If you are the owner of a small business, you should already be aware of the website Yelp.com. It’s one of the fastest growing and top rated web search engines used today. However, unlike other web search engines like Google or Bing, Yelp differentiates itself by limiting their results to local businesses. Furthermore they provide immediate directory services to these business. Yelp also provides customer reviews and ratings to further identify the company in the most unbiased format.
Because of its specific web search design, Yelp is best known for finding restaurants. Customers type in where they are and the type food they’re looking for (chinese, italian bar, or even the name of the restaurant). Then a list of results appears. Each result has customers reviews and a ranking that helps determine where the users wants to eat. Yelp can (and is) used for much more then this, but this is what it is most known for.
Clearly having a high search result on Yelp can be a great asset to your business. But how exactly can you rank your business higher on Yelp? Sadly, Yelp has not publicized how they format the results of a search. However, our marketing firm has done some thinking to determine ways that might rank your business high on the Yelp website.
Yelp does not differ from Google or Bing in this concept. If you type in “Ramsey Liquors,” you will most likely see Ramsey Liquors near the top. The word search also pertains to the reviews posted. So if you type in “Bottle King,” you may see Ramsey Liquors again because a review of Ramsey Liquors mentions Bottle King in comparison. There is not much a company can do to better the word search but it still may be helpful to know. Adjusting your business name can help. Instead of being Listed as “Joe’s” be listed as “Joe’s Coffe Shop.” We are not sure about the legality of this so please do further research beforehand.
Reviews, like most social networking sites, is the largest factor for a Yelp ranking. A business that has no reviews will always show up under a business that has at least one. And of course, the business with the most reviews will be closer to the top of the search results. . . most of the time.
Yelp identifies business with other secondary categories such as price range, wheel chair accessibility, noise level, and much more. Make sure to categorize your business with these specifics. Doing so can broaden the range of categories your business can appear in. It will also better identify your company, which will cause potential customers to be less hesitant about your business. The more they no, the more they are willing.
Ask for Reviews
Before a customer leaves your area of work, ask them to send a customer review on Yelp. It will only take a 20 seconds for you to do so, and as long as you don’t pester the customer continuously, they won’t mind being asked. You can even put up a sign somewhere, like on the door, that asks them to do so.
When customers do write reviews, make sure to respond to them. Yelp is a great way to get feedback. That feedback is only detrimental to your business if you don’t use it.
These 5 pointers should help any business get a better ranking on Yelp. Feel free to add any additional ideas in a comments below.