With nearly 139 million unique visitors each month, and 67 million reviews and growing, Yelp is becoming an Internet giant. Yelp is the leading local review site that helps people find where to eat, shop, and relax. Consumers are now checking Yelp.com or their Yelp mobile app to make everyday decisions. As a small business owner taking advantage of Yelp is essential.
Yelp uses a 5-star rating system in which Yelpers (users registered with Yelp) can review businesses. In order for your business to receive Yelp reviews your business must be first listed on the site.
So, you’ve already added your business to Yelp, but is your listing claimed? If you answer “No” to this question, you need to claim your listing as soon as possible. By claiming your Yelp listing, you can upload photos, add a detailed description, and make sure your business information is always up to date. Adding photos to your listing is important, as most Yelpers stay on a business page with photos 2x longer than on a page without. As we mentioned in our Online Presence blog post, listings are incredibly important because they allow interaction between you and your customers. According to a recent statistic, there have been around 200,000 daily calls to businesses generated from the Yelp mobile app.
Once your Yelp listing has been claimed, you can now engage with your customers on a personal level by responding to reviews. Yelp allows two different options for responding to reviews; public comments or private messages. Public comments can be seen directly below the Yelper’s review, whereas private messages are sent only to the Yelper, like an email. We recommend responding to almost every Yelp review, positive or negative, with a public comment. Public comments are great because your current and potential customers can see that you care and take responsibility. They are also beneficial, as you can clarify any inaccuracies in the review.
Yelp stickers are great for promoting Yelp reviews without actually having to ask your customers to post their feedback. Yelp has two different stickers which you can display prominently and proudly on your door or window, “Find Us on Yelp” and “People Love Us on Yelp.” You can request a “Find Us on Yelp” sticker by filling out the following form. “People Love Us on Yelp” is a sticker along with a letter of recommendation from Yelp’s founders. The stickers are sent out once a year to businesses that qualify based on their history and rating on Yelp.
A final way to entice your potential customers is through setting up a Yelp Deal or Yelp Certificate. A Deal could be as simple as a free drink with a Yelp Check In. Both Deals and Certificates are free to set up, and only cost a percentage of the sale if they are purchased.