If you are a small business owner who sells your products and services to consumers rather than businesses, then you really should get your company registered with online directories like Yelp.
So what is Yelp?
It’s one of several online directories that your potential customers can visit to help them choose where to buy from. With the ever growing army of smart phones on the market, more and more people are using services like Yelp to find places to eat, drink, shop and be entertained. Yelp is pretty huge in the USA and is quickly building pace in other countries around the world.
What makes services like these so powerful?
Perhaps the most important reason why services like Yelp are so powerful is that they are driven by customer reviews. Let’s face it we all like a little reassurance before we buy and it’s this reassurance that builds Yelp into an absolutely superb marketing tool for your small business.
So first things first…
If you’re selling to consumers then it’s essential to get your business registered with online directories like Yelp.
Ok, so now I’ve got that out of the way, how do you use this service to your best advantage and also ensure that you stand out from your competition?
Quick tips on how to set-up your Small Business on Yelp
Perhaps the two best things about services like Yelp is that they have a very simple registration process and perhaps more importantly there is no cost for a basic listing with them.
Below you’ll find my top 5 tips for getting the most out of Yelp for your business…
1. When you list your business, you need to ensure you fill in all of the available data on the admin pages. This will really affect your success – if your information is incomplete then the potential customer will just move on to your competitor who has taken the time to fill in all of their information.
2. Make sure that you keep all of your information up to date.
3. An incredibly powerful part of Yelp is the advantage of being able to advertise or communicate offers or discounts to potential customers. When you use this facility your announcement will appear in their Announcements and Offers directory thus providing you with an advantage over your competitor. For example if you have a restaurant and it’s looking a bit quiet one afternoon, you could simply send out an announcement of perhaps a free starter to all customers that come from Yelp and capture the attention of potential customers who are passing through your area and fancy a bit to eat.
4. Of course whilst review sites can be powerful, they can at times draw negative comments. Yelp recently added a facility so that you can respond back to customers comments. Don’t be afraid to use it and don’t be afraid of making things worse; if you provide an honest and fair response it may turn the situation around; your dissatisfied customers will often give you a second look if you communicate to them that you value their input and are making changes to improve your business.
5. Another handy little benefit for your business is that Yelp provides you with “badges” that you can add to your web site or blog pages. Ensure that you embed them into your website as these badges give potential customers the impression that you have existing satisfied customers vouching for you therefore will be more likely to trust you with their business. The badges will link between your Yelp page and people can click to read reviews or get more information. Keep spreading the word and remember to use these badges on your printed marketing items as well.
Remember that online directories like Yelp will not only benefit your business, they will increase new customers and perhaps most excitingly of all, if you’re in business anywhere outside of the USA then you have a massive opportunity of being way ahead of your competition.