03 May Yelp Help & Yelp SEO: Becoming the Yelp Master
S ince the beginning of time, customers have been reviewing products and services. In the times of cavemen, the reviews were verbal from one man to another such as “This meat is no good, I will not trade with you” to industrial times when someone may have sent a telegram to notify a motor company about their frustration that their car broke down. Today, businesses can receive verbal customer reviews and digital customer reviews. The most popular review website is Yelp.
This blog post will address what Yelp is, why it’s important for any business to be on Yelp, how to claim your business, set up a business page, how to pick your business category and why categories are crucial to your Yelp ranking, what is quantified in a Yelp ranking and how you can help your ranking increase, plus, ways you can optimize your Yelp page and how to do it. No need to look anywhere else for information on being a master on Yelp, we’ve got you covered.
What is Yelp and How is it Used
Some of you may be familiar with the company. For those who aren’t, Yelp is a company that has been around since 2004. Yelp is used by consumers to search for any type of service they may need, sights they want to explore on their next vacation, hotels they want to stay at, restaurants they want to eat at within a certain area etc.
More importantly, Yelp is used so customers can rate and review their experience at a particular business and the reviews, no matter if they’re positive or negative, are completely viewable by anyone who goes on Yelp. Consumers can also contact companies through Yelp, look up directions, post photos, check out your website and even check-in to your business.
Why Should you Care About Yelp
As a business owner, Yelp is a great place for people to discover your business. On average, there are about 142 million unique users on Yelp monthly. About half of those users use Yelp on their desktop computer while the other half use Yelp on their mobile device. And out of the 142 million users about 63% of them write reviews, and these could potentially be reviews about your business.
How to Set Up Your Yelp Account
In order to manage your customer reviews, reach out to reviewers, upload photos of your business, edit information about your business and much more, you will need to claim your business on Yelp. To claim your business, you go to biz.yelp.com
Next, type in your business name and city where you operate.
If your business doesn’t currently exist, you can add your business to Yelp.
Here, you will be able to add the name of your business, the address, number where people can reach you, your website, email address, hours of operation and the category your business is under.
It’s important your business information is the same everywhere your business is listed or else this could be confusing to a person trying to use your service or if they’re trying to reach you and the number you have listed on your Yelp page is no longer in service, this could prevent you from making a potential sale.
Sometimes, a Yelp user will only check your Yelp page and not go anywhere else to find out more information or ways to reach you, so you don’t want to lose out on business when that’s the reality.
How Do you Pick your Business Category
Part of setting up your business profile on Yelp is picking the category your business falls under. On Yelp, there are about 698 categories to choose from, which makes it easy to find the category most related to your business. However, you will notice some crossover terms that are also related to your business.
You can choose up to three categories. You will be asked to pick a primary category (there are 22 of them) then a secondary category (498) and finally a third category (178). If you want to see a completed list of the categories you can choose from before picking, check out this complete list of all the categories broken down by type of business in this Google Doc.
After you have filled out all the necessary information, you will get an email confirmation and after you’ve confirmed your email you will see this screen. Unfortunately, until Yelp reviews and approves your listing, you can’t add anything to your page.
Why is Picking your Category Important
It’s important to choose your category wisely and to think about what category not only closely relates to your business but is also searched for the most on the web. And, depending on what category you pick will also play a big part in your Yelp ranking. If your business name has the category keyword you picked that will also help your Yelp ranking. However, there are other reasons to care about Yelp rankings.
What is Quantified in a Yelp Ranking
The amount of reviews you get places heavily into whether you show up on page 1 or 2 of Yelp for your business category. If your business doesn’t have any reviews, than it will be difficult for people to find your business on Yelp.
Yelp reviews are also given to other search engines including Bing Business Portal and Apple Maps, so people can see your ratings beyond the Yelp platform. There are also people who have been reviewers on Yelp for years, who post relevant, useful reviews often, and who participate in other aspects of the Yelp platform that can nominate themselves to become Elite Yelp members.
