By Alisha Rechberg, Online Copywriter at PennySaverUSA
Whether or not you know Yelp.com, Yelp.com knows you. Created to introduce customers to local merchants, Yelp.com has exploded into a powerful vehicle of giving customers a voice and merchants a chance to hear what their customers are saying. Since Yelp.com had approximately 66 million monthly unique visitors in Q4 2011 and continues to grow, it is vital that businesses are aware of their presence on this popular review site.
In this two-part series, we will explain what Yelp.com is, what it means to your business, and how you can best utilize it.
Let’s get started.
What is Yelp.com?
Yelp.com is an international website that allows its members to find businesses, leave reviews, find local events, and build a community for free. It is also a website where merchants can monitor their business page, update their information, post photos, privately or publicly message customers, and receive email alerts for new reviews for free.
Simply, it’s a way to connect customers to great businesses, and vice versa.
What does it mean for my business?
With the introduction of Yelp.com, many aspects of the business- customer relationship have changed:
- Now, customers can easily read about your business and what other customers are saying before ever stepping through your doors. It just takes a simple search to find your Yelp.com profile. Great reviews may sway them to visit you, whereas bad reviews may stop them in their tracks.
- Customer service is extremely important. With customers able to let others know about the service at your business, no bad deed goes unpunished and no good deed goes without reward. Make sure you’re veering to the latter by offering exceptional service to every customer who comes in.
- Honesty is the best policy. Approach your advertising and special offers with realistic claims. Yelp.com customers will be the first to point out any misleading information. For example, when it comes to coupons, be specific on what the customer is getting. If there are any hidden costs, you’ll receive a couple of not-so-pleasant remarks on Yelp.com, which deters future business.
- A big online presence for small businesses is a big deal. Having a website (like a PowerSite) and Yelp.com profile gives you a greater opportunity to be discovered by new customers. Yelp.com even highlights reviews on their main page, Weekly Yelp page, and other areas where potential customers can stumble upon your business.
- Local mom and pop shops are trending. The users of Yelp.com are neighborhood explorers who like to support their community, try different places, and find the best in the business. It’s a great time to be a small business on Yelp.com, because Yelp.com users (also called Yelpers) are trying to branch out from the big box stores and find truly unique gems to share with the community, like your business.
Why do I need Yelp.com?
- More customers can find you
- You’ll have a bigger online presence
- You can find out what others are saying and manage your brand image accordingly
- It’s a great way to engage past customers and get them to come back again and again
How do I get started?
Become a member of Yelp.com by unlocking your business profile. Once you find your business or add your business to Yelp.com, you’ll create an account and verify your identity to complete the process. From there, you’ll have the opportunity to privately or publicly message Yelp.com users, measure Yelp.com’s performance for your business, receive email alerts for new reviews, and much more.
To learn how to best utilize Yelp.com for your business, stay tuned to our next blog that covers the exciting topic of how to use Yelp.com for success.