Nail salon owner? A restaurant manager? Don’t be scared of using Yelp.
But let’s face it here is the cold hard truth about Yelp: It can either make you a very succesful business -or- it will break you to the point that you can’t recover from bad reviews. It can be hard to fix your reputation if your business continously received bad reviews on Yelp (like the one-star or two-star reviews). According to Yelp’s 2015 report, Yelp gets over 83 million mobile visitors per month to its site. As a business owner you can no longer be carefree about your Yelp presence; and here are the top tips on how to use Yelp marketing to attract more customers and generate more revenue.
Why Does Yelp Marketing Matter: Yelp Has a Large Impact on Search Engines.
Search engines put a very high priority on Yelp. Yelp has a larger and larger impact on search engines and how local businesses rank on the web. For instance, if you search for “nail salon Lakeview east chicago” on Google and Yahoo! you will see that the first organic results are from Yelp.
Nail Salons, Day Spa, Massage Therapy, and Restaurants Are Ideal to Use Yelp
Did you know that nail salons, restaurants, pizza shops, home services, plumbing companies, heating and cooling, and local service businesses get reviewed the most on Yelp? In fact, shopping, restaurants, and local services recieve over half of all reviews on Yelp. (Learn more about 8 Steps to a Succesful Nail Salon Business.)
Source: An Introduction to Yelp Metrics as of June 30, 2015
Who Uses Yelp?
Most young people, ages between 18-34, use Yelp to find the best restaurants for lunch or a trendy bar to go to on weekends. Women rely heavily on Yelp to find the cheapest (yet highest quality) nail salons and every 4 out of 5 women will choose a nail salon based on the Yelp reviews. In addition, over 75% of all Yelpers are college graduates – which means Yelp reviewers are educated and their reviews are significant. As a business owner – you must put a very high priority on your Yelp profile.
How To Optimize Your Yelp Profile
How to Bring More Customers Using Yelp Marketing: The first step to having an optimized Yelp profile is to claim your Yelp listing. Once it’s been claimed, be sure to use accurate categories for your business. Below are some suggestions on how to set up your profile to expand your online reach.
-Use photos. Have at least 20 photos (yes, twenty!), and use high resolution images
-List your business hours. Monday-Sunday list all your hours. (Even your lunch hours, too!)
-Phone number. Be sure to list your current phone number and address (You’ll be surprised how many businesses still don’t have the right phone number and address, Duh!)
-Business Description. Provide an accurate and detailed business description, with your target keywords and intended words. (Here, you have to think with Search Optimization in mind!)
-Encourage reviewers to post a pic. If your customers are happy with services and products – kindly ask them to post their image from their smart phone. In return, offer an incentive to come back for more business.
What To Do Once Your Yelp Profile Has Been Optimized?
Ask your clients to review you. It’s simple, if you don’t ask – you won’t get it. Kindly ask your clients for a feedback and encourage them to write an honest review on Yelp. The more detailed, the better!
Once your Yelp profile has been optimized, businesses need to engage with the people leaving reviews, and that includes negative reviews too! According to a research 79% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations and 44% of customers base their decision after reading a review. It’s key to thank positive reviews and encourage them to come back; while it’s equally important to respond to negative reviews.
How to Respond to Bad Yelp Reviews
Bad reviews can be frustrating and may seem like something you have to live forever. Also, lately we noticed a trend that some competitors will try to leave a bad review for you – even if the service was not done at your business. Report to Yelp, and they will work with you to remove those bad ones. Yelp recognizes this type of malpracticee and can remove it for you – if sufficient facts are present.
On the other hand if you received a negative and authentic review, don’t panic. First, thank the reviewer for leaving their feedback and apologize that you did not meet their expecations. If you made a mistake – recognize it and apologize. The good news is that by contacting your reviewer and establishing a genuine human relationship, you have a chance to help the situation and maybe even change this customer’s perspective for the better. We’ve heard lots of success stories from business owners who were polite to their reviewers and were accordingly given a second chance.
Examples of Great Yelp Pages
Not sure where to start? Here are some examples of great Yelp pages and business owners who built their 5 star reputation on Yelp:
–Sapphire Nail Salon, owned by Alt and Cindy in Lakeview East Chicago. Alt goes the extra mile by engaging with every reviewers and genuinely builds trust and lasting relationship with his clients.
–Lucky Tailor and Cleaners, owned by TC in Uptown Chicago. TC uploads photos to his Yelp page frequently and asks his clients to leave a review and he always receives a five-star reviews. He also uses the call-to-action and paid ads to bring more visitors to his shop.
–Jonathan Breitung Salon & Luxury Spa in Lakeview Chicago. This page has over 150+ reviews and all are five-star reviews.