Yelp is a blessing for businesses that want customers to find them via reviews and search results. But your business will show up if you are continuously optimizing your Yelp listing and employing review management software. Surprisingly, many business owners are making the same basic mistakes that are costing them customers. So, here are a few tips you need to keep in mind to utilize Yelp to your benefit.
Fill Out All the Information
The first thing you need to do is fill out all the information related to your business. Keep in mind that this is the first step to Yelp optimization and most businesses take it for granted. Every single bit of information counts and customers tend to trust a business that mentions the information of its owners and staff.
Furthermore, with all the information already mentioned on your Yelp profile, you do not have to repeatedly answer the same questions from the customers. Make sure that you update information along the way to prevent customers from being deceived.
For instance, if you have changed your location or phone number, you should immediately change it on Yelp as well. Otherwise, do not be surprised if negative reviews pop up.
Including keywords is another important tip that will help you rank in the search results. However, you need to use the right keywords in the right places such as in history, business information, and owner/employee profiles. And if possible, suggest your customers to add keywords in reviews and mention specific services and products.
Reviews can make or break your business. The thing with online reviews is that they are not easy to get. Sometimes, you have to trigger your customers’ interest to have them pen down reviews for you. However, then again, you will need to wait for the right time and use the right technique.
The twist here is that Yelp does not allow businesses to ask people for reviews. Even though, businesses do it anyway but as long as they aren’t caught. According to Yelp, forcing people to give reviews in return for incentives is biasedness.
The best way to request people to give you reviews is by adding a link to the review section or adding a review card while delivering products or services to their doorstep. Plus, reviews from active Yelp users are ranked relatively better than inactive ones, even if the review is negative. So, keep that in mind as well.
Respond Professionally & Strategically
Just as using a review management system is important for your business, responding to reviews too is important for the growth and authenticity of your business. As a business owner, you will have to deal with every kind of criticism. You should take it as constructive criticism. Most business owners tend to ignore responding to positive reviews but you should reply for a few important reasons.
To begin with, responding to positive reviews brings you closer to the customer. Try sending a brief private message to thank them for their efforts and time. However, do not use this opportunity to pitch your products and services. It should solely be thanking them for their review.
This will help customers realize that you are serious about the reviews and value their opinions.
In addition to that, you will often face a situation where customers are offering constructive criticism and you need to be careful. For instance, if a customer is pointing out a flaw in your business and is suggesting a particular way, instead of turning them down, you should help them understand why you are doing it your way. Constructive criticism will only benefit your business if you act on them. Not every review is supposed to be negative.
And finally, you will have customers penning down negative reviews simply because they didn’t get the experience they expected. During the process, it is normal for them to be angry and frustrated but you have to keep your calm. Begin by apologizing to them and asking for suggestions. You should also direct them to contact you so you can fix the problem.
It could also be that some comments are only meant to troll your business. Your competitors or marketing firms might indulge in such acts out of jealousy. It is generally advisable not to respond because it will be a no-win scenario.
Make sure to keep your focus on reviews that will further help your business grow.
Managing The Yelp Review Filter
The infamous Yelp review filter is undoubtedly the most famous as well. If you have used it before, you will surely find it infuriating. According to Yelp, the main purpose of the filter is to filter out fake and low-quality reviews. However, businesses often end up removing their positive reviews leaving with nothing but just negative reviews. This hurts their ranking and reputation.
As a result, there have been some lawsuits challenging the power of the filters. On the other hand, you can control which reviews get filtered and prevent positive reviews from vanishing into thin air. For positive reviews, the business owner should send a friend request to the customer who left a positive review and check all the boxes underneath.
However, for negative reviews, you should simply flag them. If possible, try contacting the customer to request them to bring down the review but it rarely works.
Make Regular Announcements & Special Offers
Make regular announcements and special offers to keep your Yelp profile active. As mentioned earlier, Yelp prefers active profiles over inactive ones. So, whatever you advertise or offer will end up in Google organic searches leading to customer traffic to your business profile. Then again, use the right keywords for your announcements and special offers to show up at the right place at the right time.
Consult A Yelp Expert
If you are new to Yelp and are struggling to manage your business profile, you should consult an expert. It could also be that your business does not leave you with enough time at the end of the day. So, you should contact a small marketing company that manages the profile on your behalf.
But keep in mind that finding the right company is not going to be easy. There are a lot of options out there waiting to waste your time and money. These companies can get you involved in illegal situations that might severely damage your business.
So, ask around for suggestions and pick a company after putting in your research. And if you are unable to find the right company, search for an individual who can manage your profile on a daily basis.
Yelp is becoming more and more popular each day. While your presence is important, you should not solely rely on it for reviews. Find out the sources you get the most exposure from and target them accordingly.
However, keep in mind the tips mentioned above especially if you are a new business in the market. And, do not hesitate to consult an expert or a team of experts. You will have to do everything to survive in the ever-increasing competitive world. So, make sure to use a white label review management software for managing online reviews.