For local businesses, Yelp is an extremely effective channel for generating customers. People use Yelp online and on mobile devices to choose where to eat, where to shop and where to be entertained. Everyday, Yelp users are deciding which businesses to visit based on the information they gather from various Yelp pages, so it's incredibly important that you take control of your Yelp page and put yourself in the greatest position to attract customers.
The first step
The first step for generating business from directories and online search sites like Yelp is to determine where your problems are. Yext's local search scorecard lets you easily determine what problems you might have with your listing. You can run your free local search report here.
Fill out your business information completely
Customers often use Yelp to research businesses before they visit them in person. If your Yelp profile doesn't give the searcher the information they're looking for, then they are more likely to choose one of your competitors.
Name, address and phone number information is just the start to what you should include on your Yelp profile page. Hours of operation and payment methods are a few of the details that potential customers might also be interested in. Fill out the information as best you can and make sure that you keep it up to date if any of your information should happen to change.
Add some photos
Get your camera out and snap some photos of your business. If you're a restaurant take a picture of your menu. Own a clothing store? Snap a couple pics of your latest outfits. You could even upload some pictures of your happy employees! Photos are a great way to share your business' story and connect with Yelp users. Make sure you include a picture of your storefront so that people will know what to look for when they decide to stop by.
Respond to customer reviews
Regardless of whether a review is positive or negative, you should do your best to respond to as many reviews as possible. Responding to positive is a great way to turn one time customers into repeat visitors. Responding to negative can often resolve a bad situation. Unhappy customers will often give your business a second chance if they see that you are going out of your way to improve their experience with your business.
Yelp has published a number of guides to help business owners respond to both positive and negative reviews both privately and publicly. You can check them out here.
Display Yelp badges on your website
Yelp makes it very easy for businesses to embed the Yelp badge on their website or blog. The Yelp badge even tells visitors how many positive reviews you have.
These badges allow potential customers to see how many satisfied customers you've had. The badges also act as links to your Yelp page, so that visitors can easily view your Yelp profile page. The badge also makes it easy for visitors to leave their own reviews.
Time to get started
Now that you've finished reading this post, it's time to get started. The first step is understanding what's missing or incorrect with your Yelp profile, and you can find out for free with your local search scorecard.