Yelp is THE social sharing, review platform and recommendation app to be on as a service provider in the United States. It’s where millions of people come every day to find the best restaurants, clubs, bars, pubs events and much more.
What’s more, Yelp is the perfect tool for businesses which rely on heavy local traffic. Do your run a local diner? Or a seaside club? Yelp is the platform to be on if you want targeted traffic from people in your neighbourhood. It’s the essential asset to your business’ online strategy, better even than Google…
Launched back in 2004, Yelp is the perfect platform to gather reviews and rating, manage your brand and image and attract new customers. And thanks to its local search tool, you only get local clients. There’s more: businesses can actively create and run their business profile, communicate with the community of users and control your prospects. Essentially, Yelp allows your business to master their image in the local community.
So how can you start using Yelp’s new local search algorithm to your advantage?
New businesses can fall into 4 categories:
– you searched for your business, but couldn’t find it – you’ll have to manually add the business to Yelp
– your business has already been unlocked – this means that other people already claimed your business; you’ll have to contact Yelp and prove you’re the real owner of the account
– your business was listed by other users – now you can unlock it and effectively start your new business profile; you’ll have to provide your first and last name, business name, email address and a password
– you encounter problems when creating your Yelp account – the help section of the website provides all the information; you can also contact their support team
Setting up your profile
Once you registered your business, you’ll have to complete your profile. Include the full business name, additional information regarding business hours, price range, outdoor seating or parking. Write a blurb about your business, add contact details, phone numbers, a website and menus. Next, make sure you include a profile picture. Similarly, you’ll have to create an album with high quality pictures that will be visible to your customers.
Going locally on Yelp
You’ll have to pick your keywords carefully in order to take full advantage of Yelp’s local search tool. Optimize your profile with relevant keywords about your menu (especially if it’s localized – for instance crispy Georgia-style chicken), the type of food you serve, the type of clientele you want (family restaurant) and so on. Add a short history of your business, as it can help boost your visibility in the search tool.
Local results on Yelp are also affected by specialized backlinks from other Yelp members. Try to connect with as many local businesses and customers that can provide all the “juice” back to your profile. Yelp’s tool will see that your business is doing business locally, and it’s appreciated by others. Try guest posting on local blogs, get articles published on local newspapers and write a press release about your business. Provide an incentive or a special offer exclusive only for Yelp users, as it will boost your standing on the platform.
Using the metrics from your dashboard
Yelp has a powerful metrics tool where you can monitor your performance on the platform. You can track the traffic to your profile, how often is it searched and how people find you on the platform. You can track your customers’ behavior before landing on your page and what were their action. Essentially, the dashboard will let you know how people interact with your profile, at any given time.
The best thing about the dashboard is its accuracy. You get information right to the hour, not just the day, so you’ll know how to manage your business profile in real time.