Every restaurant owner knows about Yelp. It’s a great resource to help people find restaurants based on location, price, whether or not the place is good for kids, wifi capabilities, and much more. What’s not to love? The answer for most restaurant owners: the comments. People so often visit a restaurant and have a great time, but most aren’t going to go running to Yelp to write a great review. However, those few people who had a bad time at your restaurant seem to be Yelp experts.
According to Yelp’s internal Google Analytics, the site “drew an audience of more than 50 million monthly users, and they have a total of 17 million reviews for venues around the world.” This number is only expected to grow, making these reviews incredibly important for businesses.
How to Make the Most of Your Yelp Presence
Yelp is quickly becoming the Google of restaurant search, so it’s important that you optimize your efforts according to Yelp. Below are a few things that you should do to help make sure you’re prepared to get the best review possible:
1. Fill out your Yelp profile completely so that no questions go unanswered.
Yelp is a great website because it offers so much information. If someone is searching for something specific on Yelp and you didn’t fill out the appropriate field, you could be missing out on business. For example, if someone checks the box “wifi” and you failed to mention that your restaurant offers free wifi, you’re not going to show up in that user’s search results. You can visit here to create and/or edit your page.
2. Make sure that you are occasionally responding to reviews.
Yelp now makes it possible for businesses to respond to comments. Although it would be unrealistic to respond to every comment, it’s a good idea to respond to the negative ones. Not only will the person leaving the comment see that you’re really paying attention and reading what he/she said, but others will see that you care.
3. Sync up your Yelp profile with your social profiles.
Social media is becoming one of the most powerful Internet marketing tools of our time, so it’s important you take full advantage. If someone is visiting your Yelp profile, make it easy for him or her to find you on other outlets by syncing your social networks to your profile. It’s also a good idea to pay attention to who is giving you great reviews and then try and connect with him/her via social media to keep the connection going.
4. Utilize Yelp Badges so that people can see how many great reviews you have.
Yelp will give you an embed code that you can put on your website. Putting this code on your website will make it easy for those visiting to find your profile and leave you a positive review. Even if someone has never been to your restaurant before, the code, which will look like a badge, will display how many reviews you’ve been given!
5. You can advertise using the Yelp platform.
Yelp allows you to advertise to on the “Announcement and Offers” tab, and it only takes a few minutes to create an advertisement. Consider giving out a coupon on the nights that your restaurant seems to be slow.
Of course, Yelp reviews depend upon your company’s performance. If you’re running a restaurant with bad service and a disorganized atmosphere, there isn’t much you can for your Yelp presence. It’s important to take the negative reviews that you can and try to take them seriously. If someone sees a problem and you think they’re correct, it’s up to you to fix the problem—not a bunch of great Yelp reviews.
How has your company taken advantage of Yelp? Do you have a tip that helped you improve your visibility and ratings? Let us know in the comments below!
Amanda DiSilvestro is a professional blogger that writes on a variety of topics including Boston restaurants. She writes for Restaurants.com, a leading directory of restaurant reviews.