Once a person is accepted as an Elite Yelp member, there reviews will carry more weight and if they review your business, that will help your Yelp ranking, especially if it’s a positive review.
And finally, if you have lots of activity such as people checking in to your business, calling your business number or clicking to get directions to your business, this will also be part of your overall Yelp ranking.
Key Components to Optimizing your Yelp Page
Filling in your “About This Business” section of your Yelp page is important, so people can see the people behind your business. Don’t be afraid to be candid and casual in your language. Let your personality or the personality of your business shine through. Everyone loves the story of how a business got started, so if you feel stuck on what to write start there.
Add some information about what you offer and why it’s unique and even throw in a bio about the owner too. Your keywords should come naturally throughout your text. Don’t try to stuff them in there because that will not help you show up on page 1 of Yelp. Yelp’s algorithms are intuitive and they can recognize quantity content when they really want quality content. Here is how you can edit this section.
- 1. Go to this URL https://biz.yelp.com/home/ (this URL will have an extra qualifier to show it’s your specific business)
- 2. Go to Business Information on the left hand side.
- 3. You will notice there is an edit button next to each section, by clicking on edit, you will be able to change the current content in that section to something new.
- 4. When you’re done, press Save Changes, and you will see those changes in the content immediately on your page.
Filling in Relevant Information for your Customers
If someone is potentially going to try out your business for the first time, what do you think they want to know? The photo displayed above is a good example of information you would want to give if you’re a restaurant. The more information you give up front, the more likely someone is to try out your business.
You can even upload your restaurant’s menu to give a potential customer an idea of what you serve. Price is probably the biggest question any potential customer has, so it’s important to include the average price of using your product or service to give potential customers an idea of what they’ll be spending at your business.
By editing the Basic Information section and following the steps listed in the “About Page” section, you’ll be good to go.
Post Engaging Photos
If someone has never been to your business, a great way to get them interested is by posting tons of appealing photos representing your business. Customers can and will upload photos of your business to your business page, however, if you want to learn how to upload photos to your Yelp page, here is how you do it.
- 1. Go to your Yelp Business Page.
- 2. Go to the section on the left hand side that says Photos.
- 3. Here, you will see an Upload button in the first box next to other photos previously uploaded. Click on that button.
- 4. You can then upload or drag photos from your desktop computer.
- 5. You can then add a caption to better describe your photo.
- 6. Once you’ve completed the caption, press Finish and that photo will be saved to your page.
To have more control over what photos appear first in your photo slide on your Yelp page, you can Upgrade and get the Slideshow app.
Here’s what you can expect when you upgrade
- 1. Feature the best photos on your business.
Engage visitors by choosing the photos displayed in the first slideshow.
- 2. Select the photos displayed in the search results.
Attract potential customers to your business page by displaying your best photo in search results.
- 3. Sort the photos on your business’s photo page.
The average yelper views about 10 photos. Take control of those photos and convert more visitors into leads.
How to Get More Reviews
Make it easier for people to find you and remember you on the web and potentially write a review about your business by posting your Yelp Page URL on your company’s marketing material . A couple places you could do this is on your social media profiles, on your business card, brochures or within your business building so customers can see you are present on Yelp.
Understanding Yelp Analytics
On the first page of the backend of your business page, you will see a number of analytics related to the traffic on your Yelp page. You can break down the statistics between seeing the last 30 days, to 12 months or even 2 years.
You can view the amount of people who have viewed your page, how many people have checked into your business, clicked on your website, called your business, the amount of people who bookmarked your page on Yelp, how many people requested directions to your business and how many new photos have been uploaded by other users.
If you’re interested in seeing your ROI through using Yelp, you can guestimate your revenue made through Yelp.
Concluding Yelp 101
So there you have it, your ultimate guide to becoming a Yelp master. I hope you found the information easy to understand, and hopefully implement because when you do implement the tools above you’ll reap multiple benefits in your business including: more positive reviews on yelp, more exposure for your business, greater accessibility to your business and an increase in your annual revenue. If all those benefits sound pretty darn great, then don’t wait another minute to optimize your Yelp page.