Yelp! Why aren't you on Yelp?
Imagine that you are looking to try a new restaurant, stylist, or bar, but you're not sure where to try. You may ask your friends if they have been there, but if they haven't been, your best bet is to check for reviews online. In fact, a survey by Search Engine Land reports 88% of consumers trust online reviews just as much as they trust personal recommendations.
Yelp has over 135 million visits monthly, and is a crucial source of pre-purchase information. Over 86,000 businesses are currently registered and more register on a daily basis. Small businesses must have a strong online presence, and Yelp is one of the top sites to be active on. Why?
1.Keep SEO in mind
Google's search engine algorithm was updated in July 2014 to place more prominence on local map and directory sites. This means that when searching for your business, links to Yelp results may appear before your website link does. As a result, businesses need to claim and monitor their Yelp business listing.
2.What do people really think? How can you fix it?
If you're wondering what your customers really think about the service they're receiving, the best way to find out is on Yelp. Similarly, a great component of Yelp is being able to respond to reviews that are left. If someone leaves a bad review of your business, you can show your customer service skills and respond by offering the commenter an incentive to return.
Show, don't tell. Don't tell a reviewer to delete their comment, but instead invite them back so you can show them better service. This will allow them the opportunity to retract their review and write a positive one.
3.Stopping the haters
A unique feature of Yelp is that the site values quality over quantity. This can help in multiple ways, but especially because it can help prevent against former employee rants and fake reviews. Legitimacy is key.
On the other hand, it's difficult to fool Yelp's intuitive, automated software. According to Yelp, the software looks at the reliability and activity of a user and will not approve posts if they seem biased. With that being said, don't ask your friends and family to review you. If Mom signs up for Yelp just to write a great review for your business, there's less likelihood it will be approved.
4.Yelp reviews prompt action
A 2013 Nielsen study shows that that over half (51%) of Yelp users make their purchase decisions after visiting site. Additionally, there are over 200,000 calls to businesses referred through Yelp daily. Yelp reviews are often the last step before a consumer visits and purchases from your business.
It's imperative that small businesses have a presence on Yelp. In today's digital world, consumers actively search for reviews before trying a new service. As one of today's most popular review sites, Yelp reviews consistently appear near the top of search engine searches. When businesses take control of their Yelp pages, they are able to understand how others view their business, troubleshoot negative reviews, and improve their search engine rankings.