at all. You may question the value of a Yelp profile, and wonder why it's an important aspect of your business. Throughout this blog post, you will learn some helpful tips and tricks in creating, managing and optimizing your Yelp profile, and learn how a well-developed Yelp profile can help your business succeed.
Where Do I Start?
First thing's first, gain control of your Yelp profile. If you were the one who created the profile and originally set it up, you're already on the right track and can avoid a lot of loopholes verifying your business page ownership. If you are just creating a page now, it will require you to verify your business information through a phone call with Yelp, and follow some basic setup and security questions. Once you've gained ownership and unlocked your profile, you can then start to add some valuable content to your page.
How Do I Optimize My Yelp Profile?
Simply put, the most sure-fire form of Yelp optimization is filling out all the information necessary. It's a simple strategy but it makes a world of difference. Like any good profile, the more information inputted into the page, the more successful it will be at reaching the right customers, and satisfying their informational needs.
Make sure that your address is correct, you have your hours of operation included, and have posted various images of your top products and services. Ideally, you want to have a well-populated page with content that customers are actively looking for.
In a usability perspective, today's modern Yelp profile layout looks much like the many other social media profile pages online, and is easy to understand and navigate. As long as you have compiled all necessary information, and added relevant pictures, your Yelp profile will look great and convert great as well.
Gain SEO Value
One of the most effective ways to optimize your Yelp profile is by completing the "From the Business" section. Not many companies are taking advantage of this feature offered by Yelp, and they most definitely should be.
This section appears below the customer reviews section, and holds three categories: a specialties section, a history section and a section about the business owner. Each category has a 1000 character limit (including spaces) so you will have to write your content strategically in order to get your message across in the right way. As well, you want to be using your target keywords throughout all the content in order to gain search volume to your Yelp page.
Gain Social Trust
Now that you have already inputted all the necessary information into your profile, and optimized your "From the Business" content, you should be actively promoting your Yelp profile to your customers. Share your Yelp profile across your social media platforms and request your followers to check out your business on Yelp. Add your Yelp profile information around your business, on your business cards, and even on your email signature. You want to gather REAL reviews, from REAL customers in order to gain social trust on the site. Don't be pushy, but encourage customers to post valuable feedback.
Ideally, you will want positive reviews on your page, but that's not always the case. You can't please everyone, it's impossible. Make sure to address any negative reviews on your profile as a comment to show your customers that you are aware and working to fix whatever issue may be present. This will show goodwill, and alleviate some stress from potential customers looking at your page/services.
Overall, by simply inputting all relevant information into your profile, making sure to have various product/service photos, and a well written, keyword optimized "from the business" section, you are two steps ahead of your competition. Once you have your optimized Yelp profile online, simply comment on reviews, and spread awareness of your profile to achieve optimal results.
…And to think, you thought your Yelp profile wasn't important!
Matt's a Content Coordinator at Search Engine People and a graduate from Wilfrid Laurier University in Communications & Business Management. He's interested in all things marketing, advertising, politics, new media and loves technology in general.