Whether you’ve claimed your online listing or not, there has never been a better time to be active on Yelp. What used to be a tool for foodies to grade restaurants is now a foot-traffic generating machine for small businesses of all sorts.
We’ve written before about how important it is for small businesses to claim their online review listings. Today we’re going to give you some tips to make your listing better, stronger, and more attractive. But of course, that starts with claiming your online listings.
You’ve got to complete to compete
Claiming a listing is the first step. It’s quick and easy.
It’s hard to win when you’re not even in the race. Having an unclaimed listing doesn’t mean they can’t find you, it just means what potential customers find may not accurately reflect your business. Over two-thirds of businesses have unclaimed listings. To be clear: that doesn’t mean these businesses don’t have listings; it just means their listings are roaming out there in the wild, without an owner.
Not sure if you’ve claimed your Yelp listing? Jump over to BIZ.YELP.COM to check. If you haven’t, you’ll be able to claim it right there.
But I’m not a bar or restaurant. Isn’t Yelp just for foodies?
Yelp is one of the longest standing and most trusted review sites out there. While it may have roots in the restaurant business, Yelp has expanded beyond the food industry and help consumers find the best local options for just about everything they could want.
The Yelp app even features a BEST IN TOWN section as soon as you open the app to help consumers find the best-rated options nearby. Here are the current categories on the app, all of which have much more specific, subcategories:
- Retail Shopping
- Food & Grocers
- Health & Medical
- Beauty, spas, and salons
- Home Services
- Local services
- Event planning
- Arts & entertainment
- Active life
- Professional Services
- Hotels & Travel
- Real estate
- Financial Services
- Local Flavor
- Public Services & Government
- Mass Media
- Religious Organizations
Yelp can be the business owner’s best friend. It attracts shoppers who are looking to spend money right away. After all, people use Yelp specifically because they want to shop locally instead of using a big-box store or online retailer.
Put your best foot forward
Now that you’ve got your page claimed, it’s time to update and fill-out your profile. Don’t worry. We’ve got some tips on how to get going if you’re not sure where to start.
There are a few ways to approach your Yelp listing. The general method of updating the contact information and hours of operation, throwing in a few images, and completing your profile will cover your bases. But considering that Yelp app users are among the most intent to buy, we suggest more of a billboard approach.
With such a supportive group of shoppers, you’ll want to be sure you’re looking your best and that your business is as attractive as possible. If you want to attract more customers, it helps to think of your Yelp as a long-standing advertisement. It’s the perfect place to promote your business and attract new customers.
The FROM THE BUSINESS section is your chance to shine. When filling out this part, listing some of the brands, products, or services you provide is great. Letting them know what sets you apart, how you differentiate from your competition, and why you’re the best choice is even better.
If you’re stumped trying to fill out your profile, try answering a few of these questions to get your juices flowing:
- What are your best sellers?
- What do your best customers love about you?
- Do you offer something nobody else in town offers?
- Do you work with other local businesses? (If people shop with one of your friends, they’re far more likely to shop with you)
- What are your specialties?
- What makes your store different from the competitors?
- Why did you start your business? (People are drawn to passion; let yours show.)
When in doubt, you can echo what you have on your website. But keep in mind that shoppers on Yelp are trying to validate your store. They want as much information about it as possible, not just the same information in several different locations. You’ll be much more appealing to your future customers if their first interaction is strong, unique, and then supported by your website, social media, and other listings.
You can use the answers to these questions to fill out your SPECIALTIES, HISTORY, and MEET THE OWNER sections, too.
Having a set of photos that reflect your business, the atmosphere of your shop, and the kind of food or products you sell in all their varieties are vital. Images are one of the most influential forms of media. And if a picture truly is worth a thousand words, make sure that novel shows just how great you are.
With no limitations on the number of images you can post, be sure to load it up. Keep the images you load relevant, of course, but don’t think it has to be all product shots. Action shots, before-and-after pictures, and images of your work in the wild are great ways to attract more eyes and more customers.
PRO TIP: Take advantage of user-generated content. If it makes sense, host a raffle or give-away to your existing customers. Enter anyone who submits a photo of them in your shop into the contest into the contest. Tell them what you’re looking for: pictures of your products or services in action. Few things are as powerful as social validation from your existing customers.
When building out your listing, it may help you to remember that people going to Yelp and other review sites are looking for recommendations from their peers. The more you can highlight your customers in your profile, the better.
Get good reviews and great ratings
The key to keeping positive online reviews rolling in is to meet expectations. Yelp users are extremely supportive. Nearly half of the reviews they leave are 5 stars. But it starts by setting the right expectations and then delivering.
When setting up your listings and describing your businesses, it’s better to under-promise and over-deliver. One of the biggest reasons people leave negative reviews is when the in-store experience didn’t meet the expectation set by their business profile. For example, if you choose to categorize your store as a CAMPING AND OUTDOOR GEAR, but you mostly carry bikes and rock climbing gear, you may have some disappointed visitors who came looking for tents, hiking boots, etc.
The closer your Yelp matches what you do, what you sell, and what sets you apart, the more likely you are to get a supportive review, rating, and recommendation. That same bike and climbing gear shop will get better reviews and have far happier customers if they categorize themselves as a BIKE AND ROCK-CLIMBING GEAR store. The key is to attract the people who will buy from you, not just people looking for businesses in a similar category. Quite often, people looking for local business have niche needs to fill. Don’t be afraid to get specific on your listing.
Review sites can be a huge customer magnet for your business. The more you use them, the more potential customers will, as well.
With all the various review site options, managing, tracking, and responding to all your customer comments can feel overwhelming. With Womply, you can manage and monitor you review listings, keep an eye on your online reputation, and get notifications to new posts, all from one convenient location. Request your preview today.