Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Best Practices: Yelp Online Marketing for Businesses

Though initially disregarded by businesses as a potential marketing platform, Yelp has surprised everyone by gaining immense popularity and adamantly creating a niche for itself in the world of internet marketing. In the beginning of 2013 Yelp recorded more than 100 million visitors to its website within one month. Covering categories as diverse as shopping, real estate, education and nightlife, Yelp is an important marketing tool that every business should utilize.

Yelp allows people to go online on its website and write a review of any brand or company that they have dealt with. Online reviews hold a lot of importance for consumers before they make a purchasing decision. Thousands of people write reviews on Yelp and even higher is the number of people that commonly consults Yelp to find out if the restaurant or the physiotherapist they have in mind has an ample number of generally positive reviews or not.

Here’s what you need to know to make the most out of Yelp.

Open a Business Account on Yelp
If your business doesn’t have a Yelp account then there’s a huge marketing platform that it’s missing out on. Yelp is highly favored by search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo so much so that companies often find themselves at the top of search engine result pages purely through their Yelp Reviews. That being said, poor reviews on Yelp have spelled doom for many up and coming businesses and have the power to negatively highlight your business. So it is better if you take direct charge of your presence on this very vocal social community.

Interact With Reviewers
Since no business is perfect there’s always a chance your business gets a bad review. But thankfully Yelp allows you to respond to those criticisms and regain your lost reputation. You can bring a personal element to your business by making the effort to respond to reviewers’ grievances or thanking them for their compliments.

Do Not Beseech Customers to Write a Review
While encouraging people to ‘Like’ your Facebook posts and share them with friends or requesting visitors to give you a +1 on Google Plus are legitimate industry practices that are highly likely to work in your favor, the same rule doesn’t apply to Yelp. Solicited reviews are strongly frowned upon by Yelp and mostly filtered out of their system in order to only provide unbiased reviews to users. Also, consumers who regularly use Yelp and also form your potential customer base may lose confidence in your business if they only find perfect and biased reviews of it.

Guide Customers to Your Yelp Page
Although requesting customers to write your business a good review is best avoided on Yelp you can however ask people to check out your Yelp page. The idea is to let the people know of your strong presence on this social media platform and from there on let them decide how to rate you. People who avidly write reviews on Yelp will find comfort in the fact that you have a Yelp presence and will probably end up writing a review for your business just by being guided towards Yelp.

Aim for an Impeccable Customer Service
Since Yelp’s mission is to give its users information about the best products and services out there your primary task to maximize your online presence through Yelp should be to offer your consumers the best possible experience. Look at it this way. If you have a great product or service to offer to consumers then thanks to Yelp you are not the only one marketing it. There are hundreds of people out there who like to utilize this online reviews platform when they are impressed with a company and gladly write a good review for it.

Heather Protz, a freelance writer for - a site that offers full home security to help protect your family. ADT SecurityServices