Yelp can be a double-edged sword for businesses, but it’s a tool you need to use. Regardless of your industry, Yelp can be an important tool to engage with customers and manage your online reputation. It can also be used to improve your search engine optimization, or SEO, results.
By claiming your business, you’re taking control of your business’s reputation. Once it is claimed, you can verify and correct your business’s information, such as the phone number, address, email, and business hours. This ensures that potential customers have the correct information if they decide to reach out to you or visit your business. You also have the ability to add images of your business, and the products or services you offer. Adding photos may seem tedious, but high quality images that positively display your business can help you stand out from the crowd and improve your credibility with viewers.
Finally, you have the ability to see what customers say about your business and respond publicly or privately. Responding to reviewers, whether to thank to them or to try to resolve a complaint, shows other visitors that you are an active business and value input. How you respond to customers affects the reputation of your business, as well. It’s difficult to discern tone over the internet, so you should respond in a polite and professional manner, especially in difficult situations.
Another way Yelp helps your reputation is by improving your SEO. SEO is about moving your website up in search result rankings. As mentioned in a previous post, having quality inbound links, such as those from your social media accounts or other credible websites, can give your website credibility and help you move up in the rankings. Yelp is considered an authority website, so a link coming from Yelp to your website will improve your site’s ranking, as will having a link from your website to your business’s Yelp page.
Now that you’ve set up and linked to your Yelp page, you need to decide how you will manage the page. Unlike other social media accounts, Yelp is not one that requires daily monitoring. You can set you email notifications to alert you when you’ve received a new review, question, message, or when the business’s information is changed. All of these notifications are important. If information is changed and you didn’t do it, your account may have been hacked or someone has reported false information to Yelp. The email setting will allow you quickly correct the bad information before anyone sees it.
While you don’t need to spend a lot of time on Yelp, you do need to respond to inquiries and reviews in a timely manner. Yelp monitors and displays your response rate to page visitors. A better response rate can help with potential customers, as they’re more likely to reach out to businesses who they think will respond to them. In addition, you should establish a response policy that includes who will be responsible for responding on Yelp, and how different situations (good reviews, bad reviewers, complaints, etc.) should be handled.
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