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Managing Your Yelp Profile

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Yelp ranks in the top 50 most-visited websites in the United States. This fact alone goes to show how important it is for every business to sustain a sound Yelp profile. Your B2C prospects are checking your Yelp page for any insight on your business, whether good or bad.

How to Optimize a Yelp Profile

Are you familiar with local SEO strategies? For a long time, the single most effective way to rank a local business website was by building citations. This process is still one of the few major role players, and Yelp is a primary site to hold a citation. The more active your profile is — particularly, the more reviews you get — the greater the impact your citation will have on your site's SEO results.

With that said, there are some common practices to follow when building a Yelp citation. First off, and most importantly, your citations need to match web-wide, which means there cannot be conflicting info between sites. Any inconsistency in your citations will have a major impact on your local SEO results.

Next, learn what you should include in a citation. On Yelp the key data points are your business's category, its name, address and phone number (NAP), neighborhood, zip code and map location, your operating hours, contact email, and website URL. When applicable, your product or service price range, menu, and ordering information (for restaurants) should be included as well.

Furthermore, there are certain feature markets you can include to make your citation stand out more. These options include phrases like "Accepts Credit Cards," "Has Wi-Fi"and "Is Good for Kids."

Writing Your "About the Business" Block

This text will have a strong impact on your Yelp profile's performance results. You should see it as just as important as any traditional sales copy or website content that your business publishes. Your goal here is to specify what your business offers while subtly expressing why you are the best choice. How much should you write? A good target is between 150 and 300 words each for your bio, history and specialties information.

Apply some of the best practices in "About Us" writing when filling in this section of your profile. Make sure to incorporate some primary keywords relating to your business, just don't force them. The result will be a greater chance of searchers finding your page, whether they search on Google or through the actual Yelp website.

Answer Questions and Grow Trust With Images

People take listings with photos more serious. However, you must understand that when images are included they serve as a filtering mechanism. Any prospect who finds your profile will be making their decision based on what the images tell them about your business and your offerings. Essentially, including photos in Yelp lets you sandbox the user and take control of their first impression of your business.

So, don't just strive for high-quality graphics but also be strategic when deciding which images you are going to include. For example, if you are a restaurant, doesn't it make sense to include a picture of your menu? In fact, a screenshot of your menu from your website will suffice. If you include prices, it will work in your favor even more.

Don't just capture your products and prices. Think about what else you can put into images to grow relevance and trust with the viewer. For example, an authentic Italian restaurant ran by a family of Italians could resonate with their target audience by including a picture of all the staff. Yelp is a high-traffic site where many come to check for restaurant reviews in particular — so don't be scared to show your limited-time promotions in images as well.

Promote Your Yelp to Existing Customers

Your goal is to get your existing customers to post reviews of your business and its products or services. At first, target only your recurring customers, as these are the people who are pleased enough to come back.
Remember that paying for reviews is against the rules, so the most you can do is encourage them to rate you via Yelp. That said, you can also push for reviews of your business through Facebook by simply linking to your Yelp profile. These people liked your Facebook page and are more likely to leave a positive review.

Make sure your customers can find your site with ease. For instance, on a receipt you could put the Yelp page URL at the bottom. You might want to use a URL shortener as a way to make the link more memorable in-person. Bitly is a good site for this function, and with nine years in business, your link won't go dead overnight. You will have to make custom bitlinks for this to work.

Keeping Track of Your Yelp Reviews

You want to watch out for new feedback on your Yelp page at all times. By using a review site monitoring tool, you will be able to effortlessly stay proactive on managing all customer feedback.

If any complaints are made, be responsive as soon as you notice them. Your effort to correspond will help reduce the negative impression that others get from seeing the complaint in the first place.

Conclusion

Yelp is definitely the most important local business review site to conquer. You only have one shot at success here. So, make every effort count, try new copy periodically and always keep an eye on what people are saying about your business on Yelp!

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