According to Nielsen, 92% of people trust the recommendations (and warnings) of their family and friends over all other forms of advertisement. That makes word of mouth an incredibly powerful marketing tool, especially for small businesses. But it's nearly impossible to get the word out about a small business organically, and it's even harder to measure those results.
Yelp for Business Owners takes the idea of word of mouth and turns it into an active marketing strategy. Small businesses no longer have to rely on the traditional method of friends telling their friends and can instead crowd-source any customer's experience into a reliable recommendation. Not only that, Yelp pages reach more than 100 million customers every month, meaning every online recommendation can reach a much larger group of potential customers.
A small business can have a Yelp page with or without the owner's involvement. But business owners who engage with the platform, aka those who claim their page, see more than twice as much engagement from potential customers than those who don't. This free service from Yelp allows business owners to add important information like business hours and photos, and also gives them the ability respond to reviews. For more information on claiming your business's Yelp page, check out this helpful Yelp demo.
Seeing is believing, so show off what makes your business great. A free Yelp page allows business owners to upload as many photos as they'd like to their page. And Yelp's data shows that 10 or more photos encourages potential customers to stay on a business's page three times as long as pages with fewer images. Adding professional shots gives your business three times as many chances to entice new customers.
Owners can also pay for Slideshow, which allows them to control the order of images, and decide which photos people see first. Because customers often upload their own photos, this feature ensures that the owner has the first chance to tell their business's story.
One of Yelp's newest features, the Verified License, helps contractors, plumbers, childcare providers, and other professionals build trust with potential customers. To add the Verified License badge to a business page, the owner must submit their information to Yelp, which then independently validates the trade license with the appropriate government agencies. On average, having a Verified License badge on a Yelp page increased engagement, including clicks, calls, quote requests, and other actions, by 24%. This is a great boost for newer businesses that haven't had as much of a chance to build up a customer base.
This is a newer Yelp for Business Owners service so it is not available everywhere yet. To see if your business is eligible, read here for more information.
Claiming a business page on Yelp is proven to double engagement of potential customers, but businesses that go a step beyond that and upgrade to an Enhanced Yelp Profile see an extra 38% increase in customer leads on top of that! For just $90 per month, you get three distinct services with an Enhanced Profile: photo and video customization, removal of competitor ads, and a custom call-to-action button. These three things help your business stand out and give you, the owner, more control over your brand. To see what else an Enhanced Profile can do for your business, check out Yelp's demo and guide.
Nielsen data shows that the vast majority of Yelp viewers become customers. So how do you ensure they become a customer at your business instead of at a competitor's business? Paying for Yelp Ads is a great way to get your business in front of potential customers. For as little as $5 per day, your business will appear at the top of search results when customers search for products or categories similar to yours. Even if customers don't click on your business's Yelp page first, a Yelp Ad gives them another entry point to your business. Check out Yelp's own guide to using the ads, and learn how you can get $300 for free!
This post is sponsored by Yelp for Business Owners, but all opinions are my own.
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