Knowing that 91% of the consumers read an online review before visiting a local business should be enough to start working on your business’ Yelp profile. And this is not random data we made up: you should take a look at the Local Consumer Review Survey to understand more about customer’s preferences for online reviews.
Yelp is an online review platform that lets anyone out there write reviews and rate mostly local businesses. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t already set up a profile, it could be possible that people are already talking about you on Yelp. So it’s time to take control of your Yelp profile or to list your business to start reaching out to more people.
Benefits Of Having A Yelp Profile
You Can Get Real Testimonials
Yelp lets your customers write a review and rate your restaurant, and nothing gives more credibility to your business than what they say. You can even take the good reviews and use them as testimonials on your website so new customers see that you offer is real.
You Can Showcase Your Business
You can add photos, videos, special offers, or showcase your menu. There’s a lot of information you can add on Yelp to make your restaurant look appealing to others. And the best part is that Yelp ranks very well on Google, so if a new customer makes a search about your restaurant, it’s possible that they will run into your Yelp profile. This is one added reason to keep it neat.
You don’t have to pay anything to get started with Yelp. That is great if you’re just starting your business and your budget is not too big. You also don’t have to pay to get reviews, you can make your Yelp profile grow organically. There are some features that are paid, but you can consider them later when you’re business has grown enough.
How to Optimize Your Yelp Profile
Claim Your Profile
As we mentioned before, there’s a good chance that your business is already on Yelp. Make sure that the first thing you do is claim it, so you can take control of it and customize it accordingly. There’s a high chance the information people have put there is inaccurate and it might affect the image of your business.
Fill In All Your Business Information
The first thing to do is to add your location, as Yelp works mostly by location. Add your full address and contact information, including your business’ website.
There are several other fields to fill like category, specialties, history, photos, and videos.
It is recommended that you take a look at other Yelp profiles, especially the successful and related ones, to see how they showcase their business and what makes their page so attractive.
Get Your First Reviews
This might be the hardest part to start with, but try to encourage your customers to do it. Make sure you’re not pushy or try to bribe them with free stuff if they do so, as reviews should happen naturally. Let them know you’re on Yelp by putting a banner on your website and mention it when they’re about to leave your restaurant. After a while, more people will start noticing your profile and drop by to give reviews.
Moderate Your Page
You might receive good and bad reviews. Make sure you always reply to both as all reviews are important. The hardest to manage might be the bad reviews, but always be polite and listen to customers. Their feedback might be useful for you to spot things about your business that you haven’t noticed.
Learn here when and how to respond Yelp reviews.
From time to time take a look at the filter as some good reviews might get stuck there. Yelp has a mechanism to filter reviews that might look fake: if you get those good reviews out of there your Yelp rating will improve.
Check Your Yelp Metrics
Yelp also has a feature where you can check the stats of your business page. You can check the traffic, the interactions customers have and the time when these things are happening. Interactions include people reviewing your business, uploading photos or checking in at your restaurant. You can use all this information to run deals or calculate your estimated revenue.
There are other features you can explore on Yelp, such as ads and deals, but for now, this is what you need to get started. Yelp is a great tool to build an online presence and to make it easier for customers to find your business. Learn here more about local SEO: another key to find your business online.