Yelp is becoming more and more popular as a social center for local business, as a way to find reviews by people who are actually looking to inform others of great businesses, and also as a way to connect with business owners. I’ve noticed that business owners are finally starting to get online and answer the emails and messages that Yelp users send them, especially if they are complaints or something of the sort. Allow me to tell you a little bit about Yelp’s practices before I tell you how to optimize the listing.
Yelp does NOT show your good reviews first, unless the reviewer is considered a trusted reviewer. This is because of the Yelp review filter. I’ve seen different explanations of what makes someone a “trusted reviewer” on Yelp, but I’ve never gotten an exact idea of what someone needs to be. I’ve definitely heard a few tips and tricks to making sure that your Yelp profile moves towards being trusted. Some of them are;
- Write reviews! I’ve heard from multiple sources that five reviews is the minimum that is needed to get your profile trusted, but that’s never been confirmed by Yelp themselves. The only thing I know is that your profile needs to be active in order to have your reviews posted without getting hit by the filter. It’s also important that you have positive and negative reviews.
- When writing reviews, talk about your experience and what was wrong/right. Be descriptive.
- Take the time to develop this account. This isn’t something that is going to happen overnight. You have to be active for some time and need to make sure that your account stays in good standing. Also, make some friends while you’re there. Think of this site as a social network.
- Connect your Facebook.
The main thing that we tell our clients, as a business owner, is to avoid asking for reviews. Yelp is very strict about its review solicitation policy. Instead of asking your customers for reviews, it’s better practice to just happily remind them that you are on Yelp and that you are an active business owner. Now, on to optimizing your page. The best way to get your Yelp optimized is by;
- Making sure all of your information is filled out. That means the history of your business, your “owner information” section and so on. You don’t need to write a bibliography, but be as descriptive as possible.
- If you are a service area business, Yelp now offers a service area option. You can set up to six different cities. Yelp doesn’t allow for two of the cities to be 100 miles apart from one another, so be careful when choosing the cities in your service area.
- Respond to your reviews, good or bad. It helps to show the community that you are involved in your business and you are watching your feedback. You can exchange private messages with people, so if you get a bad review, message the person who performed the review and try to make amends. The method of amends is up to you, but a bad review really stands out. A person who writes a bad review can remove it if they feel they’ve bee compensated accordingly.
- Link to your Yelp page from your website. If you have a website and can add links to it, then make sure to put links to your Yelp page on it. Yelp actually provides buttons from the business owners menu under the “review badges” tab. You can just copy and paste the live java button on your webpage.
Comit Developers is constantly learning about the new tips and tricks to keep your business listings afloat in the sea of SEO and shark-eat-shark competitiveness. If you can’t seem to stay on top of your online presence, give Comit Developers a call at 337-326-5479. We’re happy to help you get your online presence under control.