The Complete Guide to Yelp

Part 1: Creating and Optimizing Your Yelp Profile
Part 2: Yelp Ads, Deals, and Dashboard
Part 3: Responding to Yelp Reviews
Part 4: Updating Your Yelp Business Page

Signing up for a Yelp Business Page is sort of like committing to a long-term relationship. You can’t expect to just set up your profile, run a few deals, and call it quits. But you’ll need to get involved if you want to make the most of what Yelp for Business Owners has to offer. That means regularly updating your profile, studying your data, keeping tabs on your reviews, and constantly making improvements to address the feedback you’re getting.

Yelp for Business Owners

Luckily, the good folks at Yelp have tools available to you. First, there’s the Yelp Blog for Business Owners, which is chock full of information that can help you maximize your Yelp experience. Scroll through the blog, and you’ll get tips on how to market your business, target the right customers, and track your revenues using Yelp’s nifty tools.

There’s also the Yelp Support Center, which can help you navigate the ins and outs of setting up and managing your account. The Yelp Support Center covers everything from basic questions, such as how to update your profile once you’ve set it up, to complex matters like legal issues. The Support Center also houses Yelp’s Terms of Service and content guidelines.

You can also review Yelp case studies to see how similar businesses are having success on Yelp. Of course, take these with that proverbial grain of salt—clearly, Yelp is bound to feature the businesses that are doing remarkably well. Remember, as is the case with any marketing effort you embark on, it takes time to see results from Yelp. The more you keep at it, the closer you’ll get to growing your customer base.

For business owners invested in the Ads Program an Account Manager will be on hand to help you out. They’ll be able to recommend ideas for marketing your business and tips for completing your profile.

Tracking User Behavior and Engagement

We discussed how Yelp gives you access to key data points, such as the number of leads you’ve gotten and the projected revenues associated with those leads. Reviewing that data should be a key part of your ongoing marketing strategy, which means you’ll want to check it regularly to identify patterns or behaviors among your users. Your data will include information such as:

  • How many users checked in to your restaurant
  • How many users uploaded photos to your Yelp business page
  • How many users made reservations via Yelp
  • How many deals you sold, and when

It’s your job, as a business owner, to use that information to your advantage. This could mean running specials to coincide with when users are most likely to access your restaurant’s page, or running deals at certain times to capitalize on customer demand. It could also be a simple matter of listening to user feedback (a/k/a reviews) and making changes to improve your customers’ overall experience.

In addition, you’ll want to make sure that your business profile continues to engage users. To this end, you might frequently update your photo gallery, promote your weekly specials, or highlight the seasonal offers you’re running. Remember, Yelp allows you to track the amount of traffic your profile gets, and if you don’t see those numbers going up, it means you need to tweak and update your profile accordingly.

See What Other Businesses Are Doing Right on Their Yelp Business Page

Sometimes, the best way to get insight on improving your restaurant—both in terms of its Yelp business page and reputation—is to see what tactics are working for other businesses around you. In this regard, Yelp is a goldmine, because all you have to do is search Yelp for local establishments that compete with yours, click on their profiles, and study them. Religiously. Of course, your best bet is to focus on the restaurants in your area with 4-star ratings or higher, but you can also learn a thing or two from lower-ranked establishments.

As you review your competition’s Yelp pages, try to see what they seem to be doing that you’re not. Are their business profiles more engaging? Do they have more photos, or more specific menu information listed? And don’t forget to read their reviews, as those might uncover their respective formulas for success.

Don’t Forget Your Own Website

Your Yelp business page is a great way to attract customers, but it can’t, and shouldn’t, take the place of a sleek, informative, user-friendly website. Remember, you want Yelp users to click through to your website, but if that website is boring, dry, and devoid of relevant information (such as your menu—why wouldn’t you publish it for customers to see?), it can render an otherwise killer Yelp profile useless.

Give it Time

Now that you know the ins and outs of Yelp and how to use its tools and resources to your advantage, here’s one final piece of advice: Success with Yelp may not happen overnight. It’ll take time for you to build up your presence, accumulate glowing reviews, and expand your customer base. The key is to be proactive and vigilant, but also patient. Study your data, keep improving your profile, and with any luck, you’ll be on your way to a 5-star rating and an influx of customers to go along with it.

The Complete Guide to Yelp

Part 1: Creating and Optimizing Your Yelp Profile
Part 2: Yelp Ads, Deals, and Dashboard
Part 3: Responding to Yelp Reviews
Part 4: Updating Your Yelp Business Page

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