Optimize Your Yelp Business Page & Increase Conversions
As a business owner, you definitely must have heard about Yelp. But do you know how powerful this review site could be when it comes to promoting local businesses? Interestingly, consumers rank Yelp as the number one review site to check when looking for a local business. According to a survey conducted in 206 by Nielsen, Yelp is considered the most influential, most trusted, and the most useful review site for making a purchase decision.
So, if you have been seeing Yelp as a site for only restaurants, you need to think again. Yelp is also ranked top for finding almost any type of local business, and many consumers say they will check Yelp before they patronize most businesses around their area. They see it as one trusted site for finding businesses they can trust.
Why Should Yelp be a Part of Your Marketing Strategies?
Yelp users have enough money to get whatever service they need…
Yes, that may come as a surprise to you, but that’s the truth. Compared to other review sites, users on Yelp tend to have enough money to spend on any product or service they need. Research says that about 47% of Yelp users earn $100K+ per year.
Yelp users are spenders
About 92% of these users make a purchase after visiting Yelp. At the same time, 79% of the users purchase within a week and 42% within a day after visiting the site.
Yelp is great for word-of-mouth marketing
Word-of-mouth is still an effective marketing strategy up till today. With 92% of Yelp users telling their friends and family about a business they found and used on Yelp, the review site can be an effective way of building word-of-mouth awareness around your local business
Yelp is a powerful tool for driving quality traffic
About half of Yelp users visit a company’s website after reading reviews about the company on Yelp. That means the site can serve a powerful purpose of helping to drive relevant, huge traffic to your website.
Yelp helps build a pool of loyal customers
74% of consumers looking for local businesses on Yelp are looking for a business they can always go to when they need their service without having to research again and again when next they are in need.
Reviews Are a Powerful Tool for Driving Conversion
If you still think you are the only one responsible for your brand message, you need to think again. These days, customers too have a huge role to play in that. Gone are the days when consumers would have to scan through the several pages of a Yellow Page to find home services businesses they need. Today, consumers start their search online or ask friends on Facebook if they could refer any business whenever they are looking for a product or service.
It is true they will visit your website when they find your business online. But the truth is that they may not patronize you until they had read reviews about your business in places like Google My Business, Yelp, and Angie’s List. Now imagine how many potential customers you would be able to convert if your business is listed on Yelp and you have a good review rating on the platform – of course, you would get a lot of customers!
How to Turn Yelp Users into a Loyal Customer
Now that you have a good understanding of how important Yelp can be when it comes to growing your local business, the next thing is to know how you can get the attention of users on Yelp and get them to buy from you.
However, turning a visitor on Yelp into a buyer will only happen if you can optimize your Yelp business page. According to Boston Consulting Group, businesses that optimized their page on Yelp earn an average of $8,000 in additional revenue every year. Plus, optimizing your Yelp page is very easy and doesn’t require much time. In less than 30 minutes, you can get the job done. That’s likely the easiest $8,000 you will ever make!
However, before we talk about optimizing your Yelp page, the first thing you need to do is to claim your business on the platform. So if you haven’t done that already, let’s see how you can claim your Yelp business page.
- Visit http://www.biz.yelp.com
- Type in your business name and location
- Then click on Get Started
- You will be called immediately to confirm you are the real owner or manager of the business
- Now go to Google Play or Apple Store to download the free Yelp for Business Owners app
- With the app, you can easily manage your listing right from your mobile phone. That means even on your busy days, you won’t have to sit in front of a computer all day trying to make things right with your listing. You can do that from your phone at your spare time.
Step 1: Make Sure Your Yelp Business Profile Is Completed and Up to Date
Various studies have revealed that businesses that complete their Yelp profile get five times more leads than the ones that don’t. At the same time, businesses that show their operation hours on their page get about three times more reviews too.
That means it is very important that you have your business information correctly filled on your page. In case you don’t know what information to fill, here are what to expect:
Identify the right category for your business. You can also choose up to three categories for your business to increase your chance of being found by potential customers on the platform. For instance, if you do remodeling, construction, and roofing, list all three categories.
Address, phone, website, and hours of operation
Give more information about your business here. If your business operates in some hours will holiday hours or by appointment only, use Special Hours to list such hours. If your business is however a 24/7 business like some plumbing businesses, let your customers know here.
Use this section to tell a personal story of your business. How long have you been in the community? Are you a family-owned business? Let your customers know. They always like to know the story behind companies they do business with.
Meet the owner
Here, add a short bio and a photo of yourself. This can also be the face of your manager or your logo. But whosoever’s photo you are using, just make sure it is of high quality and professional.
