Whether your business is selling a product or a service, an online presence is vital if you want to maximize your growth. Putting your business on Yelp is a quick, easy way to get online, reach more customers, and if you have a company website, boost your SEO.
More than 142 million users use Yelp every month to find crowd-sourced reviews of local businesses. That’s 43% of the United States. The majority of users (66%) are college educated, 44% have an income level over $100K, and age is fairly evenly distributed across the spectrum.
According to a BCG study of 4,300 small businesses, the average Yelp listing results in an additional $8,000 in annual revenue. And a Harvard Business Review study on restaurants showed that each star increase can result in a 5-9% increase in annual revenue. Taking into account that setting up your profile takes less than 5 minutes, it is definitely worth the effort.
It Doesn’t Matter How Great Your Product Is If People Can’t Find You
If you show up in a Yelp search result, someone in your area wants to buy what you are selling. That means you are missing out on potential customers if you aren’t listed. Particularly if there are few competitors in your area.
This is a screen shot of the results when I search for “beef jerky” near my home. You wouldn’t know it, but there’s a boutique beef jerky store with a fantastic product right in the center of the shaded area. Since it doesn’t have a Yelp listing, interested consumers who searched for the product this company sells, in the area the store is located will spend their money somewhere else. It doesn’t matter how great your product is if people can’t find you.
List Your Company, Even If You Don’t Have a Storefront
It’s worth listing your company even if you do most of your business online and don’t have an actual storefront. Adding your business to Yelp not only increases visibility to Yelpers, it also boosts your listing on search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Plus, if you are willing to let people drop by your location or make deliveries, you increase the odds of local sales and save on shipping costs.
How To List Your Company On Yelp
As I mentioned, it takes less than 5 minutes to set up a Yelp profile, and it’s totally free. Simply go here and click the “Claim my business button,” then fill out your name, address, business category, and website. Yelp will verify within 1-2 business days.
If you decide to invest a little more time on Yelp, you can also respond to customers, offer paid promotions (which I usually don’t recommend), and take advantage of free analytics.
How to Get Positive Reviews
Yelp prohibits trading discounts or services in exchange for positive reviews, so how can you ensure that your company maintains a positive rating? The same way you ensure that you stay in business in the first place—by keeping your customers happy. In my experience, when you exceed expectations, customers will be happy to leave a positive Yelp review if you ask them to.
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