Local businesses are the heart and soul of commerce. When I was growing up, my Dad had a bedding shop called the Back Relief Store in a little town in New Jersey. During the weekends since I was an adolescent and my Dad still had to work, he’d often take me to the store, and I’d play Snake on an old Packard Bell Desktop Computer.
Though he doesn’t have the store anymore, the idea of going into and paying attention to a small business whether it’s a local restaurant or shop, I much respect the time and effort they’ve given. Yelp is one app that empowers a customer and store owner to bring in more local customers.
Yelp as a Customer
It’s no secret that Yelp is best known for its reviews and customer feedback. The more positive reviews one place gets, the higher the place is ranked on a specific search. Let’s say you are searching for a Thai Restaurant. Typically, the one with the most positive reviews will be placed in 1st, where others may make a list due to sheer review quantity (good or bad).
Even though there may be even better restaurants in the area, because “Siamrice” had the most reviews they’ll be placed as the number 1 ranking.
Get 5 Stars to Get Ranked Higher
Of course, as a business, you’ll want five stars across the board from every single customer. Though if you know anything about starting a business: you cannot please everyone. However, the more 5 star reviews you get…, the more people will come. For this example, if a Thai Restaurant were to garner more five stars, they’d bring in more customers and more reviews. If they come close to the review quantity that “Siamrice” has and is ranked with more stars, they’ll replace the “Siamrice” on the top of the rankings.
Leave a Review (But Don’t Be Mean)
Have you ever heard of Kitchen Nightmares from Chef Gordon Ramsey? Well, in any case, there was a single episode where the owners treated him and the guests (recorded on TV) terribly. Later that week hundreds of negative reviews came in and the owners backlashed against most of the reviewers, even threatening to sue them! While this may deter people from Reviewing on Yelp, as a customer it’s best to keep feedback as simple, honest, and straightforward. After all, you are helping small business improve.
Many times, you can leave a below average review, write it without contempt and be contacted by the manager for another chance (including free stuff)!
Look for Tips on What to Order
Yelp has a neat feature where a guest can leave tips and pieces of advice when visiting a place. You’ll find unique things to order, something nice about the environment, and so forth. These are pretty well underutilized as a customer. As a business owner, you may want to pay attention to those tips to see what customers are looking at and ordering.
Frequent a place often? Your review may take priority over others since you value whatever it is that place is selling. Check-In Promotions are also something given out when you successfully check into a place and receive some sort of discount just by letting Yelp know you are there. Sometimes these discounts give you free food and hefty deals so keep an eye out!
Have You Tried the Filter Option?
Searching on Yelp, at least for the average person, is just entering in “Indian Restaurant” or something along those lines. But Yelp is actually equipped with a pretty cool filter option if you are looking for other searches including:
- Offering a Deal
- Cash Back (we’ll talk about this)
- Open During Specific Hours
- Food Delivery
- Pricing (Cheap thru Expensive)
- Military Discounts
- Dogs Allowed
- Good for Children
- Wheelchair Accessibility
- Gener Neutral Bathrooms
- and more!
Speaking of Yelp Deals, you probably didn’t realize that Yelp has a significant competitor and it’s right in front of your eyes. Groupon is probably the most significant discount and voucher site that has brought many customers to be new and exciting restaurants. Still, Businesses tend to start a Groupon Voucher when they lack customers, plus Groupon’s review system isn’t that great, so you may get a discount at a lousy restaurant. Yelp, on the other hand, does offer Deals in the same manner where if you buy X amount you get X discount.
While it’s a rare feature to find, Yelp does take Reservations for specific restaurants. We mentioned it before, but using the filter option will help you find a Reservation “booking” option.
Yelp Cash Back
Probably the most underutilized feature of not only Yelp but from other apps is the new card-linked Cash Back deals. It’s as simple as linking your credit or debit card to your purchase at the given Yelp location you about to go to, and you’ll get an advertised cash back amount. Here are the steps you’ll need to do to get Cash Back!
Step One: Link a Card
Head to the Cash Back Card Linking Page:
Step Two: Find a Place
If the card is successfully linked, you are automatically eligible for Cash Back Places.
Make sure to Filter for Cash Back Places when you search!!!
Step Three: Pay with Linked Card
Let’s say you spend $20 at this Restaurant:
You get $1 back on your statement
Yelp is a pretty cool app because it has the most customer feedback amongst all review based apps, plus there’s the added factor of unique deals and cash back.
Yelp for Businesses
If you operate a local business, getting on Yelp is a must. Though, we believe not all business models need to sign up for Yelp. If you have a company that deals with people coming into your business and potentially buying something you should be on Yelp if you operate some informational service like Legal or Marketing services you may want to skip Yelp, although having a directory listing isn’t such a bad thing for SEO purposes.
Getting Started with Your Listing
It’s pretty easy to get started on Yelp. You’ll need to first head over to their Business Dashboard part of the site: https://biz.yelp.com/ From there you’ll need to enter in contact details including:
- Business Name
- Telephone Number (s)
- Street Address
- Categories (i.e., Fast Food Restaurant)
Be as specific as possible when setting up your account so that people can correctly search for your business!
Free Stuff That’s Included
Starting a Yelp Business Page is Free. Plus, you still get access to a ton of features
Because you get to start your Yelp Deals and respond to reviews. You may not need to do much more to optimize your Businesses’, Yelp Page. Although if you want to get a head start on more reviews and website visibility, you should try the next step…
Before you sigh, Yelp Ads are not Google Ads. People who search for the category of your business, for example, Car Repair, will get the best-reviewed business. But with Yelp Ads you’ll have a direct chance to get the customers before that user heads to that Number 1 Ranked Car Repair Biz!
Want $300 in Free Yelp Ad Money? We’ve Partnered up with Yelp for Businesses to Get this Amazing Promo!!
I talk a lot about apps and digital financial services here on MoneyHax, but I can tell you that helping local small businesses is a passion of mine! Through the Yelp app, you may find the exact place to market your business for a quicker more efficient way to make more of an impact on your bottom line.