This area is designed for business owners to briefly explain what makes their business unique and stand out from the crowd. For instance, if you specialize in bathroom or kitchen remodeling, or a certain type of roofing, let your customers know. Furthermore, ensure you use relevant keywords your customers use when searching for the service or products that you offer.
Include up to five links to other Yelp business pages. They can also be your own pages – for instance, if you have multiple companies or locations, link to them.
Pro tip for your Yelp business page
It is not a must you have multiple businesses or locations before you can utilize the Business Recommendation section of your page. You can also link to complementary businesses in your area that you think are trusted and that you can recommend. For example, if your business does roofing, you can link to a business that does exterior siding or stucco.
When you do that, also ask that the companies also recommend you on their page too. If you can get many companies like this to recommend you on Yelp, the better your reputation will be on the platform. That’s a smart way of winning more customers to yourself.
Step 2: Include high-quality and attractive Photos
When it comes to attracting customers to your Yelp business page, having high-quality photos will help make a huge difference. In fact, businesses with 10 or more photos have more than a 500% chance of getting more leads than those without photos.
Furthermore, in situations where your business doesn’t have so many reviews yet, photos can cover up for you. If your business has about 2 to 5 reviews and at least 10 photos, you will have 200% more reviews than another business with the same amount of reviews and no photos. So get enough photos on your page to increase your chance of bagging more customers on the platform. However, to make the most of your Yelp photos, here are some tips to bear in mind:
Don’t stop at just your logo and storefront
Posting photos of your storefront or your logo is not enough. Include one or two photos of both the interior and outside of your business. You can also ask permission from your customers to show before-and-after photos of the job you have done in their homes.
Only upload relevant and necessary photos
You can’t just upload any type of photo. Your photos should be relevant to your products or services. If you just added new services or seasonal work, let your photos reflect these. To make this more effective, make it a point of duty to post your best before-and-after photos once or twice a week.
Appropriately caption your photos
Don’t just throw in those photos. Let your customers know and see what you want them to see and know in the photos. For example, if you replace a customer’s shower, you can put such a caption as ”Before: This 1970s-era shower was stained and cracking.” “After: We brought it back to life by installing slate tiles with natural stone flooring and a rainfall showerhead to give it a more modern look.”
However, when captioning your photos, ensure you use relevant keywords – that is keywords that your customer are likely going to use to find your business. This will improve your search rankings and better convert potential customers.
Flag inappropriate photos so they can be removed
There is no point in keeping photos of services you no longer offer on your page. So flag them to alert Yelp to remove them. If you are no longer offering bathroom remodels, for example, flag all photos about bathroom remodeling so they can be removed.
Step 3: Manage Reviews on Your Yelp Business page
Having reviews on your page is just as important as knowing how to manage them. That is where responding to reviews comes in. you need to learn how to respond promptly to your reviews.
There are basically two ways you can respond to your Yelp reviews.
- Public comments: This type of response is visible to everyone that comes to your page, and will show up directly under the reviewer’s comment
- Direct message: Unlike public comments, only the reviewer gets to see this. It can be in form of an email that goes straight to the reviewer’s inbox on Yelp and let you communicate with them privately.
Different Strokes for Different Folks; How to Respond to Reviews on Your Page
3, 4, 5-Star Reviews
- Acknowledge the feedback and thank the reviewer for it in a public comment.
- Respond to all reviews to show your customers that you really care and value their opinions about your business. But when responding, make every response unique and personalized. Don’t use generic responses. Your customers may not be encouraged to leave a review on your page when they already know what response they would get. So vary your responses.
- Leverage your responses to introduce your customers to other services you offer
1 or 2-Star Reviews
First, address the negative feedback in public comment – keep your response very short and concise, and promise to do your best to resolve any issue they might have with your business.
Now, send the reviewer a direct message to get more details about why they are not happy with their experience with your business. Then address these concerns one after the order.
While you may always want to get positive reviews on your Yelp page, there are times you will also get negative ones. You can’t control that, and you cannot also run away from it. But when you get one, the way you manage it matters a lot.
So, don’t panic, but use this Stop, Drop, and Roll approach to manage any negative review on your Yelp page.
Don’t respond right away. It might cause you to overreact or make the matter worse with your customer. Instead, wait for a few hours to let the issue breathe, then come up with an answer to the review. However, be sure to respond within 24 hours to keep your reputation in the Yelp space.
