Capturing the attention of new customers is essential for any business’s success. And, while many entrepreneurs prioritize their Google or Bing listings, you can’t forget to add your business to Yelp, too.

Keep reading as we explore what Yelp is, walk through how to claim or create your business listing and provide insights on maximizing the platform’s potential to enhance your business’s visibility and attract new customers.

Is Yelp Good for Small Businesses?

The short answer: Absolutely.

Yelp is an online database that allows users to publish and crowdsource reviews about various businesses. With more than 178 million monthly visitors, Yelp is a go-to platform for reviews and recommendations. This makes it the perfect place for your business to be discovered.

Contrary to popular belief, Yelp isn’t just for restaurants. In fact, the highest portion of reviews is focused on home and local services.

Plus, the average “Yelper,” (a.k.a. Yelp user) turns to the platform at the end of their decision-making process, when they’re ready to buy.

How to Claim Your Business on Yelp

The first step to claiming your business on Yelp is ensuring a profile wasn’t already created. Anyone, even customers, can add a business to the platform. This simple search will prevent you from creating a second profile.

To get started:

  1. Visit https://biz.yelp.com/claim or download the Yelp for Business app, and enter your business name in the search field.
  2. If your business name appears, select it and you’ll be prompted to enter your first and last name, email address and password to create a free business account to claim your listing.
  3. Once you’ve created your account, enter your business information, including: business name, address, categories and contact information. When finished, click “Add your business to Yelp.”
  4. Lastly, you’ll need to verify your account by entering a verification code sent to your email or by calling the number listed on your page.

Once you’ve claimed your listing, you’ll be able to make changes to your page at any time, update details about your business or claim additional business locations.

It is important to note that new businesses added to Yelp must be evaluated before they populate in search results, which can take a few days.

Make Your Yelp Listing Stand Out

Once you’ve set up your Yelp account, it’s time to optimize it for maximum visibility. Here are some essential details to include:

  • Categories: Select up to three relevant categories that best represent your business.
  • Location: Provide your physical address if customers can visit your location, or set a service area. Here, you can add up to six cities, counties or zip codes.
  • Hours: Keep your business hours updated, and be sure to include special holiday hours. You don’t want a customer showing up only to find out you’re closed because you forgot to update your hours.
  • Contact Information: Provide a phone number, email or other means of communication where customers can reach you.
  • More Business Info: Include additional information relevant to your business category, such as accepted payment methods, or the parking situation.
  • Business Description: Use up to 1,500 characters to describe your business. This is where you should share useful information about your products or services, the history of your business, staff or even reasons customers should choose you over your competition.
  • Photos: Upload high-quality images that showcase your business and what customers can expect. Pro tip: Photos should be smaller than 5000 x 5000px.

But Wait, There’s More

Maintaining an active presence on Yelp is vital for engaging with customers and keeping tabs on your business. Here are a few tips for managing your Yelp account effectively:

  • Track Customer Activity: Yelp provides account tracking on the web and through the app where you can monitor customer views and actions, such as calls to your business.
  • Respond to Reviews: Engage with customers by responding to positive and negative reviews.

If you aren’t sure how to navigate a negative review. Don’t sweat it, watch this video to turn your reputation around:

If you’re itching for more than the free profile, you can upgrade to an enhanced, premium business page. Enhanced features include call-to-action buttons, an expanded photo gallery and ad removal.

Yelp Deals also allows you to offer exclusive discounts or coupons on your profile, as well as monetization opportunities.

Yelp for Small Business

Harnessing the power of Yelp can significantly increase your business’s visibility, attract new customers and ultimately contribute to its growth.

For the best results, remember to keep your profile up to date and actively engage with customers to make the most of this valuable platform.

The easiest way to ensure all your listings, including Yelp, Google, Bing and other are all consistent and up to date, is by using a software that can update all your listings in one place so you don’t have to jump from site to site whenever a change is needed.