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Baltimore, local business marketing, Harford County, local search, How to Use Yelp for Local Business Marketing

Yelp is becoming more and more popular in local search. Consumers looking for products or services frequently read the Yelp reviews of a business before making a buying decision.

As a business owner, you can use Yelp to your advantage, by showcasing your products and services, and connect with customers and prospects in your local area. Adding a Yelp business page as part of your local search marketing efforts can give you a lot of bang for your buck. That’s because a basic listing is free!

As a full service web design company, Coastal Web Services can help you get your initial Yelp business account set up as part of our website design packages. If you have an existing website and just want more control over your online reputation on Yelp, here are the steps you can take to market your business on Yelp.

Claim your business listing. 

By claiming your business page, you’ll be able to upload photos, add a link to your website, respond to customer reviews, and make sure your business information is accurate. Follow the step by step directions, starting at the Find and Claim Your Yelp for Business Page. You’ll first search for your business. In the event it is not listed, you’ll click on “Add your business to Yelp” and complete the form. Next, you’ll click on a Call Me Now button. Yelp uses a phone verification process to authenticate your business. Make sure you are near the phone listed on the screen. When you click the Call Me Now button, you’ll receive an automated phone call asking you for the four-digit code that appears on the Yelp web page. Enter the code into the telephone.

Yelp will then unlock your account giving you access to your business page.

Check Your Business Information

Make sure your business information is correct. That includes your company name, address, phone number, and hours of operation.

Provide as much information as possible to help people who may be performing a local search for companies like yours. Now is your chance to add a company description, choose business categories, add a link to your website, add photos and more. Having updated information also helps Google and Bing to return correct information when people perform local searches related to your business category.

Read and Respond to Your Reviews

Reading reviews helps you get a feel for what people think of your business. Both positive and negative feedback are good for you. Feedback gives you the information you need to continue doing what works, and to correct problems.

You can respond to customer reviews by private message, or by posting a public comment that everyone can see.

The private message option can be useful when you’re responding to someone who has left a negative review. On the other hand, public comments allow you to correct misinformation that may appear on a negative review or thank a customer for writing a positive review. Depending on the situation, you can respond using both methods.

Yelp does not allow you to remove or edit a negative review.

Post Photos to Your Business Page

Posting photos adds some color and interest to your page, and lets you showcase your products and services. For example, a painting company could show a beautiful dining room they painted, or a restaurant could post photos of some of their menu items.

Online review monitoring company Review Trackers recently posted an article that says people searching Yelp for local businesses spend 2.5 times more time on a Yelp listing with photos than one without photos, so that’s another good reason to post them.

Offer Special Deals

Encourage customers and prospects to visit your business or engage your services with exclusive deals and gift certificates on your business page. Yelp Deals are prepaid vouchers that offer consumers a discount for your products and services.

When customers buy your deal or gift certificate, Yelp collects payment from the purchaser and retains a share of the purchase (30% for deals, 10% for gift certificates). The remainder is paid to you each month.

Yelp does the record keeping for you to help you determine if this idea is paying off. Yelp keeps a tally in the business page administrative console of all transactions by users who redeem the special deals.

Track Analytics

Utilize Yelp to the fullest. They provide detailed marketing analytics of user visits in the administrative console. You can use it to track visitor engagement, customer leads and more.

Additional Ways to Promote Your Yelp Business Listing

Yelp discourages business owners from soliciting reviews, but you can promote your business listing in the following ways:

  • Add a Yelp button or badge to your company website
  • Put a link to Yelp in email signatures
  • Add a link to Yelp in your email newsletters
  • Add a Yelp sticker to your store window

For more ideas on web marketing, call Coastal Web Services today at 410-420-9390.

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