80 percent of users go to Yelp when they’re ready to make a purchase. How do you make your restaurant’s Yelp page stand out? Yelp’s been “connecting people with great local businesses” for the past 12 years. For restaurant owners and operators – Yelp users who come through your doors are basically a guaranteed sale.
If this number inspires you, you’ve most likely tasked yourself with improving your restaurant’s Yelp page. While a customer’s purchase intent is high, this trick is getting your restaurant’s profile seen. Keep in mind, about 70 percent of your improved Yelp page views will come from mobile. You’ll need to communicate with potential customers quickly using videos, photos, and relevant info. The improvements to your Yelp page should sway their decision to come to your restaurant.
Here are 4 ideas you can use to woo your would-be customers with an improved Yelp page.
1. Create a Profile that Stands Out
Nothing hurts your Yelp profile more than a blank photo area. People usually stay on a Yelp business page with photos up to two and a half times longer. Add videos to make your restaurant’s Yelp page even more engaging. You could post behind the scenes clips of kitchen staff or your crowded dining room. Show potential customers the kind of experience they can expect.
Gain an edge with character
Update your restaurant’s business page using the “Meet the Manager/Owner” section. This is a good place to share your story with people who appreciate the personal connection. Make this section more compelling by adding things like:
- What led you to open your restaurant
- Your favorite menu items
- Your entrepreneurial backstory
- Personal hobbies
By improving the visual and engaging content to your restaurant’s page, customers will likely stay on your restaurant’s page longer.
2. Try out Yelp’s advertising features
Your restaurant’s Yelp page is the most effective when it reaches people who are ready to buy. Yelp’s advertising features provide several options for you to choose from. We’ve highlighted 3 we think will be most helpful for your restaurant:
Enticing and effective, you can tailor Yelp deals to get potential customers curious about popular menu items. Yelp pages offering deals are usually more useful to customers looking to try something new.
The key is to customize your featured deal in the “Optional Details” section. For example, optional details for a percentage offer could look something like this: “25% off our famous chicken dinners when you buy 2 or more. Our triple dipped fried chicken recipe and selection of side dishes will remind you of the comforts of home.”
If you’re at a loss for words, consider incorporating your restaurant’s branding message.
Check-ins and Check-in Offers
Using check-ins and offers in tandem works in your favor by leveraging a customer’s social network. The offer gets the customer through your doors and the mobile check-in promotes your restaurant to all their friends. Though the check-in feature is native to Yelp, customers have the option to share their check-in on Facebook and Twitter as well. Getting your restaurant promoted across three different platforms at once, for free – some of the best PR ever!
Have you ever done a general internet search for restaurants in your area? Most likely the top Google results were Yelp business pages, hopefully yours included. But if not — this is what Yelp’s search marketing tool can do for your restaurant’s Yelp page. Improve your Yelp business page with the search marketing tool. Your page is more likely to be seen by people who are ready to make a purchase.
3. Moderate your restaurant’s Yelp page
Ensure you know what is being said about your business. Check the profile daily and read the reviews to keep a pulse on what’s going happening. Negative reviews will require just as much attention as the positive reviews.
When you get a negative review, respond publicly with an empathetic tone. Never become hostile or defensive, even if the customer is being unreasonable. Your responses can easily sway a decision away from from your restaurant.
Pro tip: Always acknowledge the problem and thank the customer for their feedback. Additionally, provide an option to continue the conversation on another platform other than your business page.
Move Positive Reviews Out of Purgatory
Yelp uses a mechanism to filter what could be inauthentic reviews from your restaurant’s page. You should check this filter — at the bottom of your restaurant’s profile — weekly. Positive reviews often get stuck here. Removing them from the filter can increase your overall Yelp rating.
The key is to move any positive reviews that are stuck in the filter to public view. Yelp’s filter algorithm isn’t perfect. Here are common workarounds many restaurant operators are using:
- Add the filtered reviewer as a friend
- Message them with a request to update the review, making their comment public
- Encourage them to complete their personal profile
You and your team work hard to serve great service. Increase your Yelp rating and persuade potential customers by moving positive reviews out of filter purgatory.
Managed correctly, your restaurant’s Yelp profile can be a core part of our online marketing. A 2011 study by the Harvard Business School found that a one-star increase in Yelp rating led to a 5-9 percent increase in revenue. Even a little time spent on keeping your online reputation positive can be well worth the investment in time. Also, for more helpful info, check out Yelp’s Youtube Channel.
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