Help With Yelp
How Roofers Can Leverage Online Reviews To Their BenefitMichael Calendrillo, Writer
Yelp comes up at or near the top of almost every web search for local businesses. A Yelp listing can benefit a roofing business through increased exposure, customer referrals and powerful marketing tools. According to Yelp metrics, the site has more than 130 million unique users a month and hosts more than 160 million reviews. And, according to a Nielsen study, 82 percent of users consult Yelp because they intend to buy a product or service.
Some business owners may think Yelp is a tool that only benefits restaurants that want to rack up five-star ratings. But the truth is that non-restaurant-related businesses make up more than 80 percent of Yelp’s listings.
Chances are that even if your business is new, you are already listed on Yelp. All you have to do is claim your page. To determine if you are listed, search for your business’ name. Once you find it, scroll down until you find the “Work Here? Unlock This Business Page” button. If your business isn’t listed, select “Add Your Business” and follow the instructions.
Once your company has been verified and approved by a Yelp moderator, you can fill in the “About This Business” section, add high-quality photos and update pertinent information such as address, phone number, website, hours and business category.
Defining your business category (i.e., roofing, roof repair, windows and siding) will determine your target audience, which is a huge step toward customer retention. Additionally, you will be able to unlock useful demographic information about reviewers and Yelp analytics to further understand what drives traffic to your Yelp marketing page.
Defining your category is also an excellent way of figuring out the most cost-effective way to initiate pay-per-click (PPC) marketing practices according to the time of day and content-related activities.
Paid Vs. Free Version
Yelp offers a paid option as well as the free version. Examine the metrics behind Google’s enhanced marketing tools to determine whether the paid version would deliver the leads and customer reviews that could benefit your business.
Here’s a comparison of the features available in each version:
Yelp advertising can be costly though. The minimum charge to have your business sponsored on search listings is $350. According to VentureBeat, “Yelp is charging small businesses 1,000 times the standard online Cost Per Thousand (CPM) rates for local ads that appear on Yelp.”
On the other hand, TechCrunch points out that Yelp’s services, though expensive, can be worthwhile. “A single visit from a customer could earn advertisers hundreds of dollars,” the technology news site reported. “Their long-term business could be worth thousands, and they’re unlikely to switch if satisfied. They could earn significant long-term ROI.”
Every business wants positive reviews. They boost your legitimacy in the world of social media, especially on Yelp, because they directly affect your star rating. Reviews are sorted by a relevance algorithm that takes into account the date of the review, how users voted on it and a variety of other factors. Businesses cannot delete, edit or reorder reviews.
While you can and should encourage people to review your business on Yelp, you should in no way offer incentives. Yelp does not consider incentives a good practice and will remove the reviews or even put a public stamp on the page if Yelp managers suspect a business of engaging in “pay for play.” Businesses should never review themselves.
Instead, place a link to your Yelp page on your website, in your email signature and your social media posts. Also, hang a Yelp sign at your on-site office and encourage people to check in at your location to gain additional engagement.
Free marketing tools include:
- Placing a Yelp badge on your website
- Hanging a “Find Us On Yelp” sign at your in-person business
- Sharing your “People Love Us On Yelp” receipt stickers
- Sharing reviews on Facebook and Twitter
- Using reviews in your marketing materials
On the other hand, you need to know how to respond effectively to negative reviews. You, the business owner, can reply either publicly or privately to a customer who feels less than pleased by a service you provided. By addressing the issue in a friendly and professional manner, you present the opportunity to fix the issue at hand. Providing excellent customer service also might encourage the customer to revise the review, erasing a negative impression on your page for the entire world to see.
For a better understanding of how Yelp prefers that their users reply to comments, visit the Yelp Support Center.
Keep in mind that negative reviews cannot be removed completely. “Advertisers never get special powers to remove a negative review, add a positive one or move reviews around on their page,” Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman said.
Instead, the one fail-safe Yelp has installed is a “Not Recommended” section. Reserved for reviews that Yelp considers biased, the section is accessible only by clicking a tiny link at the bottom of the business’ page. On the other hand, the “Not Recommended” section is one of the major criticisms of Yelp, because some consumers consider it an unfair business practice.
Yelp implores its users to report any questionable reviews to the moderators. Businesses also can flag a review and then explain why it does not meet their standards.
A legal removal process is available in the case of internet defamation. A court order may be necessary if the reviewer is making false accusations.
Visit the Yelp For Business Owners playlist on YouTube for video resources about creating and optimizing your profile and business listing.