Don’t just write a response and post it immediately. Instead, sit on it for a while. Read it over and over again, and then give it to someone else to read it for you. If there is anything that sounds argumentative or defensive in the response, remove it before you finally post the comment.
Not every time you will be able to rectify and satisfy the concerns of your customers. Sometimes, you will just need to roll with it. If you think you have done all your best to satisfy your customer but they still unsatisfied, just roll with the bad review. At least you know you did everything you could to make things right.
Pro Tip for Responding to Yelp Reviews
It is important you respond to every review on your page, but pay special attention to the negative ones. Respond as promptly as possible – no response should wait till the next day. A customer with a bad experience is more likely to upgrade a negative review if the business owner responds within 24 hours.
- Go all out to provide the best service to your customers. No customer will rate you high if you did a bad job.
- Provide stellar customer service
- Make it easy for your customers to review your Yelp business page. Add Yelp buttons and badges to your website, email signature, newsletter, business cards, and your social media profiles.
- Share positive reviews about your business across your platforms. You can share these reviews both online and offline. Put them on your social media profile, on your marketing materials, on the side of your service vehicles, or print them on the T-shirts your employees wear.
Strategies for Getting More 5-Star Reviews on Yelp
Having lots of 5-star reviews on your Yelp pages will help facilitate trust in the hearts of your customers towards your business. But what if you are stuck with just a few reviews? Your type of business – home services are not the type that customers visit again and again like restaurant businesses. In fact, most customers will only use your services once.
Yelp doesn’t allow businesses to go begging their customers to leave reviews on their pages. They know if that is allowed, businesses will go all out to use different schemes and incentives to make customers only give them positive reviews, hence skewing the results. But that doesn’t mean you still cannot get more 5-star reviews for your business on Yelp. Below are some tips to help:
Additional Strategies to Increase Your Overall Review Rating on Yelp
Move positive reviews out of the filter
This is one big way business owners on Yelp can get more 5-star reviews on their page – but not everyone knows it. That is moving reviews out of the filter. If you are looking to increase your Yelp rating, it is wise to always check the filter for positive reviews that are stuck, hence couldn’t contribute to your overall score.
Yelp’s algorithm is built to hide some reviews that it thinks may not be genuine, spammy, or fake. These types of reviews are often kept away in the filter at the bottom of your Yelp page. A lot of businesses on Yelp have some reviews from real customers that are still sucked in the filter despite that they are relevant reviews dropped by authentic people.
So, if your business currently has 3 stars, checking through the filter and releasing some 5-start reviews can make a huge impact on your overall ratings. To do this, below are a few steps to follow:
Step #1: Follow the customers that posted the reviews
One effective way to help a user on Yelp appear more authentic is to make their profile appear more real. You can do this by simply following the user. So check through your filter and identify the users whose positive reviews are stuck there. Then follow the user on the account, and that might be enough to make their reviews visible on your page.
Step 2: Reach out to the customers
If following them didn’t work, then you may need to try to reach the customers through the Yelp messaging platform. Initiate a conversation with them and let them know that you value and appreciate their feedback on your page. And tell them that you hope they will update their review so that Yelp can allow the review to be visible on your page. Most customers you reach through this method will likely do that for you since they are happy customers.
Step 3: Walk your customers through the process of making their reviews appear more legitimate
Yes, consumers on Yelp can also improve their profiles to make them more authentic to the Yelp algorithm. So, if the above-mentioned two methods did not work to boost your overall rating, consider sending your customers messages walking them through the process of making their reviews look more legitimate on Yelp.
- Ask them to add a profile photo: having a profile photo will make a user look more real on Yelp and so reduce the chance of having their reviews filtered away.
- Ask them to “check-in” on their mobile phones from a few local places: this will also make the Yelp algorithm see the users as real human beings who actually with the app consistently.
- Encourage them to be more active on the platform: Reviews from inactive users may not hold water at the end of the day. So encourage your customers to be more active on the platform. That way, their reviews will be lifted from the filter to your home page and hence give an extra boost to your overall rating on Yelp. Of course, that will have a positive impact on your business.
These are the best practices for getting more 5-star reviews out of the filter and increasing your Yelp rating.
Optimized for Success
In this guide, we have provided some useful tips to help you optimize your Yelp business page. Once you have followed all of these, and your page is set up for success, remember to stay more active on the platform. Dedicate about 15 to 20 minutes every week to keep the page up.
Whether you run a home services business or other forms of local businesses, you will need to have a good reputation on Yelp to engage and convert more customers for your business. Follow the above-mentioned tips to boost your reputation and bring in more business. So get to work on them now!