Yelp For business Guide

The Definitive (FREE) Yelp For Business Guide

The way that people decide what product to buy, what service or professional to use has shifted.  We do not trust advertising.  We still prefer a good personal recommendation or referral, but when that is not available we are looking towards Positive Online Reviews.

We are looking for Angie, Yelp, Google, and Amazon Reviews to steer us in the right direction.  I have put together this Yelp for Business Guide to help you maximize this shift.

You can set up a FREE Yelp For Business Account.  It is not necessary to pay for Yelp Advertising in order to benefit from this shift.


Why Should We Use Yelp For Business

There are hundreds of websites that offer a place for customer reviews, so why should we focus on Yelp for business?  It is the definitive online customer review platform.  Because of Traffic, Local SEO, Social Proof, and Conversion.


Yelp Visitors Infographic

Click For Full Size Infographic

Traffic On Yelp

    • January 2013 Yelp received over 100 Million visitors
    • January 2013 Over 4.5 Million calls to local businesses were generated on Yelp
    • January 2013 Over 1 Million customer reviews were written



Local SEO

When it comes to Local, Yelp For Business is dominating the SERP’s (Search Engine Results Page).


I searched on Google For:  Haircut Seattle

Yelp reviews dominate local SERP

As you can see above the first 6 results are Yelp Reviews.  And the 7th result is a Google Local Place with 6 Google Reviews.

This is an extreme example to prove my point… However, nearly any Local Search I have done has resulted in at least 1 yelp review being on the first page of results, and often times it is the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd result.


What Is Local SEO?

A specialized kind of online marketing that increases visibility for businesses interested in ranking for geographically-related keywords. A large part of Local SEO involves ranking in the Local algorithms, as well as ranking well in the organic results for Local keywords. (source: Google)

Local SEO is the difference of searching for “Plumber” and searching for “Plumber Seattle” or “Plumber Downtown Seattle”.  When I am looking for a plumber, I do not care if there is a 5 star rated 50% off plumber in New York.  I need a Plumber in Seattle, or even Downtown Seattle.


There are 5 Steps To Increasing Local SEO

  1. Optimize Your Google Profile (Google +/Google+ Page/Google Place)
  2. Create Business Citations on Popular Sites like Yelp
  3. Use Schema Code To Create a vCard On Your Website
  4. Use Local Keywords On Your Website
  5. Get Reviews On Customer Review Sites Like Yelp


According to a “Local SEO Ranking Factors” survey done by Moz:


Social Proof

Approximately 72% of consumers surveyed said that they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, while 52% said that positive online reviews make them more likely to use a local business. (source: Local Consumer Review Survey)


Below is a post in a Real Estate Broker Facebook Group that I am part of:

Yelp Social Proof

Yelp Social Proof Yelp_Social_Proof_2

After Liz Johnson posted she got a new client from Yelp, 2 additional agents added they also got new clients from using the Yelp For Business (Free).


Below is an example mobile SERP from searching “Minneapolis Plumber”.  On the left is the initial results and on the right is the result of a click test on the best result (roughly 250 clicks).  (source: AaronWeiche)

Yelp Visibility

Users are clicking on links that have Positive Reviews.


I sat down with a mortgage broker who was Jacked to share his success story that he was having with customer reviews.

He showed me his weekly Yelp statistics and 18 clients contacted him that week from Yelp.  He also uses a special phone number on Yelp so he can track how many phone calls, that was 8, in a week.



Neilsen Survey Of Yelp Infographic

Click For Full Size Infographic

Nielsen Ratings did a Yelp Survey to see what kind of influence Yelp had on consumer purchases.

      • 82% of Yelp Users Visit Yelp Because They Intend To Buy a Product or Service
      • 93% of Yelp Users Always/Frequently/Occasionally Purchase from a Local Business After Visiting Yelp

 The bottom line here is if someone searches for your Product or Service online and finds you on Yelp, there is a high percentage chance you will make a sale.


Who Is Visiting Yelp?

According to the Quantcast data the AVERAGE YELP’r is:

An Asian female between 25-34, with kids, earning 100k-150k+, with an Advanced Degree.

Yelp Demographics


What Local Businesses Are They Searching For?

Positive reviews on yelp influence shoppers

Click For Full Size Infographic

  • Restaurants
  • Spas
  • Food
  • Nightlife
  • Home/Local Services
  • Professional Services
  • Shopping
  • Pets
  • Hotels
  • Auto
  • Arts & Entertainment
  • Health & Medical
  • Financial Services

These business types are listed in order of popularity.  The majority of small businesses surprisingly still do not actively use review sites.


How To Use Yelp For Business For Free

If you have not done so already you need to create your FREE Yelp For Business Account and create or claim or business.

1. Complete Your Business Yelp Profile

Just like any other media platform that you are going to use to represent your business, your Yelp For Business Page needs to be filled out completely and accurately.

Don’t forget to add hours of operation, a link to your website, pictures, all contact information, descriptions of your business and products or services offered, and most importantly your categories.


2. Create Exciting Promos

Yelp allows you to create a FREE Call To Action if you create a Yelp Deal… be sure to take advantage of this.


3. Respond To Your Reviews

Don’t be afraid to address negative criticism with an explanation of how you have corrected their complaint.  And by all means make sure to say Thank You to your “Raving Fans”.


4.  Monitor Your Traffic

Your Yelp For Business Account offers free Analytics.  Here you can see how many people visited your Yelp Page, how many took action, and you can use the“Revenue Estimate” tool to judge how your business from Yelp compares to the national averages.


This is an example of the Analytics Page:

Yelp Analytics


Tips For Getting More Positive Yelp Reviews

Yelp discourages against businesses marketing for positive Yelp Reviews.  The site uses a very complex algorithm to try to “weed out” un-organic reviews.

(for example:  If someone logs onto Yelp 1 time and gives you a 5 Star Review, it is their only review, and they do not log back into Yelp… it is likely that review will get “Filtered Out”)

Also if they suspect your business of paying for reviews, or cheating the system, they will simply remove your business from the site.

That being said, let’s keep in mind that you can get a sticker from Yelp Advertising that your business is “Loved By Yelp”.


Here are 4 Tips For Getting Positive Reviews On Yelp

    1. Send out a “We’re on Yelp!” message to your Email Subscribers and Mailing Lists
    2. Advertise your Yelp page in-house
    3. Respond to reviews
    4. Be worth a positive review


I have a page on my Jason Fox Website called Jason Fox Reviews.  I post testimonials that I have received along with links to my Yelp Business Page, and Google Place.