How to Use Yelp for Your Online Marketing

Yelp is a powerful tool to use for your online marketing efforts, especially for listening to your customers and learning their language,

Yelp is a an online peer review website ideal for your marketing. It’s an awesome website. I’ve been using it for years now for clients and I got started using Yelp in the restaurant industry. Let me give you a little bit of background on today’s episode. I’ve been getting back into restaurant marketing. It’s something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time. I used to blog about restaurant marketing, I wanted to help business owners with it because it was something I was doing. I started up my Restaurant Marketing blog again. It’s at  It’s not finished but you can get a sneak peek if you want.  It’s something that I have experience in and I wanted to let you know before we get into today’s episode on Yelp which, if you’re a restaurant, is totally critical for your online marketing..

The restaurants aren’t the biggest Yelp category anymore. Shopping became equal with restaurants back in September of 2011, but it’s since surpassed that. People see that there’s a real value of looking for peer reviews on this website and also on the websites of the businesses that they’re looking for, okay. It’s crucial that that perception is still there that restaurants have a natural advantage because people are out and about and they’re looking for a restaurant and boom, it’s totally a fit and it’s a match. .  You can definitely take advantage of Yelp if you’re a local business and you want to have local people come in to your establishment based on people’s reviews.

The Yelp mobile web had 59.1 million unique visits every month from April 3rd to May2nd, 2015 and 48.1 unique Online visits (   If you look at it overall it just shows you that you really need to be mobile optimized if you’re on the web and you also need to set up your profile on Yelp right away.

 “By the end of the [1st Qtr 2014], Yelpers had written approximately 57 million rich, local reviews, making Yelp the leading local guide for real word-of-mouth on everything from boutiques and mechanics to restaurants and dentists.”yelp-57-million-quarterly-local-reviews-Vickie-Siculiano-Say-Wow-Marketing

So, here are my 3 ways that you can take advantage of Yelp for your marketing.

1)  Claim your business on Yelp.
If you haven’t done this already go to and do it.  People may have been to your establishment, wanted to review it and set up a business for you with your business name.  Others can find you, review you, but it doesn’t mean that you have access to that account.  You won’t be able to add/correct information and really take control of your business listing unless you unlock your account. This will give you free access and drive even more customers to your business because you’re going to have even more control of your business listing. Yelp has this great mobile app that you can manage your Yelp account for free by responding to people.

You may find your business has more than one listing, created by different reviewers, perhaps with a slightly different spelling or address.  Once you claim your listing, you can have those accounts merged. You’ll be allowed to do a variety of activities including adding your photos, your business hours, and other important things that you will need for your listing. You can also track your new customers and views and respond to any negative and positive reviews.

One of the main advantages of having a Yelp business account is that you can create a Yelp deal or a check-in offer, so that you can convert people to paying customers once they go on the app. Now I’ve done it on Foursquare for clients, I’ve also done it on Yelp. I’ve had success with both of them. Yelp is a very professional looking platform. I like that red popping in your face color and you can create a deal, maybe for a free appetizer when you check in, and it’s a hit.

. Make sure that you get on and claim your business on Yelp and also get that Yelp app, so that you can get real time alerts and manage your account.

2) Really listen

You want to check out your reviews on Yelp that people are posting for you  and you want to see what they’re saying. You want to latch on to any themes that may appear. I’ll tell you an example. I was doing work with this awesome Ethiopian restaurant in Montclair, New Jersey. People were just saying over and over again that they were vegan, they loved the vegan types of dishes that were offered at the restaurant. The restaurant offers fabulous food, vegan is only one of the options and it’s only something that you would know if you know how they prepare their food.

It was just taking a look and listening to all of these reviews that were coming in and also they were coming in on Facebook and some of the other social media platforms that I was involved with, but it’s really, really important to listen to see what people are saying about that food because it allows you to open up your marketing to maybe a whole new audience that you never even knew existed. If you didn’t listen you wouldn’t know that that was there, right. Maybe it’s something that people are saying about your service. Maybe people really over and over again love your customer service. Maybe that’s something that you might want to beef up a little bit in your marketing because it’s something that your competitors may not be keen on. They may not offer the customer service that your customers and those types of customers are looking for.

Listening is very, very important. You can see what is most important to your customers and you can keep delivering over and over again on what they’re looking for and go above and beyond.  It may be something that you didn’t even know existed as something important to them and then you will totally be able to jump on a new opportunity and use your online marketing to do so.

3) Competition

Here’s something that people don’t think about enough. You have the chance to really see how you’re performing online; I’m giving you tips on how to go in and listen, see what people are saying about your service or product, restaurant.  Also go in and respond to people who have things to say whether they’re negative or positive.  You can do the same for your competition.

You already know how to go in and look for your own goings on. You can go into your Yelp app or you can go onto on the web directly and you can check to see what people are saying about you, but I guarantee you that if you go and check out your competitors, whether they’re local or maybe a national competitor on some scale, then you’ll be able to see what those types of customers for that particular industry are looking for and what’s most important to them. You’ll be able to see what those customers value and seeing the difference between nationals and  U.S. tourists.  It’s very revealing.



I’m actually going to throw another tip for you here.  You have to decide if it’s for you or not. It depends on your budget.  You also have the option of doing Yelp ads  and with that you can appear at the top of the results when people are searching in their local area. That’s why it’s crucial to be on this platform if you’re a local business where people are going to be searching on their phone when they’re looking for your business. Those ads will come up top. It’s amazing when you’re searching for a certain type of restaurant in a certain area that you’re in and your GPS is being picked up by Yelp, the app, then you’ll see that other restaurants or businesses are going to be in that area, too, and boom, they’re served up just like Google ads.

AND:  People that are absolutely devout Yelp fans will have many reviews on the platform. You can see how many friends they have and how many reviews they’ve given and you can see if you want to follow them and check out some of their other reviews, so you can see if they think along the same lines that you do.

AND: You can get some really cool tools on the Yelp website like brand logos and you can ask your customers to actually check you out on Yelp. They don’t recommend that you just seek out reviews from people because they want it to be more honest, but I definitely say that you should get a logo from the Yelp website if you can and put it on your website and all that you do online, right. I highly recommend you check out Yelp. If you haven’t yet make sure that you can make sure that you let your customers know that you’re listening to their reviews, you’re responding to them and you’re really opening up two-way communication and being social with them which is what social media is all about.


Download this episode 80 of my SMARTER ONLINE MARKETING PODCAST

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