As a local business, it’s critical to be listed on Yelp. Many consumers turn to Yelp when searching for local businesses from their desktop and mobile phones. Plus, Yelp reviews are now distributed to other sites and apps, including Apple maps. In this post, we’ll teach you how to use Yelp’s free and paid features to enhance your listing and reach more customers.
Free Ways to Optimize Your Yelp Listing
First and foremost, submit your business to Yelp at biz.yelp.com. If you are already listed, make sure you claim and verify your business. (For general tips on getting listed, check out this blog post: How to Optimize Your Local Business Listings). Then add any of these extra features, available at no extra cost, to make the most of your Yelp listing:
Check and Change Your Yelp Profile Photo
Your Yelp profile photo is highly visible on Yelp. When a customer searches for a business like yours, the profile image is shown alongside your name in the search results. It’s important that it represents your business well. Here’s how to see which picture is used as your profile photo and how you can change it if necessary.
Find Your Yelp Profile Picture
The quickest way to see your Yelp profile picture is by visiting Yelp.com.
- Search for your business by name and city.
- The picture shown in the search results is your profile picture.
- On the mobile app, it’s typically the first picture in the Photos and Videos section.
Change Your Yelp Profile Picture
Yelp determines which photo is shown as the profile photo based on a number of factors, such as votes from the community and how recently the photo was taken. Yelp does not allow you to reorder the photos if you have a free business account. However, we recommend contacting Yelp if the picture does not represent your business well. Contact Yelp at (877) 767-9357 or via email at biz.yelp.com/support/contact_form. It’s worth a try! If that does not work, Yelp offers advertising packages that let you set the order of images.
Include More Photos
Add photos of your business to give color and personality to your listing. Be sure to include pictures that show happy customers and your staff. Give customers an idea of what they can expect at your business and whom they will meet.
Indicate Your Business Hours
Adding business hours gives your customers the information they are looking for. It also helps you get found when consumers search for businesses that are currently open.
Add Your Description
Complete the information sections for your business to give customers information about your products and services and why they should choose you. Your description will also help search engines find your business.
Select Your Categories
If you would like to change the selected business categories for your Yelp page or add to them, log into Yelp for Business Owners. You can also use the Yelp for Business Owners app.
You are allowed up to 3 categories per listing. Under your business name, there is a link that says either Edit or Add next to the Category/Categories line. Simply click this link, find the category that’s most relevant to you (no more than 3 categories per business), and add the category.
Set up Yelp Messenger
Yelp offers various options depending on the business category. Yelp Messenger makes it convenient for potential customers to get in touch with you.
Create Yelp Deals
Adding a Yelp deal or gift certificate helps attract new customers to your business over the local competition. An example of a deal would be a “pay $20 for a $40 dollar voucher” for a salon service. It’s free to create deals and gift certificates, but Yelp will take a fee for sold deals.
Set Up Check-in Offers
When customers check in at your business on Yelp (via their mobile phone), they are letting others know that they are at your business, which is valuable word-of-mouth advertising for your business. Using Yelp, it’s free to create check-in offers as an incentive for your customers to check in. You can even set these up in such a way that multiple check-ins are required to unlock the offer. This brings your customers back frequently and gives you more free word-of-mouth advertising.
Respond to Your Yelp Reviews
Reach out to your customers by responding to their reviews. You can do this both privately and publicly. Communicating with your customers helps to build trust and helps you bring the narrative back, so you can control the messaging about your business. Consider your responses marketing messages.
Share Your Yelp Reviews
Don’t be shy about sharing positive reviews and customer feedback with your fans and followers on your social networks. Customer feedback is great validation for your business, and chances are your happy customers will gladly share positive reviews with their own network.
When you get a positive review for your business (hopefully you’re monitoring your online reputation), follow the links to the review on Yelp on your phone or desktop. Also, make sure you are logged in to your social networks for your business. Then click or tap “Share review”.
You can share to Facebook and/or Twitter and add a comment such as “Starting a day with a 5-star review”, “Great reviews make it all worthwhile”, or “We feel lucky to have the best customers”, etc.
We recommend giving it a try. It’s quick and easy. In addition to great marketing value, sharing reviews lets your customers know that you’re paying attention.
Paid Ways to Optimize Your Yelp Listing
Paid Yelp Ads
With paid Yelp ads your business has the opportunity to show up in customer searches for your products and business services. Also, your paid Yelp ad will show up on relevant and competitive local listings.
Target Yelp Ads
Yelp offers targeting options specific to your industry, so you can target a custom audience effectively. Targeting options include standard and business-related options that help your business reach the perfect audience.
For example, standard targeting options include Yelp category and subcategory, age, gender, etc. Business attribute targeting includes a list of options pertaining to your business such as attire, alcohol, ambiance, delivery, dogs allowed, happy hour, price range etc.
Competitor Ad Removal
One major perk of spending a few extra bucks on Yelp is to remove any ads of your local competition from your business listing. This feature is available in select categories only.
For more help with growing your business through online listings, download our free listings eBook: