What Does Yelp Do for Businesses?
If you’re a business owner, and you have no idea what Yelp is, I am happy you’re here. Every business should make sure they have a presence on Yelp. What does Yelp do for businesses? They provide them with a web platform to connect with customers.
What is Yelp?
According to How Stuff Works, Yelp was founded in 2004, in San Francisco, and has since expanded to every major city in the United States and, more recently, in Canada and the United Kingdom.
Yelp works on the basis that when people like something, they want to tell others about it. What they offer is the opportunity for customers to write reviews on businesses based on their personal experience.
Potential customers would then use Yelp for recommendations when trying to choose a business as explained by Scott Keever, of a locally owned Citrus Park SEO company. Nearly anything you can think of can be found on Yelp.
It also gives the opportunity for the business owner to enhance their presence on Yelp and communicate with their customers. It can most certainly be used as a marketing tool for businesses.
What are the benefits of Yelp for businesses?
- Consumers are using Yelp, and they’re using it a lot. As of September 30, 2017, they had a total of 142 million reviews on their site.
- It is viewed as a reputable place to get trustworthy, unbiased reviews.
- Your presence on Yelp makes it easy for customers to get in contact with you. They also expect to find you there, so if you’re not there, they may question your credibility as a company.
What Rules do Businesses Need to Follow?
To make the reviews unbiased, Yelp has certain rules that the businesses need to follow. If they suspect that reviews are not genuine, they will not be marked as trustworthy or helpful for the customer. These are things you should avoid with regards to reviews on Yelp:
- Don’t post reviews of your own business or your competitors’.
- Don’t ask friends, family, or customers to write reviews, let them do it on their own.
- Don’t try to bribe your customers to write reviews by offering something free.
- Don’t try to fix bad reviews by working with a 3rd-party company offering such services.
- don’t try to convince a customer to change or remove a bad review they wrote about your business
In addition to rules pertaining to reviews, Yelp also has a list of content guidelines that everyone who uses the site must follow.
What Are the Free Tools Offered by Yelp for Businesses?
Claiming your business: If you are a business owner, the first thing you want to do is claim business. When you do this, it will put a blue check mark next to your name. This allows you to personalize your page and shows your customers that you are present in the Yelp community.
Answering Reviews: As a business owner who has claimed their business on Yelp, you can answer to reviews. Ensure that you make the most of this by responding in a constructive way. Do not get defensive on negative reviews. If possible, try to work with the customer to resolve the issue.
Connect with future customers: When someone visits your Yelp page, it is usually because they are not a customer, but are considering it. To attract these customers, you can enable these links:
- Request a Quote or Message the Business: Depending on the category your business falls into, one of those two links can be added to your page which allows customers can communicate with you if they have a question or want to know the price of something.
- Check-In Offers: Customers have the can check-in to businesses on Yelp, announcing to their friend list where they are, or where they have been. As a business owner, you can offer special discounts or rewards when customers check-in.
- Yelp Deals: Businesses can offer discounted gift cards to customers visiting their Yelp page.
To learn more about check-in offers and Yelp deals, you can have a look at this video on their website.
Check your Contact Information: As a business owner, Yelp allows you to update your contact information such as your name, phone number, website, address, and business hours. You can also tag your website with three different categories pertaining to your business.
Let customers know you are on Yelp: All businesses can request a free window sticker that says, “Find Us on Yelp”. For those who qualify, Yelp also sends businesses a sticker that says, “People Love Us on Yelp”. You can also embed your favorite reviews to your website or social media page.
Flag abusive content: Although you shouldn’t pressure someone to remove negative reviews, you still have the right to report a review if you feel:
- There is a conflict of interest
- It is not based on the reviewer’s personal experience
- It has threatening language, hate speech or private information about employees
If you flag a review, Yelp will investigate based on their guidelines and decide if it should be removed.
The bottom line is Yelp is very easy to use and can be very valuable for your business. If you are looking for marketing ideas that are not costly, Yelp is a great option. Even with a limited knowledge of technology, Yelp makes it easier for you to get your name out there and drive more business.