Yelp has been around a decade now, and is becoming increasingly important. You have probably seen it in your search results when searching your own company name. Why is that? The site has so much fresh content going up onto it, it has become a force. Just the mention of your company name on it and it will often be right there, ranking right under your website, or sometimes even above it. According to Domo.com, as of June 2014 Yelpers are cranking out 26,380 reviews per minute! Yelp is an opportunity for sure. Business owners who treat it as a problem will not be rewarded as nicely as business owners who treat it as an opportunity.
Getting started on Yelp:
Register or claim your business, and add your company information. I recommend filling in every detail possible. You can add as many photos as you want. If you do not add photos, users will likely do it for you, so get the camera out and get busy.
Why is Yelp so Popular?
It is fun for people to use. It is a social media network of sorts. People can get rewards, badges, and more for using Yelp. They can see what their friends have been up to and where they have recently checked in with the tap of a button on their screen.
As of 2014 Yahoo has now integrated Yelp reviews into their search engine. While Yahoo is not nearly as popular as Google, this is very important to acknowledge. Yahoo actually ditched their own reviews and has replaced them with Yelp’s.
What else can you use Yelp for?
Business owners who have claimed their business can answer reviews. More importantly, they can message customers. More importantly, they can message customers privately or publicly! Handling situations with upset customers is a very important and delicate situation. Be sure to let happy customers know that you appreciate their business. You can publicly respond to reviews that Yelpers have left you.
Use the Yelp App yourself.
If you are not familiar with how much fun the Yelp app is, download it to your phone. Walk down the street from your business. Be sure to use the Monocle feature. You’re hooked already, aren’t you?
Isn’t Yelp just for restaurant owners?
No. Yelp is used for ALL types of businesses.
How else can I use Yelp for SEO?
I haven’t thoroughly played with this but it appears that when you respond to people’s comments you can add your own reply (content). If you are a plumber you could say something like “Thank you Jerry for contacting Bob’s using Plumbing Service in Raleigh North Carolina”. I would respond naturally and not keyword stuff the heck out of your replies, but you can indeed inconspicuously drop some key phrases in the comments and it is affecting rankings. Mentioning your company name in Yelp will definitely help it rank right on the front page of Google SERPs.
What kind of strategy can I put into action to get the most out of Yelp?
Becoming increasingly popular is social proof. If you’re walking down the street and there are two breweries, and you open up your Yelp app, and one has reviews raving about your latest seasonal wheat beer, you may select that brewery over the one near it which has reviews that say “terrible service”. Yelp wants reviews to be natural and organic, so just do what you are passionate about and be good at it. Yelp encourages business owners not to ask for reviews, but many business owners will put up a sign that says “Check in on Yelp” or even offer an in store discount for people who check in to Yelp and show the clerk / waitress / salesperson their check in. This is smart as the employee is reminded that they are likely going to get reviewed when this customer leaves. Yelp users often go back a couple of weeks later to leave reviews on businesses that they have checked in to. The Yelp site actually prompts them to do this.
Yelp Deals are also available. For example you can offer 10% off discounts or other coupons in Yelp. Some people use the Yelp app to search for local businesses. Businesses using Yelp deals get additional exposure and real estate in Yelp search, on competitor’s Yelp business listings, and in the mobile Yelp app.
Yelp Metrics also show valuable data.
July 24, 2014 Yelp announced Yelp Trends. This is very awesome and shows what is trending. See the Yelp blog here for more information on this.
All Yelped out and need Yelp Help?
There are paid solutions in Yelp to offer discounts and other advantages to paying Yelp. Not all business owners need this though. If you are feeling behind and need assistance staying on top of managing your company’s Internet presence, need Yelp Help, or more exposure on the Internet in general feel free to contact us.