This week, Yelp released a new feature that allows customers to send messages directly to businesses owners through their Yelp pages. This provides customers an easy way to ask questions if they prefer not to make a phone call, and for owners to communicate with their clients. Have you set up your Yelp business profile yet?
What is Yelp?
Yelp is a free social review site that allows customers to leave comments and star ratings on a business’ page to share their experience. Many people use Yelp as local directory to find out what’s new and popular in their area, and search for the best restaurants, shopping, and professional services within specific categories. Yelp is primarily used for local restaurants, cafes, and bars. But anyone who already likes to use Yelp is likely to search there for all types of local services.
According to a survey by Merchant Warehouse, businesses with Yelp business profiles saw an average $8000 annual revenue increase in 2013. But 87% of the businesses they surveyed said they don’t use their Yelp profiles regularly, and 22% had never looked at their profile at all! Customers can still leave reviews on your profile page whether you maintain it or not, so now may be a good time to check out your business listing.
How Do I Claim My Yelp Business Profile?
Yelp’s new messaging feature is only available if you’ve claimed your free profile, so the first step is to search for your business name and city on Yelp. If you don’t see your business listed, click the “Add a Business” button in the lower right column.
Once you’ve found your profile, click the “claim this business” button below the map and sign up for your account. This is all it takes to start receiving messages on your profile! But your customers won’t be encouraged to reach you if it looks like your page is empty. Here are a few other things you should add:
- Your company logo.
- An up-to-date address, phone number, and website.
- A brief description of your business.
- Your hours of operation.
- Some appealing photos of your storefront or products.
There’s much more you can do with your Yelp business profile, including advertising special deals, viewing business trends, and paying for advertising to reach more customers. But the most important thing is to keep your information up to date and make yourself available to receive messages and respond to reviews. Your current customers will appreciate your online presence, and new customers will take notice.
Do you have any questions about using Yelp? Let us know in the comments!