Yelp is one of the older social media sites, if it’s possible to say such a thing. It’s not as frequently updated as TripAdvisor and Urbanspoon, and 87% of businesses actually ignore it in their marketing strategy.
But when you Google your restaurant’s name, your Yelp page appears alongside your TripAdvisor and Urbanspoon results. There’s a reason for this – Google’s most recent algorithm update now gives more prominence to local directory sites. So if there are negative reviews there, people are reading them. And that could be all it takes to put off a tentative potential customer.
Here are 5 ways you can optimise your restaurant’s Yelp listing.
1. Claim your Yelp page
Your restaurant is already listed on Yelp, whether you’ve approved the listing on not. If you haven’t already done so, you can claim your page to ensure you have some control over the information:
Until you do, users are free to change vital information including the open hours and your contact information. Fair or not, it’s very easy for someone to misrepresent your business.
2. Optimise your restaurant profile
This is something you only need to do once, and it shouldn’t take more than half an hour. The more comprehensive you can make the information on your profile, the better.
This includes a detailed street address and phone number, a link to your website, quality photos and other general information such as parking info and your price range. Restaurants like Movida Bar de Tapas include a link to their menu, which has the added benefit of drawing customers back to their website.
You can also use the From the business section to write a more detailed description about your restaurant. This is where you should include keywords to help users find you in search engines.
3. Add high-quality photos
Most restaurants rely on their customers to share and upload photos, but these can be outdated or phone quality at best. Upload some high-quality photos from your website and you’ll immediately stand out.
4. Respond to reviews
90% of consumers say positive reviews influence their purchases (Marketingland)
Yelp, like TripAdvisor, has a function that allows owners to reply to reviews, but few take advantage of it. It’s worth fostering your reviewer base though – studies have shown that a one-star difference in Yelp ratings can actually affect a restaurant’s revenue.
Yelp has some helpful advice about responding to reviews, both positive and negative. In general, while you don’t need to respond to every review, your customers will feel more valued if they know you’re paying attention.
5. Encourage reviews
Remind customers that you have a presence on Yelp. Post a link on your social media pages, display the Yelp logo in your restaurant, include a link in your email signature or include a footnote on your menu.
Yelp highlights keywords that appear again and again in reviews, so if you want your business to be known for a particular menu item, encourage your customers to write about it.
Restaurants with great Yelp pages
These restaurants have done everything they can to optimise their Yelp pages, and they rank very highly because of it. Copy their approach so you can get the best out of your listing. Then as long as you keep an eye on your reviews and respond quickly to criticism, you won’t have to do much to maintain your profile.