Raleigh SEO Tips: How to List Your Small Business on Yelp

Raleigh SEO Tips: Listing your business on Yelp can drive new business!

Should you list your local business on Yelp? Well this Raleigh SEO expert says absolutely but do it the right way! Social media comes with both the good and the bad. You have to be prepared to engage your local market with quality service and an overall good experience.  If you receive any negative feedback be prepared to handle it in an appropriate manner. Lets take a closer look.

If you haven’t already go claim your Yelp listing right now.  Why you ask?  Here are a couple of really good reasons. First of all you can attract new customers and engage with your existing ones for free. Secondly, over 71 million unique monthly visitors use it to review and research local businesses.  These users are very influential in driving new business and a big percent of them might fall into your target base. The opportunity for free exposure is huge.

Already claimed your Yelp listing?  Great!  You’re ahead of the curve. You should probably continue reading on to learn some amazing tips on how to optimize your listing for maximum results.  Did I mention it’s all for free?

First things first …

Claim and Unlock Your Business Listing

Go to Yelp.com and search for your local business using the search bar at the top of the page. When you click on your listing you will probably just see an address and a phone number.

Click on “Is this your business?”. It's under your basic info. This will allow you to unlock your page and the business owner’s controls. To get started you will need to enter your name, contact information and choose a password.

Next, Yelp’s site is going display a 4-digit code and you will get a call to verify your listing is not spam. You're going to enter that number into the phone and this will unlock your Yelp universe.

Once unlocked, the Business Owner’s page will load and it is awesome.

Here you're going to enter all the important stuff about your business. It's also where you will connect with customers by setting up online deals and by responding to reviews. You even have access to tracking tools that allow you see how many customers looked at your page and when.

That being said, as a small business owner, you cannot just stake your claim and expect positive results. You have to cultivate your listing to be found quick and easily. To accomplish this …

Include as much information about your business as you possibly can! Fill in every possible field! 

Yelp’s success is driven by user-generated content and customer engagement.  Your listing’s success is partially dependent on the same. You will need to optimize your listing by adding content and filling your page with as much relevant business information as possible. This is a minimum list of information to include.

  • Business name and category
  • Address, City, State, ZIP code, neighborhood and map location
  • Phone number
  • Website and contact e-mail
  • Operating hours
  • Price range
  • Menu, Delivery and take-out information if you are a restaurant or provide food and beverages

Raleigh SEO Super Tip: You should post your listing on several online sites such as Yelp, Google Local, Yahoo Local, Bing, Yellowpage.com, Angieslist.com (Click here for a listing of the top internet sites to list your business) but, consistency is key. Make sure your business name, full address including city, state and zip code, phone and email is all formatted the same across all sites. You want all your listings to be uniform. This can be a little overwhelming and luckily we can help. Xperience4Higher is a full service marketing firm in Raleigh, North Carolina specializing in website design, SEO and growing your business or you don't pay.

A picture is worth 1,000 words

I like pictures and I am sure you do too. Well recent research showed that people searching Yelp for local businesses spend 2.5 times more time on a listing with pictures than one without.

Translation: pictures are extremely valuable to your potential customers and could be the deciding factor on whether or not someone visits your location.

Yelp’s free business tool allows you to upload high-quality photos and use them to captivate your audience and improve the aesthetics of your listing. Everyone has a picture of their store front so unleash your creativity with images of your products, services and specialties complete with descriptions and pricing.  It’s important to note that the first image you upload on your “Upload Photos” page will become your default business page image which can be changed at any time.

Here are few ideas to help you get started:

  • Your employees and staff especially management
  • Food or beverage specialties
  • Your reception, welcome or meeting spaces
  • Swimming pool, gym or other amenities if you are a hotel or apartment complex
  • Your marketing materials such as flyers, special promotions, deals and logos
  • Events you’ve hosted at your location
  • Sponsored events such as charities or trade shows
Let's make a deal!

Every one loves a discount and you can offer your patrons amazing deals in a couple of different ways.  You can choose between simple discounts, specials or sales or you can offer loyalty deals.

Loyalty deals reward your frequent patrons with discounts for checking in at your location.  Honestly, these are my favorites. You do not have to have a coupon and can just show your mobile device to the waiter or cashier.  More importantly, the check-in will let the patron's friends know they are at your store. That's fantastic advertising for free.

Both of these types of deals will show up in Yelps filtered search by city or zip-code. They are displayed on your page in bold letters and you set your own terms and limits.  Here is an example for Lindsay Lawn and Landscaping, a Raleigh NC business with a deal listed on Yelp.  We outlined it in red so you can find it easily.

Lindsay Lawn and Landscaping Raleigh NC SEO Marketing Yelp deal

Lindsay Lawn and Landscaping Yelp deal

When creating deals try putting yourself in your customer's shoes.  Think about the things that you would like to be discounted on when visiting your favorite shops or restaurants.  Just understand that deals will not guarantee an increase in sales. Yelpers want shop and dine at the high rated and popular spots.  Quality service and an overall good experience will always remain the most important factor in good reviews, ratings and a growing customer base.

Reviews: The good and the bad

You need to understand that your company will get good and bad reviews. Pick and choose the ones you want to respond to. You don’t need to respond to all of them but negative reviews cannot be removed and they can hurt your business.  If you get negative reviews use them to help improve your customer’s experience. You can post a public reply in which you should address any issues, apologize for any problems, offer the customers to contact management directly and ask the customer to give you another shot with the expectations of a positive outcome.

Raleigh SEO Super Tip: Don't try to game the system. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is posting a fake listings. It is very tempting but don't do it. Not only does Yelp have a filtering system to fight this but users can spot a fake from a mile away.  They will call you out on it.  Even worse, Yelp recently unleashed a tool that will publicly shame any listing that is posting fake reviews. Your listing will be branded with a customer advisory label for 90 days .  Imagine how much damage that can do to your reputation. Take this Raleigh SEO marketing expert's advice and avoid fake reviews at all costs.

Yelptrics - Understanding the metrics

In the fourth quarter of 2011, Yelp had an average of 66 million unique monthly visitors.  The mobile app was used on approximately 5.7 million unique devices per month during the same period.  That's a ton of data.  Yelp makes it easy to understand how these visitors interact with your listing. Here's how.

Click on the business owners center and then "User Actions".  Here you can review the number of mobile check-ins, calls to your business, photos uploaded, clicks to your website or directions to your location, Yelp bookmarks, and deals sold.

The graphs are located under " User Views”. These are used to track traffic to your Yelp page and views from mobile devices in 30 day, 12 month, and 24 month periods.  You'll also have access to a graph that will allow you to see how many times your business showed up in Yelp’s organic search but this one is set to a rolling 30 day period.

Use this free data to help improve your sites listing and how often your site is being reviewed.

Raleigh SEO Super Tip: Feeling a little overwhelmed? Want to take your listing to the next level? Then give us a call or visit our website at www.Xperience4Higher.com. We offer high quality internet marketing services at 1/3 the cost of our larger competitors. Efficient business practices and an innovative corporate structure help us keep costs low. We pass those savings on to your small business through cost-effective search engine optimization, creative local print and internet marketing and graphic-print-web design services that outperform industry-leading offerings.


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