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Stand Out from the Competition with Help from Yelp

Staying on top of Yelp is essential when you want to add to your customer base and generate profits. With over 224 million reviews on Yelp1, you can’t afford to make mistakes when it comes to improving your ratings and getting new, curious customers through your door. These tips will help you stay up-to-date on Yelp best practices and maximize your success.

When searching for a restaurant or ordering food online, many consumers find themselves going directly to the reviews to validate their decision or increase their odds for a better overall experience. The go-to restaurant review source is Yelp.

On average, 31 million people use the Yelp app each month.2 This is where all your competitors are — and where you should be too.  Here are some helpful tips on how to use Yelp most effectively.

Own your own page.

Customers can usually tell whether a Yelp page is authentically yours. That’s why it’s important to claim your business owners account as soon as possible. Get started by going to Yelp for Business and finding your business in their directory. If it’s not listed already, you can add it for free. Upon creating an account, all it takes is a quick verification code and you’ll have complete control over:

  • Business information. Hours, location, contact, etc.
  • Should include popular dishes, an exterior shot and even a picture of your friendly face. Studies show people spend 2.5x longer on pages with photos than ones without.3
  • Page analytics. By claiming your account, you can track page views, clicks and demographics of users.
  • Reviews. You can’t control what customers are saying. But you can control how you respond, and how often.

 Speaking of reviews, be responsive.

Whether you get a positive or negative review, being responsive and positive can go a long way towards improving your reputation. According to a study, 71% of customers ultimately choose restaurants who reply positively to reviews.4 So respond to them all!

How to respond to positive reviews.

Research shows that most reviews are positive, with 68% at four or five-stars.5 One small response to a positive review is all it takes to form a lasting customer bond that will likely turn into repeat traffic. Simply thank them as you would if they gave you a compliment in your restaurant. It might just lead to increased star ratings.

How to respond to negative reviews.

You’ll never make everyone happy. But you can mitigate the effects of a bad review if you:

  • Respond quickly. The faster you respond to a negative review, the more damage you can avoid.
  • Use empathy. Show your customers that you care and value their concerns; even if they are being unreasonable.
  • Provide specific circumstances. The more specific you can be about the incident, service or customer in question, the easier it will be for Yelpers to understand your unique perspective on the situation. The idea is to show that you’re listening without getting defensive.

Click here for additional tips on responding to online reviews!

Improving your review scores over time.

You can treat your reviews like a complaint box, learning over time what’s working and what you can still improve on. Because more stars in your review can ultimately lead to more profits. In fact, a recent Harvard study found that a one-star increase can improve restaurant revenues by 5% — 9%.6

How to promote your Yelp listing.

Let customers know you stand by your craft and invite honest feedback.

  • Add a Yelp button to your website that directly links to Yelp.
  • Add Yelp stickers on your menu.
  • Create a program for free sides or drinks when you check in on Yelp.

 First things first. Get set up on Yelp now.

Make sure your Yelp page is set up and optimized to bring you more visits, more stars, and more people through your door. Visit  https://business.yelp.com/ to get started.

You can also check out Grande’s playbook, Sharing your Story through Social Media, to learn how to own your online reputation.

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