Yelp is one of the world’s largest platforms for information on businesses and services. It’s also one of the most powerful outlets for consumers to post reviews about those businesses. Harnessing Yelp’s power is an essential tool to promote your business.
Regardless of the size of your company, Yelp is one of the most accessible and dynamic methods for getting attention to your services. At Gauge Digital Media, digital marketing is our specialty—including optimized Yelp listings. Here’s our advice for claiming and optimizing your Yelp page to attract visitors.
Why Yelp Is Important to Business Owners
Founded in 2004, Yelp is one of the most popular and influential business directories on the Internet. The platform allows customers to discover and transact with businesses locally and across the world. In 2019, Yelp reported an average of 73 million users on its app and over 100 million users on its desktop version.
Yelp is a go-to source for consumers looking to research a product, buy goods and services, or make a reservation. Powered by millions of crowd-sourced reviews, Yelp is second only to Google in influencing purchasing decisions. While negative reviews have scorched some businesses, most are positive—with 71% of reviewers recommending companies and services on the platform.
If you’re a business owner, you’re missing a massive opportunity to attract customers if you’re not on Yelp. While some businesses might worry about the potential for bad reviews, it’s a bigger risk to ignore Yelp’s popularity. It is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to attract customers.
Yelp users—or Yelpers—are highly educated, with over 80% having a college or graduate degree. Nearly 53% have incomes exceeding $100,000, and an astonishing 97% of Yelpers spend money at businesses found on Yelp. Establishing a page with accurate and illustrative content is key to attracting this prized demographic.
Getting Started with Yelp
Creating your Yelp page is simple and free. You can create a page for a new or existing business. To claim your business on Yelp and establish your page:
- Go to Yelp for Business (yelp.com). Click on “Manage My Free Listing,” and then find your business in the search widget. If your business doesn’t appear, click “add your business to Yelp.”
- Create a free account by entering an email and password.
- Follow the prompts to verify and complete your page.
It might take a few days for Yelp to confirm your account. Once that’s done, it’s time to optimize your page for top performance.
How to Optimize Your Yelp Page
Although Yelp is a social media site, it performs a lot like a search engine. As a result, it’s essential to optimize your content to rank high in Yelp search results. How do you do that?
- Be descriptive: When you first set up your page, Yelp will ask you to fill in essential information. Describe your business as completely as possible. The more content on your page, the more likely it is to be found in search results.
- Upload pictures. Yelp claims that users spend close to three times more time on business pages with photos. Post photos of your business, your products, and your staff.
- Include keywords: You don’t have to be an SEO expert to optimize your business page with relevant keywords and phrases. Think of a few words and phrases users might enter into Yelp’s search engine to find your business. Then include those words and phrases within your business description. Don’t overload your content with keywords, though. That can make it unengaging and hard to read.
- Choose relevant categories: It’s tempting to include your listing in dozens of categories, but that can hurt your search rankings. Choose only the categories that are directly related to your business.
- Encourage reviews: Once you’ve established your page, reviews are among the most powerful way to improve your search results. You can drive customers to your Yelp page through email and in-store marketing or hold a Yelp promotion by reaching out to Yelpers who have visited a business similar to yours.
- Respond to reviews: Once reviews start pouring in, it’s crucial to review and respond quickly. This practice will give you the ability to turn a positive reviewer into an evangelist for your business and woo back negative reviewers. A lot of reviews also improves your search rankings.
- Frequently update your listing: Upload new photos and business information, respond to reviews, and encourage check-ins. It helps customers stay current on what’s going on with your business and improves your search rankings.
Expert Help, The Best Results
At Gauge Digital Media, we offer full-service SEO and digital marketing for businesses of all sizes. Whether you need help claiming and optimizing your Yelp page, building a new website, or executing an email marketing campaign, we can help. Call us at 410-376-7709.