In 2004, Yelp began to help local businesses, such as hair salons, restaurants, etc., be found online. Today, Yelp has grown to host 600 million visitors per year and has established itself as a legitimate marketing platform for all types of businesses to have a presence, including professional services.
Many businesses have anxiety about whether or not they should create a Yelp account. Most desire the high exposure Yelp brings via search engines, yet they fear that potential poor reviews may be detrimental to their business. Although we feared the poor reviews ourselves, we’ve discovered Yelp to be a viable option to market your business, professional service or practice.
You can run, but you can’t hide. Even if you haven’t signed up for a Yelp Business Owner profile, don’t be surprised to find your business listed online. Oftentimes Yelp users will add your business profile themselves, making it vital for you to claim your business profile and ensure your information is accurate.
Yelp is great for search engine optimization. As internet traffic continues to grow, coupled with increased traffic from mobile phones, your Yelp profile will almost always appear on page 1 of Google, Yahoo and other search engine sites. Not only will it help increase your visibility online, but companies show up in search results based off of a user’s geographic location. You also have the option of placing ads and/or business deals on Yelp to help drive traffic to your website.
The customer is always right. How you encounter or “deal with” a poor review on your Yelp account says a lot about your company’s client relations. Think before you react to a bad review. Instead of getting defensive, talk genuinely about the problems experienced. If it comes to an unreasonable customer, explain how you went to extensive lengths to please them.
Approaching Yelp as an opportunity rather than as a problem can provide your business with added visibility and enable you to communicate with prospective clients.