Thursday, August 23, 2012

Yelp! It's Time To Optimize

So now that you realize how important it is to have a presence on Yelp, here are three basic tips on how your business should optimize its use of the platform:

1. Survey your competition
Read the profiles of your competitors. How are they positioning their businesses. What are their stated value propositions. How have they been rated? This allows you to think about your unique value proposition.

2. Build a comprehensive Yelp profile
Develop all the essential pieces of your Yelp profile, including:

  • Name and category: Avoid any typos in business name and categorize listing correctly. It's critical to get this done right.
  • Detailed address and phone number: Include the business street address, along with any important notes about landmarks or cross-streets. Make sure contact info is updated.
  • Include Yelp listing link on your website, promotional literature: This is crucial for converting more site visitors into customers. If a user likes what they see on your website, they’re much more likely to click on your Yelp link and become your customer. 
  • Quality photos: Nothing hurts your Yelp profile more than not having quality images in the photo area. Be thoughtful about the images you include in your listing. A picture says a 1000 words.
  • Important info: Be accurate and thorough about your hours, price range, parking info, etc. This info can be crucial in a customer’s decision to choose your business over the competition.
  • About your business: Take the time to write a professional description about your business. Like the quality images on your profile, the verbage users read here is important in setting the right tone.
3.  Respond to posted reviews
Responding to user reviews, regardless of their rating is an excellent marketing platform for your business.  The key here is to show that you truly care about the satisfaction of every customer. Thank the reviewer for their feedback, and point out things they may not have been aware of, or explain how you plan to fix or improve whatever concerns them, if the review is a complaint.

In my next post, I'll review more advanced features businesses can leverage on Yelp.

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