Consumer review sites like Yelp play a key role in the decision making process for diners. Over several years, Yelp has grown in popularity and appeal – drawing customers worldwide looking to find dining destinations and more. That, in turn, means the site and its reviews rank high with search engines.
63 million unique visitors view Yelp on their desktop in an average month. Then there’s 69 million on mobile browsers, and 35 million through the dedicated Yelp app, according to the company’s metrics.
Leverage our practical advice and easy-to-follow instructions for establishing a presence that helps you achieve success on this critically important platform for restaurants.
Your Business Page
Think long and hard about what you want to promote the most. Is it work-week lunches? Happy hours? Corporate catering?
Pick three to five things that will help you build your business, and clearly list those features on your business page, with brief descriptions that inform & entice. This groundwork pays off in the long run. Business with completed profiles earn 5x more page visits on Yelp.
Also on your business page: From family-friendly dining to the best place in town for a getting-to-know-you first date, give potential customers some idea of your venue’s ambience. Also, briefly outline your food and beverage philosophy. For example, whether you’re serving fabulous burgers and fries or a rotating menu of seasonal delights, use words that make customers’ mouths water with anticipation.
For promotional food photography, it’s best to hire a professional if you can. A picture or two on your Yelp listing is definitely worth a thousand words.
While 78% of Yelp reviews are 3 stars or more, negative comments are a reality. However, these are often an opportunity to learn something that can help your business improve and please customers more consistently. The best way to handle pointed or even unfair comments is promptly and politely. Contacting the person directly through Yelp may work best, though a public response can go a long way toward showing that you will work to correct any unsatisfactory situations. As do phrases like “We appreciate you taking the time to comment” and “Please reach out to us at …”
Wondering how to set up the best listing? The first step is to claim your business – or add your business to the Yelp database. All of the details, and the button to get started are right here.
A descriptive and informative Yelp profile gives you the opportunity to highlight what sets your operation apart while making it easier for new customers to find you. Follow these best practices when setting up your profile:
- Claim your business or add it at biz.yelp.com
- Outline your location/address, including cross streets or “near MaxU Stadium” for customer convenience.
- Include a phone number.
- Link to your website.
- Outline your business hours.
- Upload a menu, or a helpful description of food/beverage.
- Post at least one professional-quality food photo.
- Select your categories, e.g., Pizza, American (traditional).
- Explore any additional services you’d like, such as Yelp Reservations or paid advertising.
- Install the Yelp app on your phone, to easily manage your Yelp presence, monitor engagement, and respond faster to reviews and messages.
Worth the Price?
Consider the benefits of paid ads on Yelp:
- Appear multiple places, from relevant search results to competitor business pages
- Automatically promoted across all platforms: desktop and mobile websites, plus apps
- Targeted to nearby customers
- Upgraded business profile, depending on level selected:
- Branded – photo slideshow, optional video, and call-to-action feature allow you to make a special offer or announcement
- Enhanced – all the advantages of branded level, plus removes competitors’ ads from your business profile; call-to-action button can be used to print a coupon, if desired
The statistics listed here were provided by Yelp. Visit their website to learn more.
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