Yelp For Small Businesses: The Top 10 Do's & Don'ts

It’s no secret that Yelp is still one of the most popular rating and review sites/apps. But if you’re a small business owner who hasn’t taken a much time to “deal with” establishing or maintaining a presence on Yelp, you’re not alone.

The site is tricky enough to figure out all on its own -- not to mention, there’s hardly any information out there about what you can do to improve your presence on the site.

Still, millions of people use the site each and every day to search for small businesses and service providers they can trust. And since I help busy business owners establish and maintain successful Yelp pages each and every day, I know that dedicating even a little bit of time to your presence on the site have a big impact.

That’s why in this post I’m sharing my top 10 Yelp do’s and don’ts. This fluff-free guide is all you need to start using Yelp’s platform to stand out from your competition and grow your business.

  • Do: Activate your Yelp page

I’m always surprised by how many small business owners aren’t even aware of their presence on the site. I talk more about navigating the basics here.

  • Do: Fill out all the information on your Yelp page

On your business page, there’s a lot of basic information that should be filled out. Everything including your address, phone number, website and hours need to be up to date and available for people searching the site.

  • Do: Add photos to your Yelp page

It’s important to add a few different photos for a few different reasons. The types of photos you should add will vary depending on your business, but generally you’ll want to include an exterior photo so people know when they’ve arrived at the right location, an interior photo so people know what type of experience to expect, and a photo of happy employees and/or customers.

  • Do: Ask happy customers for reviews

Whenever a happy customer expresses their satisfaction with anything related to your business, it’s always ok to ask them to leave a positive review. After all, the worst thing they could do is say no.

  • Do: Follow up via email with customers who review your business on Yelp

If you can, verbally ask customers to review your business on Yelp. Later, check to see if they’ve left a review and send them a Thank You email.

  • Don’t: Ask customers to write reviews while they’re at your place of business

Yelp tracks the origin of each review to make sure it's authentic. They do this so that it’s more difficult for dishonest businesses to write a bunch of false reviews under different accounts. A “side effect” of this precaution is that Yelp will tend to flag even legitimate reviews if people leave them on their mobile devices while they’re at your location.

  • Don’t: Offer incentives for positive reviews

This is a violation of Yelp’s Terms of Service and could cause you to be banned from the site.

  • Don’t: Get defensive in response to negative reviews

I know it’s tempting, but don’t delete them either. Even responding or deleting totally awful or false reviews will only add fuel to the fire. Respond to all reviews, and thank people for their feedback. In the end, this is how you win on Yelp.

  • Do: Feature Yelp on your website and other marketing material

The more people know that you’re active on Yelp, the more likely you are to get good reviews on the site,

  • Do: Cross-promote your Yelp page on social media sites

Businesses can share Yelp reviews on their other social media sites. Sharing the occasional screenshot of positive Yelp reviews on Facebook or Instagram is an easy way to show that you get love and support from your customers.

Become an actively engaged business on Yelp and start using this popular review platform to set you apart from your competitors.

Need help with Yelp? Let me show you how valuable it can be for your business