Last week Sales Manager Spencer Hoekstra and Business Outreach Manager Luther Lowe joined forces to present a webinar on how to build the perfect listing on Yelp. The hour-long talk took small business owners on a tour of all the tools and features available to help them build out their Yelp listing. Here’s a rundown of what was covered in case you missed it.
Creating The Perfect Listing
The meat of your Yelp listing is housed in the Business Information Tab. This is where users will find basic information like your address, phone number and site URL; additional information like parking or delivery options; your hours; specialties; your business history; owner information; and your recommendations for other nearby businesses. Because so much of your vital info is housed in this area, you want to make sure you fill it out as completely as you can. Google and other third-party sites also pull this information for use in their own indexes, so making sure it’s correct can have big rewards.
To enter it, just log into biz.yelp.com to claim or create your listing.
Two areas you want to pay special attention to are the History and Specialties tabs. Unlike the other sections, Yelp gives you 1,000 characters to sell customers on your business and provide additional information here. What do you sell that people can’t get anywhere else? Why do people come to your business over a competitor? This is your chance to tell them.
One thing I wasn’t previously aware of was that business owners can introduce themselves and their management directly on their listing through a Meet The Owners section. By uploading a photo and leaving a personalized message for Yelpers, you can make your page stand out and show customers that you’re behind your Yelp page.
When you’re filling out your information, remember that Yelp is a search engine. Make sure you use keywords to help make your business and listing more discoverable.
Using Your Analytics
If you’re not taking advantage of Yelp Analytics, you should be. Yelp is a transactional platform. No one is searching for [dentist los angeles] for fun. They have a toothache and they need to know where to go. That kind of searching behavior makes your analytics a goldmine of information that you can use in your business.
Last summer I wrote about how to get the most out of Yelp and spent a good chunk of time detailing the Yelp Analytics dashboard. If you missed it, that may be worth an additional read. To access your dashboard, click on the Summary tab to view business trends. There you’ll find a graph that will help you identify which days are most popular for your business, what seasonal patterns exist, what days you should hold contests or promotions to get people into the store, and other sales patterns. You’ll also be able to see whether traffic for your page is increasing or decreasing to keep you aware of traffic flow.
Use Offers & Announcements
Another area that could help small business owners drive customers into their business is the Offers & Announcements area of Yelp. Here, business owners can tell Yelpers about upcoming events, special promotions they’re running or off special discounts for Yelpers. Both Luther and Spencer agreed that the more enticing you could make the offer, the better. Some recommended tips for getting mileage out of your offers and announcements:
- Make the offer/discount good enough that people will actually bring it up. Customers won’t take advantage of discounts if they make them feel “cheap.”
- Use interesting numbers.
- Have customers mention Yelp to get the coupon.
- Use an expiration date for that offer so there’s incentive to come in today.
Offers become way more important as more customers begin using mobile apps like the Yelp mobile application while they’re on the go. Yelp has a button on their application that will help customers find special offers near them. If you’re not listed, they can’t mention yours.
I really appreciated Luther and Spencer taking time out to help small business owners get more from Yelp. As an SMB, Yelp is one of those sites that you have to be paying attention to. If you haven’t claimed and built out your listing, I’d encourage you to do so. Remember, these days this information doesn’t just stay on Yelp. It’s being integrated into search results and even showing up on Google Place Pages, so it’s important that it’s up to date.