Yelp Partnering With Yahoo: How Small Business Owners can Prepare

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Small business owners often have wildly varying opinions on Yelp. Depending on who you ask, it’s either a great tool that can help them to gain exposure and connect with their local customers, or an unfair playing field wherein a single negative review can hurt business and exposure is meted out to those who are willing to pay for it. Regardless of your opinion on it, Yelp is poised to partner with Yahoo in an attempt to bolster their local search game, as currently, Yelp is the major player in local business listings. In truth, small business owners should loan attention to their Yelp profiles regardless, as they are a potentially major source of referral business. Now that Yahoo is getting into the mix, the exposure that Yelp profiles get is poised to increase as Yahoo funnels their share of web traffic into the site. Get your business’s profile up to snuff now, and your business may stand to benefit from the strategic partnership.

Fill out your complete profile. In order to make a positive digital impression and encourage reviews, the more that you give, the more you can expect to get. Fill out all of your Yelp profile, including pictures of your products and location as well. Spend some time thinking about what you really want your customers to take away when they visit your page, then do your best to showcase that aspect of your business through the fields granted to you.

Encourage positive reviews. A good Yelp review is really a precious commodity for small businesses, since it must come from a real customer. It’s the internet equivalent of a word of mouth recommendation, yet it lasts much longer and is there for all to see. Conversely, negative reviews can be particularly damaging for the same reasons. The best defense against these negative reviews is to manage a gregarious response and then simply encourage more positive reviews to outweigh the negative ones. A good Yelp review starts in your physical location, with the quality of your product and your customer service. You can also encourage Yelp reviews by including a link to your business’s profile on business cards or other promotional materials that patrons can take with them as reminders of your business. Other ways of creating positive Yelp reviews are creating promotions giving an incentive to leave a good review of your business.

Display a Yelp sticker in your location. Increasingly, businesses will advertise that they are on Yelp by including a decal in their location’s window. Just like a credit card company logo can be put up to let your customers know that you accept their card type, a Yelp sticker can inform your clients that you are on Yelp and that you would appreciate a positive review of your service.

Stay up to date on Yelp news. It’s possible that the way Yelp works will change due to its partnership with Yahoo. Following news related to Yelp will help you stay on top of any changes announced that could impact how customers find your business. It’s also a good idea for you to hedge your bets and claim as many digital listings for your business as possible in order to widen the channels of exposure you create for yourself.


Photo Credit to Yahoo on Flickr

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