Is your small business on Yelp? If not, it should be.

Whether it’s a restaurant, cafe, mall or cinema, Yelp offers online reviews for basically any business out there. Yet there are many small businesses that are still not taking advantage of the online review platform’s exposure. If your business isn’t on Yelp, you may be missing out on a huge opportunity for customers.

Why Yelp?

In a study conducted by Nielsen, it was revealed that 82% of users visited Yelp while deciding to make a purchase, such as where to have dinner or where to get the best coffee nearby. Based on the data, Yelp is most influential, most trustworthy, and highest-quality review site, ranking above sites like TripAdvisor and OpenTable.

Getting Started

Here’s a quick-start guide to getting your small business set up on Yelp:

1. Create a business profile

Get started by creating a business page here – it takes less than 5 minutes. Make sure to add your store hours, menus and detailed photo galleries of your store – the more information you can provide to potential customers to help them in their decision process, the better. Yelp has found that users spend more than 2.5 times as much time on business pages with photos compared to those without.

2. Getting your first review

Now that you’re set up, you need to get your first review. It’s frowned upon to ask your customers to leave a review as reviews should be spontaneous rather than forced. Instead, try letting your customers know that you have a Yelp page on your website, brochures or when their in your store. If a customer provides a positive, verbal review in-store, let them know that you have a Yelp page where they can share the love!

3. Respond to reviews

As a business owner, you can publicly respond to any reviews left on your Yelp page. You should try to reply to all reviews that your receive as it shows that you care about your customers. If you receive a negative review, be sure to respond carefully and respectfully. Thank the reviewer for their feedback and include a quick note of how you plan to improve or fix whatever they have mentioned. Respond to positive reviews too! Use it as an opportunity to highlight the effort you’re putting towards a great customer experience.

4. Run a Yelp Deal

Yelp Deals allow you to offer coupons and discounts to your customers on Yelp. Although Yelp keeps 30% of the discounted price, deals can serve as a cost-effective way to get customers into your store, purely because of Yelp’s ability to reach millions of users per day.

What do you think? Has your small business found success via Yelp? We’d love to hear about it in the comments section below.