Yelp Explained

Yelp

There is a lot of talk in the business world about Yelp lately.  But what is it?  The definition of Yelp suggests the idea of yelling . . . and the truth is, Yelp (the website) may be just that for your business.  So, what is it about Yelp that could garner so much attention for your business?  Here is a guide to understanding it:

What is Yelp?  First, it helps to understand that Yelp is a new kind of social networking site, centered on customer reviews of local businesses.  Anyone can post a review on , and anyone searching the web can use it to find and evaluate local businesses.

How does Yelp work?  The idea is very basic: you register your business listing with Yelp (or a customer registers it when they go to write a review), and then you invite your customers to share their reviews via the Yelp online community.  When potential customers want to find businesses of your type in your area, they type their search terms into the search engine, and Yelp returns their options – your business being one of them.

What determines your business’ Yelp search engine ranking?  Your business listing is ranked on Yelp search returns in accordance with several factors pertaining to its number of reviews and customer scores (from one to five stars).  You can also purchase advertising space  to increase awareness of your business listing and improve your Yelp search engine ranking.

Can a review be removed?  No, you cannot remove a review.  However, you may request that Yelp evaluate the review to see that it fits within their content guidelines.  Just remember that every business gets bad reviews occasionally, and that it is how you respond to those reviews that matters the most.

What is included in a Yelp business listing?  In addition to seeing your customer reviews and ranking (in terms of one to five stars), people who visit your listing will be able to learn much more about your business, including hours of operation, business website address, physical location (or mailing address, if you prefer), and telephone number.  Yelp also allows you to upload photos of your business to improve the visitor experience.

Does it cost to use Yelp?  No, it won’t cost you anything to register your business with Yelp, and to have your customers post reviews.  If you opt to advertise your business using Yelp advertising, you will have to pay a fee.

Online reputation management is a complex process, but it is also tantamount to your business success.  To make the most of your online reputation, you may want to enlist the help of qualified and competent professionals.  I can be reached by phone, at 301-328-2113, or by email: cripley@smg2.com.

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