7 free Yelp page updates your business should make right now
A Small Business Expert for Yelp shares her top tips
A recent survey by the Colorado Chamber of Commerce found that 65 percent of small businesses with up to 49 employees said they’ve been negatively affected by the pandemic. Additionally, 53 percent of Colorado businesses of all sizes expect the economic fallout from the virus to last beyond 2021.
With these stats in mind, reopening successfully is crucial. Many businesses have reopened, at least partially, but have to ensure their protocols are being clearly communicated across all of their digital platforms. Fortunately, Yelp has seven helpful features that are free for business owners.
1. Update your COVID-19 related information
Yelp launched a section within Yelp for Business where business owners can update COVID-19 related information all in one place. Once updated, these details will then be displayed on their Yelp Business Page for consumers to see. Just log in to Yelp for Business (Business Information tab), and click edit next to “Updates during Coronavirus” or click “Go to COVID-19 updates.”
Remember to also review other parts of your profile to ensure previously set details are still applicable now. If you temporarily paused a certain part of your business—like patio dining, for example—be sure to switch off that attribute and revisit it later.
As consumers modify their behaviors based on the fluid climate, you’ll want to continue to update what your business is doing to address those evolving needs.
2. Complete your profile with discoverability in mind
Having a complete business profile is the first step in getting visibility on Yelp. Beyond your hours and basic business information, you’ll want to write a detailed business description. Describe the services and offerings you provide while also hitting on the keywords or phrases that your customers are often searching for. While this is useful on Yelp, it’s also important for all of your social media platforms and website, helping to drive natural SEO (search engine optimization).
3. Add photos and captions, especially showing safety and health protocols
Photos are a must to illustrate your offerings, and they also help consumers find your profile. Showing your sanitization and safety precautions can be appealing to consumers who are thinking about their safety and health.
If you’re worried about having photos that look professional, don’t. It’s not necessary to have a professional photoshoot in order to have images that work effectively to promote your business—you can take high-quality, well-composed pictures with your smartphone.
4. Add a service area and specific offerings
If you are a service-based business, you’ll want to have your service area and offerings indicated on your Yelp listing. Setting a service area shows consumers how far you and your team are willing to travel for service. You can also indicate which services you provide within your business category. For example, if you only install new windows and don’t offer repair service for existing windows, you can specify that on your Yelp listing.
5. Create an ongoing plan for responding to reviews
Take the time to create a plan for responding to reviews of your business, especially during COVID-19. If possible, you’ll want to set aside a specific block of time every week to respond to both positive and critical comments. Doing this will put your customer service practices on display and help you stay top of mind to consumers.
If you receive positive reviews related to the COVID-19-related services that you’re providing or the changes you’ve made in your operations, use that as an opportunity to elaborate on or reiterate what you’re doing well. If you’re receiving critical feedback, take it as an opportunity to evolve and improve internally.
6. Keep talking about your online services
Even as physical storefronts begin to open up, it’s important to keep your online services running and ensure your customers know they are still available. This will help you appeal to a wider audience, especially as many have gotten comfortable with virtual options, from classes to consultations.
Add virtual service offerings, and they will appear on your Yelp Business Page within the Services Offered section. Search results can also be filtered to show businesses that have selected virtual offerings.
7. Check messages in your Yelp Inbox
There is no doubt that you have many places to keep up with customer communication, but Yelp also has a free tool to allow customers to message you directly through your Yelp page.
Be sure to check your Yelp Inbox to see if customers have reached out to you directly and privately. Note that to activate this communication feature you’ll need to turn on your email notifications for Yelp. This will help you respond to those customer inquiries in a timely manner. You can also turn on/off the Yelp “Message the Business” feature at any time.
To set up your Yelp Business page for free, visit YelpDenver.com.
Emily Washcovick is Yelp’s Chicago-based Senior Field Marketing Manager and Small Business Expert, responsible for building a thriving network of local business owners, operators and marketers through education and networking events (now, exclusively virtual). She hosts events and webinars to provide business owners with resources that help them succeed and grow in the world of online reviews. Emily’s expertise lies in customer engagement, reputation management and all things digital marketing.