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Learn how to optimize Yelp profiles for local businesses.

Ways to Give a Little Help on Yelp for Local Businesses

If your clients’ businesses aren’t actively using Yelp, they should be. And it all starts with creating a Yelp business listing. Once the listing is created, there is so much more you can do to improve the Yelp listing for the businesses you manage.

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Yelp Profile Optimization Tips & Tricks

You can really make your clients shine on Yelp. Let’s explore how.

Give as Much Business Information as Possible on the Yelp Listing

After you’ve created a Yelp profile for your client, the first thing you want to do is fill out the business information section. Be sure to completely fill out your client’s profile — businesses with complete information tend to rank higher, and customers tend to trust businesses more when they provide more information about themselves. It also means the business won’t have to field as many questions from customers calling about basic information like their business’ hours.

Remember to include the same NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) across all your client’s business platforms, including their website, Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) listing, and yes, their Yelp business profile. Having the same NAP across all platforms will increase your client’s legitimacy to Google and increase the likelihood that they place higher in search results.

Every business can choose up to three categories on Yelp that describes the business. While you want to include as many categories as your client’s business can fit into, don’t choose categories that clearly don’t apply. Choosing an irrelevant category can hurt the client’s overall rankings and/or incur a negative review. A good strategy is to look at other similar businesses that have a higher placement  and see what categories they’ve included.

Once you’re finished with the basics, you should begin working on the “From the Business” section. This a place where you can write more details about your client, optimize for keywords and make them stand out from their competitors. There are three sections you can add details to: Specialties, (Company) History, and “Meet the Business Owner”. But remember to never spam keywords! Keywords should always sound natural and not stuffed.

How long should these sections be? There is no single optimum length for these sections so long as they describe your client’s company, products and/or services. Make sure it flows naturally and is easy to read. Consider using a list format where applicable to break up the paragraphs. A good rule of thumb is to check the profiles of your client’s competitors who are already ranking and emulate those.

Put Your Best Photos Forward

According to internal Yelp data, businesses with more than 10 photos on their profile receive 12 times more customer connections per month. What’s more, businesses that have 1–5 reviews and 10 photos receive 200% more user views than businesses with the same number of reviews and no photos. Needless to say, photos are extremely important on Yelp.

Your client’s profile photo will be extremely visible on Yelp. On the Yelp search results page, your client’s profile image will be prominently displayed alongside their name. Be sure to only upload photos you and your client would be proud to represent their business.

Unfortunately with the free business account, Yelp doesn’t allow you to choose which of your client’s photos will be featured as their profile image. You should be uploading new photos for your client’s business profile regularly to ensure they accurately reflect their business. There is no limit to the amount of photos you can upload to their Yelp profile.

Managing Yelp Reviews Effectively

On Yelp, reviews are king. While customers do use Yelp to find information about local businesses, the main reason they visit Yelp is for reviews. According to one study, over 45% of consumers are likely to check reviews on Yelp before visiting a business.

But how should you respond to Yelp reviews?

How to Respond to Yelp Reviews

Your response to customer reviews will show people viewing your client’s Yelp profile what they can expect from their business. This means your review responses should be done carefully and strategically! Responding to positive reviews is easy — it’s the responses to negative reviews that will really reflect on your client’s business.

As we’ve written before about responding to reviews, the number one rule when responding to negative reviews is to keep things nice and polite. You will want to use a calm tone without being argumentative about the customer’s experience.

Managing the Infamous Yelp Review Filter

Yelp will not necessarily display every review a business receives on their Yelp profile. Yelp uses a review filter where they filter out reviews that they consider low-quality, spam or just from users Yelp deems untrustworthy. And it’s a major portion of the total reviews left on Yelp — they claim that they filter out 25% of all reviews site-wide. These reviews can then only be found under a small “not recommended” link on the bottom of the business profile.

This can be both a blessing and a curse for local businesses. It’s great to have spam filtered out so that it doesn’t affect a business’ star rating — but what do you do if Yelp is filtering out five-star reviews?

Typically reviews are being filtered because Yelp doesn’t fully trust the user who left the review — which can mean that user is new to Yelp, hasn’t left many reviews, has little information on their user profile and/or doesn’t have many friends on Yelp. So what can you do to help get these reviews off the “not recommended” list?

Here’s a few things you can do to try to push those reviews through the filter:

  • Respond to the review — which you should be doing anyway for all reviews!
  • Vote the review as “Useful”.
  • Add the reviewer as a friend and encourage them to add more friends on Yelp.

Remember that these types of users may become trustworthy in Yelp’s eyes over time, so hopefully any great reviews won’t stay in Yelp’s filter forever.

It’s Time to Give a Yelp for Yelp!

Obviously having a local business presence on Yelp and other directory sites is extremely important. If you still need help getting started, Advice Local can help!

Yelp is one of many high-quality sites included within our data amplifier network. Request a demo today to learn more about how we help our partners get the local businesses they represent found on Yelp and other directory sites.