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  • Writer's pictureCentury Digital Marketing

The Basics of Yelp for Businesses

Did you know that most consumers read online reviews before visiting a local business? That should be enough motivation for you to create a profile for your business on Yelp.

Yelp is an online platform that allows everyone to review and rate local businesses. Even if you haven't created a Yelp profile, chances are people are already talking about your business on Yelp. Today we'll tell you about the benefits of a business listing on Yelp, as well as help you optimize your listing.

3 benefits of having a Yelp profile

1. Offer real testimonials

Yelp allows people to write reviews and rate your restaurant – nothing gives your business more credibility than what your customers say. You can also take good reviews and use them as testimonials on your website, letting potential customers know that what you offer is real.

2. You can show off your business

You can add photos and videos, you can also create special offers or display your menu. There is a lot of information you can add on Yelp to make your restaurant look attractive. The best part is that Yelp ranks very well on Google, so if a customer does a search for your restaurant, they may find your Yelp profile.

3. It's free

You don't have to pay anything to get started with Yelp, which is great if you're just starting your business and your budget isn't huge. And you don't have to pay for reviews either; you just have to create your profile and make it grow naturally.

As you can see, having a Yelp profile is essential for businesses that want to show other customers what they offer. Nowadays is more important than ever because due to the Covid-19 pandemic, consumers are shifting more and more to order food online. That's why it's crucial that you keep all of your online profiles up to date, including your Yelp profile (or create one if you don't already have one).

Here are some ideas to get you started on your Yelp profile:

1. Keep in touch with potential customers

Yelp makes it really easy and profitable to not only get started, but to keep in touch with these potential customers by using a free set of business tools. Create a Yelp Business owner account to join (or start) the conversation about your business today. By unlocking these free tools, you'll be able to update your business information, post special offers, announce upcoming events, and most importantly, communicate with your customers.

2. Tell the story of your business

Inquiring minds want to know, and here's your chance to give them the scoop, right on your Yelp business page. Once you've signed in, create a rich profile under the “Business Information” tab. You can share the story behind your business and what you do best. Also, add something about yourself and your managers so Yelp users can get to know you.

3. Include photos of your business

If your business is a restaurant, add a photo of your menu. It is a simple, fun and effective way to illustrate your story. Lastly, make sure a photo of your storefront is included so people know what to look for when they decide to visit your physical store.

4. Make announcements

Let's say you just created a new dinner menu. Or, you're having a sale on all of your summer merchandise. It's easy to inform current and potential customers about special offers and deals through the advertisement tool. Simply create an ad and post it on your Yelp page. Not only will your message appear on your business page, it will make you more discoverable in Yelp search results and on our popular mobile platforms. From promotions and discounts to introducing a new location, ads make it easy and clear for Yelp users to get a promotion.

5. Let people know you're on Yelp.

You can start by adding a Yelp button somewhere visible in your business to let customers know about your new Yelp page. A lot of businesses have it on their entry door, or their printed materials. There are a number of creative ways to make sure your customers are in the loop. Some business owners have proudly displayed favorite reviews in their offices or even on their counters.

6. Do not ask for opinions or spam on your page.

While you may be eager to fill your page with positive reviews, we don't recommend asking customers for them. Positive feedback is best, and most accepted, when it comes organically from customers who have had a really great experience with your business. Consumers are turned off by a business with fake reviews, and Yelp's review filter has a spam algorithm designed to maximize the reliability of Yelp content. Yelp users are a smart bunch and come to Yelp for quality information to help them make purchasing decisions. While they often decide which reviews to trust on the site, an automated process helps filter reviews from users who are less established on Yelp. It applies to both positive and negative reviews, and helps protect both consumers and business owners from malicious competitors, spam, and generally less credible information.

Our advice? Follow these steps to let people know you're on Yelp, and then just go with the flow. Remember, it's all about quality, not quantity. Success is measured by the number of people who view your page, not the amount of their opinion.

7. Respond reviews and communicate with your customers

With a Yelp Business owner account, you have the opportunity to engage in a dialogue with consumers who have reviewed your business. You can respond privately and publicly to customers who have reviewed your business, make sure to acknowledge all the reviews either good or bad. Be courteous and display your customer service skills in every response.

Once you've completed your business page, uploaded photos, marked your online presence with Yelp badges, stick with it! Keeping track of your Yelp business page and reviews, as well as responding in a timely manner to those who have taken the time to provide you with feedback. By keeping the lines of communication open and being responsive to customer feedback, both positive and negative, you are putting yourself and your business in a position of high visibility to the Yelp community and potential customers in your area. Be consistent, be positive and get involved!

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