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Moving the Needle on Your Online Reputation

The key to improving your business’ online reputation centers around your engagement. On Yelp, we’ve made it pretty easy for business owners to connect with reviewers, optimize their business listing and attract new customers just by utilizing the free tools available in their Business Account. Read up on our top three tips for managing your online reputation below.

1. Respond to Your Reviews: Once you claim your free Business Account you have a suite of free tools available including private and public messaging tools to connect with consumers that have written reviews about your business. Sending a private message is much like sending someone a personal email and is visible only to the reviewer. This tool is best used to thank Yelp users for taking the time to write a positive review and is also a good first step to get more information from a customer about a less-than-positive experience.

You can also post public comments which, when used properly, can be your greatest PR tool. While you still want to address the reviewer directly, a public comment posts right underneath the review you’re responding to for all consumers to see. This tool is most effective when you respond diplomatically, thank the reviewer for their feedback and state your policy or clarify any inaccuracies in the consumer’s review. In best cases, it can result in a ‘review update’ in which a Yelp user updates their initial star rating for your business to a higher star rating and regardless of that one reviewer’s response, your devotion to customer service is then clearly visible to other readers.

2. Add Content to Your Business Listing: In addition to the reviews that appear on your Yelp listing, you can also add information about your business to fill in any blanks that a review doesn’t cover. Begin attracting new customers by using the following free tools in your Business Account.

  • Add Business Information: The more information a consumer has when making a buying decision, the better. Be sure to add your website, business hours as well as a few paragraphs that describe your business.
  • Upload Photos: Adding photos is highly recommended. In fact, people searching Yelp stay on a business page with photos two and a half times longer than one without. Interior and exterior photos and images of what your business specializes in are a great place to start.

3. Increase Awareness About Your Yelp Presence:

  • Include Yelp signage on business cards, in your email signature and in your business’ storefront: Bring awareness to your customers about where they can find you online. Check out the Yelp badges in your Business Account or visit our flickr.com page for signage made specifically for business owners.
  • Set up a check-in offer: Consumers can search exclusively for businesses with a check-in offer on the mobile Yelp app, and with more than 45% of Yelp searches happening through Yelp’s mobile application (as of Q4 2012), optimizing your listing for mobile search is imperative. Added Bonus: Customers that check in to your business are reminded of their recent visit and asked if they’re interested in leaving a review the next time they use Yelp’s desktop platform. They can also share what businesses they’re checking into with their friends on Yelp, Facebook and Twitter, increasing the visibility of your business.