Like them or hate them your business should be listed on Yelp. It’s great for local SEO and also tons of users go to Yelp to search for businesses. Being in the SEO business I have a bad taste in my mouth about Yelp but I’ll save that to the end of this article.
It’s not hard to setup a Yelp profile. Follow the steps below:
1. Go here https://biz.yelp.com/signup and search for your business.
2. Click Claim if it’s listed, create an account and then phone verify the listing.
(If you don’t see your business listing go here and add it https://biz.yelp.com/signup/new)
You should get the most out of every web entity that you’re listed on. For maximizing the exposure of your Yelp listing follow the tips below.
1. Make Your Profile Unique
Create a unique description for your business. Don’t try to stuff keywords into this description and talk to the reader. If you can include a keyword then I would include it one time only.
2. Delete the Dups
If you see a duplicate listing remove it! Go to this link http://www.yelp.com/contact and from the dropdown select remove duplicate listing.
3. Be Relevant
Add all relevant business categories and don’t add ones just to add them.
4. Only Active Yelpers
Yelp seems to filter their reviews to only active Yelp users. I’m not 100% positive about this but it’s the word around the internet. Ask your customers if they are active yelp users and then have them leave a review. Our Review Boom! handout cards help with this exact step.
5. Follow Your Followers
A really clever tip I found over here is to follow some of the reviewers that have reviews stuck in your yelp filter for your business. Yelp will filter reviews if they do not think they are real so if you follow these people or even comment/interact with them on Yelp, their reviews might eventually show up.
6. Reach Out
Another tip for filtered reviews is to contact those Yelpers and explain the situation. Let them know that if they leave a few more Yelp reviews that will help their reviews show up for all businesses they review. I mean who wants to write a review if it’s not even going to show up! Don’t make it about their review about your business, just educate them about the filter.
7. Be Fun!
Add fun, exciting pictures that are exclusive to your Yelp profile! Pick out some great pictures of or at your business and share them. Post different ones that you have over at your Google local profile.
8. Respond and be Nice
Respond to all reviews. Bad and the good. Thank people for leaving a review and also solve their issues if they leave a bad review. You will get bad reviews, it’s going to happen. Be sincere and don’t blow up on them if they leave you a bad review. This could damage your reputation.
9. Black Hat Tactic
So this is a little “black hat” tip that I read online somewhere. It is however very clever. If you’re not spending money on Yelps advertising program then they really don’t want to hear about your issues. The post I read online was about a company that had a negative review left on their profile and they responded. For some reason Yelp did not upload their response. So what they did was told their loyal FB community to flag the listing as spam on yelp and within hours it was removed. You can do that here http://www.yelp.com/contact and select Questionable content in the dropdown.
WARNING: This is a bit black hat and I do not recommend going this route. I like to point out what others are doing so wanted to include it.
10. Don’t Ask (so they say)
Yelp says to not solicit reviews. This is hard because you want people to leave reviews about your business but Yelp says that this is against their policy. I don’t really agree with it but I figured I’d let you know. I don’t see how they can penalize you for this. What I wouldn’t do is give a discount or incentive to leave a review. That’s almost like buying reviews.
11. Snoop around!
In the SEO world we always look at what our clients competitors are doing. I wouldn’t stop at Yelp. Check out your competitors that have popular pages with many reviews. See how their description is written, pictures they have and see what their customers are saying. Maybe the free appetizer they give away on Friday’s is really stirring up some great feedback. I wouldn’t copy them but do something similar and better!
Why I don’t like Yelp
I admit, I use Yelp to look at reviews and find out local places that I might want to go eat at or visit. But working with so many small businesses I have a different view of Yelp. Here’s an example from one of my clients:
They had a few locations so we wanted to claim all of their listings under one account, nothing crazy. I emailed Yelp and didn’t receive a response so decided to call them. I talked to a representative and they said that if the client “wanted to enroll in their advertising program” then they could merge the accounts almost immediately. And they also said if they didn’t want to advertise then it would be best to submit a support ticket.
To me that’s a bad business tactic. I get that they have to make money but this isn’t a crazy request. It would actually help to clean up their system by merging accounts and remove inaccurate information from their system.
Anyway love them or hate them you should list your business on Yelp. And make sure to respond and monitor reviews that users leave. Check out our tool that makes this super easy.
If you have any questions please comment below.