Yelp…the new BBB

Is your business on Yelp? If not, it should be. The natural reaction today is research reviews and websites before making a purchase. Yelp is the top review site for local businesses. Being on Yelp helps you attract new customers, and also helps you see exactly what existing customers think of your business and how it can improve.

Moreover, your Yelp page can also boost your overall online presence, from how high your business ranks on search engines to how easily customers can find your location and contact information.

Here’s how to claim your business on Yelp, with tips on setting up your page, handling negative reviews, and managing your account. 

  1. Claim your Yelp Business Page

The first step to using Yelp is claiming your Yelp Business Page. Your business may or may not already be listed on Yelp, but when you officially claim ownership, you get full control over how it appears in listings. Doing so also grants you access to a wide range of tools to manage your page, interact with customers, purchase ads, and more.

  1. Optimize your Business Page

After claiming your Yelp Business Page, the next order of business is to optimize it with the right information and to upload plenty of photos. Optimizing your page won’t just help paint an accurate picture of what your business is all about and what it has to offer.

  1. Managing negative Yelp reviews

A note on why managing negative reviews is more important than ever: 

No one likes negative reviews. It’s even worse when the customer isn’t always right, or when a customer simply just wants to complain. However, negative reviews can also be due to miscommunications, unintentional oversights on your part, and genuine snafus by your staff. Whether those negative reviews and low ratings are warranted, managing them is critical to how your business looks to future customers and, ultimately, your business’s success.

The key to successfully managing Yelp reviews is to strategically interact with negative reviewers — without being too defensive or, worse, lashing out at the customer.

  1. How to get higher placement

Like with many things on Yelp, you can’t pay the company to boost your ranking. And unless customers are searching specifically for your business name, listings for a type of business are, by default, sorted based on the customer’s selected location. Yelp’s algorithms are also a big mystery, meaning no one but the company knows how or why one business ranks above another. Nonetheless, there are a couple of things you can do to help your business place higher than your competitors: buying advertisements and increasing your exposure.

Increase your exposure

Yelp listings are all about exposure. The more reviews your business has, the higher it will appear in both Yelp listings and on search engines. To rank higher than your competitors, your game plan is to get more reviews than they do.

This is particularly the case with search engines. For instance, the more reviews and online presence your business has, the higher it will appear when customers do a search on Google.

  1. How to get more reviews

Getting more Yelp reviews isn’t rocket science. You don’t need fancy marketing campaigns and gimmicks to entice customers. You don’t even need money. If you offer quality products and provide top-notch customer service, regular Yelpers will want to leave reviews. There is, however, one other simple thing you can do to help drive reviews: Ask for it.

SalesCocktail: Discover today’s techniques and technologies to eliminate the digital divide for minority and women-owned enterprises. Use technology to accelerate your sales, replicate daily tasks, and manage your time!