While the old yellow pages might be collecting dust, consumers still have a need for the type of information it contains. Nowadays, however, consumers are more likely to turn to the Internet when they need to find a local business. A recent Nielsen study looked at the behavior of Yelp users, in particular, and found that virtually all of them (99 percent) have made a purchase at a business they found on Yelp—with nearly 90 percent of them doing so within a week.
So, what does this mean for a pet supply store? Given that these highly engaged Yelpers are turning to the site to discover and spend money at local businesses, retailers should consider taking advantage of Yelp’s suite of free tools to build out their virtual storefront. Below are four secrets to success designed to help you do just that.
Complete your profile. This is your chance to tell your unique story in an interesting and informative way. Let potential customers know what you do and what your specialties are. For example, if you carry all-natural pet treats and premium pet food brands, make sure you share that information. Be sure to add your correct daily business hours, as well as a link to your website, if available. You can also upload an unlimited number of appealing photos to make your page more attractive to potential customers.
Respond to your reviews. When it comes to your reviews, you have the opportunity to join the conversation by responding via a private message or a public comment. A private message is a little like an email between the business owner and the person who wrote the review. The public comment, on the other hand, will show on your business-listing page and can be viewed by anyone who comes across that particular review.
Whether private or public, Yelp recommends responding to any kind of review, whether it is positive or critical. Always respond diplomatically, and don’t panic over critical reviews. Instead, focus on trends in the feedback you receive to gain valuable insight from consumers.
We also recommend that you don’t ask for reviews. Consumers appreciate useful, reliable and unbiased review content. The most successful businesses on Yelp are the ones that allow their reviews to build organically.
Create exciting promos. One of the best ways to create a competitive advantage and generate buzz is posting a Yelp Deal, which allows consumers to buy from you before they’ve even picked up the phone or walked through your doors. Posting a Yelp Deal can also mean additional exposure throughout the site. Deals are highlighted in search results, on many business listings, and even on our mobile app.
Monitor your traffic. Track the effectiveness of the aforementioned tools and consumers’ progress on the path to purchase by monitoring your customer leads and estimated revenue coming from Yelp with the Revenue Estimate tool.
For more tips and best practices on using Yelp for Business Owners, check out Yelp’s Blog for Business Owners at biz.yelp.com/blog.
Darnell Holloway is Yelp’s senior manager of local business outreach.