How to use Yelp for business

Yelp helps anyone responsible for the successful running of a local business by increasing their online business presence.


Yelp was founded in San Francisco by Jeremy Stoppelman in 2004. Today is has more than 145 million visitors per month. Today, the application inexorably attracts more customers, as it offers much more than simple information about where to find a good restaurant, where to have an amusing night out, and what to do if you need some help around your home. Like Foursquare or Facebook, Yelp offers the option to check in. But the data on where the users are is just a fragment of the image. As Stoppelman himself said in an interview, sincere reviews are actually the most important aspect. Yelp suffers from a higher than average quota of fake reviews, so an algorithm tracking user behaviour removes some of the content from pages where products or employees are evaluated.

In light of this, business owners will probably ask questions such as:

  1. How can I use Yelp for business?
  2. How can Yelp help my business improve and bring in more customers?

Yelp offers business owners the opportunity to position their products or services at the top of the search (similar to Google ads). People who use products or visit places will be able to leave their reviews and impressions. If the reviews are good, it will stimulate more consumer interest. This, although a very simplified explanation on how Yelp functions and how it can improve your business, is the essence of the application.

So of all the information out there on the ins and outs of Yelp, what is the most pertinent? Here are 6 Yelp facts business owners should know (but most don’t). How many did you know about? If the answer is ‘none’, don’t feel bad. It seems many business owners are also in the dark!

‘How do I use Yelp to help my business?’ 6 Tactics

1 - Claim your business page

First, you need to claim your business page, which you do here. When you’ve completed the process, you will be able to manage the content yourself - that is, to upload pictures, communicate with your customers, offer special deals, and a host of other activities. Be consistent in updating your offering, since if you don’t do it on a daily basis, somebody else will step into the breach. If you are not sure how to go about it, Yelp has a great Support Center.

2 - Communicate with your customers.

When it comes to communication with your customers, making it a two-way process is of paramount importance. Reading reviews without responding to them will never improve your business. Customers love to see that their feedback is noticed, and if they have any recommendations, don’t hesitate to use them. Go Fish Digital also provides excellent and detailed steps on how to improve Yelp ratings.

3 - Pay attention to special deals.

Offering special deals is a great promotional tool. If you are a restaurant owner, for example, you could run a two-for-one offer to increase traffic and bring in new custom. Take the opportunity of the fresh footfall to impress, and they’ll repay you with great reviews and, most importantly, repeat custom. People are always on the lookout for a bargain. Yelp offers the opportunity to draw attention to the exceptional value you’re offering and use it as an inducement to garner new clients. If you are not sure how to go about it to start with, make use of the Support Centre.

4 - Posting pictures

Posting pictures is also a very important aspect of having a business account on Yelp. Humans respond immediately to visual stimuli, so be sure to display attractive pictures of your products or location. Research conducted by Review Trackers say that people who search Yelp for businesses stay 2.5 times longer on a page with photos than on one without. If you still haven’t uploaded photos on your business page, the right time is now!

5 - Ideas from the competition!

Read the profiles of people who run businesses similar to yours. You can learn a lot from the competition. It’s a tactic you should employ from the very beginning, even before creating your profile. Focus on users who have a long history on Yelp, and check out both highly rated profiles and those below average. Your competitors will thus have done much for the hard work for you, having demonstrated the main characteristics of successful versus unsuccessful business profiles.

6 - Track your business performance on Yelp

With the new and improved Yelp metrics you will be able to measure traffic to your business over 30-day, 12-month, and 24-month periods. This is an excellent feature as it gives you a true insight into your Yelp presence. It measures the traffic on your Yelp profile and how many times your business showed up in search results on Yelp. Knowing how often your profile is visited is of prime importance to a successful business.

To conclude, Yelp is another useful tool for your business.

Although the volatile nature of the impact of a single negative review makes reviews a tricky issue for businesses, don’t give up, and don’t be discouraged. If you still haven’t created your Yelp profile or if you have been inactive, make a change. Adding a Yelp button or badge to your company website or a Yelp sticker on your store window is an easy, effective step. It will encourage customers to check in and review your store or place of business, contributing to its development. Remember, if your business does not exist online, it almost might as well not exist. The smart money’s on a business improvement strategy that harnesses Yelp’s power.

Tags: Yelp Reviews

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