5 Reasons Why Yelp is Important for Your Business

5 Reasons Why Yelp is Important for Your Business

Small or growing businesses need to take advantage of every opportunity they can to get more exposure and bring in more customers online. Yelp was created to help people find good local businesses that they can trust to deliver good products and customer service. For businesses, yelp can also be a vital part of your marketing strategy.

Yelp has more than 80 million unique visitors every month and many of those visitors write reviews about their experience with a particular business. Fortunately the vast majority (about 78%) of those reviews range from neutral to great with very minimal negative reviews. People can use yelp to find your business and read positive recommendations about what you do.

These are some of the main reasons Yelp is helpful for business owners:

1. Influence People at the Right Moment

The moment when someone is looking for a business on Yelp is at a critical point when they are ready to make a purchase. If they see your Yelp page and read a positive review they can be easily influenced to use your business and possibly continue to be a customer for years to come. When people are reading Yelp reviews they are usually on the verge of becoming a customer and a couple positive reviews will be enough to get them into your store.

People use Yelp not just as a way to see what businesses are close by in their area but as a way to help them make purchasing decisions. Most Yelp users make a purchase soon after seeing a listing and they may write their own positive review if they have a good experience at your establishment.

2. Respond and Interact with Customers

Should you receive any negative reviews or complaints on your Yelp page, you can use the site as a way to address these issues either publicly or privately. This can be a powerful tool to make your business appear invested in each customer’s experience and responsive to correct any potential issues. You can show empathy and caring for people who have a bad experience which can still leave people with a good impression of you in spite of the negative review.

You can also interact with people that leave positive reviews to show that you appreciate all your customers and their feedback about what you are doing. Thanking people for their positive response can help encourage more positive reviews and communication between you and your customers.

3. Create a Brand Image

With a Yelp business listing you can add your own content so that you have more control over the way your business is presented. Yelp customers can add their own photos along with their reviews but they may not always be the best images. Adding your own photos to the business listing can be a good way to tailor your brand image and make your Yelp page look more appealing.

You can claim your Yelp page and upload your own personal business photos so that people have a better first impression of you. Creating your own Yelp listing or claiming an existing one lets you have more control over the content that is available for customers to see.

4. Use Yelp as an Authority

In terms of internet marketing, Yelp is useful for website rankings and getting your business seen online. In SEO terms, Yelp is considered an “authority” site meaning that it can carry more weight and help boost traffic to your site. If you claim your Yelp listing you can add a link directly to your website and it will boost your rankings in Google.

With a link to your website people can read a brief overview of your business and then click through to a landing page where they will have more information and can make a purchase or reservation.

5. Make it Easier to Find Out About You

With Yelp you can add listings that provide people with crucial information about you that they can see immediately when they search in Google. Your Yelp can list your location in Google Maps, your business hours and a description of the items you have. Restaurants can have a menu available for customers to view online.

Having this information readily available through Yelp can make it much easier for people to find your business and make a quick decision about whether to visit your store. This is especially useful for mobile or voice searches when people are looking for information on the go. Someone in the area can find you because your location is close and they know you are currently open.

If you don’t have a Yelp listing or haven’t claimed an existing one there are numerous benefits to getting more involved in Yelp. With Yelp you can provide a way for customers to find and interact with you so that everyone benefits.

Yelp Can Help Your Small Business

YelpAre you feeling the Yelp love? As of January 2011, Yelp has received over 12 million unique visitors and that number is growing steadily every month. As a small business owner, it’s important to take charge of your Yelp profile and use it to your advantage.

Google Places is another prominent tool for local listings but many business owners feel that Yelp is more useful in helping them understand customers and find new clients. Because let’s face it, if you’re looking for a new hairdresser or reviews on an unfamiliar restaurant, you’re going to jump on Yelp way before Google Places.

Staking your claim: If your business is already on Yelp, it only takes a few minutes to officially claim it as your own. You’ll need to fill out some information and your profile will be verified by a call to your business phone number.
If you’re new to Yelp, creating a profile is just as easy and you’ll go through the same verification process.

Your information, please: Remember to check the accuracy of your business information and to fill as many information fields as possible. Your description and categories are also a great place to throw in those desired keywords that you want linked for your business. This is helpful for customers as well as SEO.

Don’t be afraid: So many businesses are afraid of Yelp because they fear bad reviews and “losing” customers. If you have products and services you can stand behind, there’s no need to worry. You can only GAIN customers and new business through another form of online exposure. Beauty Utopia in Eagle Rock is a great example of a business that thrives solely through word of mouth and Yelp reviews.
Sure, negative reviews are inevitable but it also gives you another perspective and way to understand your customers – where you wouldn’t even know that something is wrong if you’re not on Yelp. Take a look at our previous post on reputation management.

People talk about Facebook and Twitter as an extension of your online site but Yelp is another site that can’t be missed. Whereas other social media sites help with conveying your brand personality, Yelp boils down to the information and reviews that will really help you get more business.

A Yelp for Help: Alleged Extortion

As a consumer, it’s only right that you can to take to the internet to share your good and bad experiences at certain establishments. Some prefer personal blogging but Yelp provides a standardized platform for consumer-based business reviews. Yelp is pretty great. I’m continually surprised by the hole in the wall restaurants and have even managed to find a new dentist. Then again, there are times when you stumble upon some horrible reviews and wonder how owners feel or react to this type of criticism. I’ve heard of lawsuits against Yelp before, but not like this.

Last week, Yelp was hit with a class action lawsuit alleging “extortion schemes”. In short, many business owners are claiming that Yelp hit them up for $$$ (so-called advertising packages) after they received bad reviews. Some claim that Yelp offered to remove the negative reviews in exchange for convenient monthly payments.

Of course, Yelp’s CEO has a different story. In the way Jeremy Stoppelman explains it, their marketing tactics are completely legal albeit, a little “weird”. Things are looking more than weird for Yelp right now as more cases are rising against their favor. Time will tell what will happen, but can Yelp’s credibility be fully restored after this case? CEO Stoppleman claims they have nothing to hide, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

There are a lot of cases where small businesses have benefited from Yelp reviews. I’ve even seen negative reviews completely reversed when owners take the time to reach out and contact the negative reviewers. Everyone deserves a second chance at correcting their mistakes but maybe, Yelp has had one too many?

What do you think about Yelp’s current dilemma?