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How to Optimize Your Yelp Business Profile

Forbes had it right when they said, “We live in a world where your online reputation can be your strongest asset or your biggest liability.” Now multiply that by 10. That’s the value of an online reputation to a small business owner, and review sites like Yelp are right at the heart of it. Cleaning up your profile is the first step to success, according to Yelp’s guide. Here are a few highlights to help you get started:

1. Make It Easy to Find You

When you log in to Yelp for Business, you should see a section dedicated to “Business Information.” In this tab, you can update your hours, map pin, website, and contact information. 82% of searches on Yelp are on a mobile device, which suggests people are looking for places that are open while they’re out or for places they can call for delivery. Being sure your phone number is correct should be your first course of action!

2. Address the good and the bad

Reviews are one of the harsh realities of having a Yelp listing. Believe it or not, bad reviews can actually be a gift in disguise. Every business has a bad night, but the way you respond publicly to a review as a business owner can make a world of difference. Yelp’s data reports that Yelp users are 33% more likely to upgrade their review if you personally respond within a day. When in doubt, take the feedback with a grain of salt, and follow this formula to respond:

  1. Empathize: Let the customer know you appreciate the feedback, and you’re sorry that they were disappointed by their experience.
  1. Clarify: Were they expecting a white sauce pizza when the menu clearly says red sauce? Delivery a little slow because of bad weather? Explain, gently, why you weren’t at your best. And if you were, and they simply made a mistake, take the high road and correct them with compassion. It may not feel great in the moment, but new customers browsing your listing will be impressed with your customer service.

Good reviews are easy to respond to, of course; say thanks and welcome them back in! Don’t feel like you have to respond to every single review, but a response on an especially thoughtful review can be a valuable use of your time.

3. Use your business name

They say a picture’s worth a thousand words, but that’s even more true for review sites like Yelp. Your listing’s photo gallery is basically a testimonial picture book written for you by your customers. Yelp does give business owners the upper hand, though — there’s no limit to the amount of photos you can upload to your listing. Just go to the “Photos” tab in Yelp for Business to get started.