In this 5-minute read:
- Claim your store’s Yelp listing
- Update your Yelp profile and add photos
- Get and respond to reviews
- Offer sweet deals and advertise on Yelp
- Promote your Yelp listing outside of Yelp
Yelp is a powerful tool for attracting new customers to your retail business. When people are researching businesses on Yelp, they are in shopping mode and have an intent to buy. It’s during that time that you want your business to be front and center for new customers to see and show interest in.
You can’t just create a Yelp listing and do nothing with it, though. If you want to gain the maximum benefit from the Yelp listing for your retail business, you need to give it some attention and find ways to promote your listing within the platform.
Let’s look at some ways that you can promote your retail business on Yelp.
Claim your Yelp listing
It should go without saying, but the very first thing you need to do is claim your Yelp listing. Sometimes, there is already a listing out there that was created by another person or the search engine itself, and all you need to do is verify that you are the owner and get access to it. So do a quick search to see if your retail business is already listed on Yelp.
If it’s not, then you’ll need to create your new listing. Check out our quick guide to claim your Yelp listing.
Update your Yelp profile often
Once you have access to your Yelp business listing, it’s important to make sure all of your business information is up to date. You don’t want customers showing up to your store when you’re closed, and you definitely want to provide the best customer experience to get the word out about your business.
Here are some things to pay close attention to and keep updated on your Yelp profile:
- Business name
- Phone number
- Hours (including any special holiday hours)
- Products offered (or at least the type of products)
- Payments accepted
- Wi-fi availability
- Parking availability
The more information you can give to potential customers as they are researching your store, the more likely they are to make a decision to check you out.
Add a lot of photos
People are visual creatures. Appeal to that! Add tons of photos of your products to your Yelp listing. Make sure to include your logo and photos of your store too. This will help customers get a feel for your store before ever reaching it. That visual will influence potential customers more than you know.
Make an effort to post really high-quality photos too. This is your time to attract new customers through pleasing aesthetics, so don’t skimp on it.
Work to get Yelp reviews and respond to them
Small businesses should always encourage customers to provide feedback. Womply’s latest research for online reviews shows that businesses that have more than the average number of reviews earn 54% more in annual revenue. Having more reviews also provides your store’s listings with better opportunity to outshine your competitors when customers do a search for stores near them.
You should always strive to keep a good supply of fresh, genuine reviews coming in. The freshness of your reviews shows potential customers that you are still relevant and active in the retail world. Plus, Womply’s data shows that businesses with more than the typical number of “fresh” reviews earn 52% more than average.
Most online review platforms support the typical ways of soliciting authentic reviews from real customers. However, you should be aware that Yelp is more stringent about the process than some other review platforms and has very particular rules about how Yelp businesses should get reviews. Be sure to read their policies, and it’s best to stick with official “rate us on Yelp” signage or stickers on outside windows, at the cash register, and on the way out the door reminding customers to leave you a Yelp review.
If you have a robust customer feedback process in place, you’re naturally more likely to receive more reviews as a result of that.
When the reviews do start coming in, it is important to respond to them as well. At the very least, provide every positive review with a brief “thank you” and make sure you are very professional and polite in any responses to negative reviews.
If you need some help responding to negative reviews, check out our article: How to respond to negative reviews.
Offer sweet deals and discounts
We all love a good deal. Entice more customers by offering deals on your Yelp listing. Yelp also has a platform, called Yelp Deals, which allows you to promote discounts and gift certificates to your store. Customers can purchase prepaid vouchers for these deals from Yelp, and then Yelp pays your part to you at the end of each month.
Advertise on Yelp
If you’re not seeing the traffic that you want from your Yelp listing, Yelp has a great platform for small business advertising. The three main benefits of advertising your retail business on Yelp are as follows:
1. Target local customers
With targeted audiences, you can put your ads in front of people that are in close proximity to your store when they do a search on Yelp.
2. Premium ad placements
Yelp offers premium placements where they will list your store at the top of related search results and even on your competitor’s pages.
3. Multiple platforms
Yelp searches are conducted across a variety of platforms, so they make sure that your ads are displayed across all of these: desktop browsers, browsers on mobile devices, and mobile applications.
Promote your store’s Yelp listing outside of Yelp
Drive people to your Yelp listing from other platforms on and offline. This will help you to get more authentic reviews and help potential customers who are still in “research mode” to learn more about your store.
Here are some ways you can go about doing this:
- Add an official Yelp badge to your store’s website and link it to your Yelp listing.
- You know that official “Rate us” signage we mentioned earlier? That’s a great way to promote your store’s Yelp listing in your physical store.
- Encourage customers to “check-in” to Yelp on the mobile app with their cell phones when they are at your store.
Take advantage of this free platform (and possibly some of its paid applications) and drive your business through the roof! If you’re concerned about managing your online reviews, try Womply’s reputation management software to get ahead of the game and easily keep track of your online reviews across multiple review sites. Learn more, plus get free reputation monitoring and customer insights when you sign up for Womply Free!