How To Succeed At Yelp And Why It’s Important

Lunchbox Editorial

The availability of online star-rating sites such as Yelp has made it difficult for restaurants to maintain their reputation. Customers can now easily head to such online platforms and leave potentially damaging reviews, which can adversely affect consumer decisions.

A person can walk out the doors seeming satisfied with your customer service and the quality of food, and upload a completely opposing review online, which can put off other potential customers. 

Diners trust the unbiased opinions of people who have already experienced your service, making it imperative for restaurants to get a good reputation on Yelp. 

A Harvard study found that an increase of one star can improve restaurant revenues by 5% – 9%. But getting that one extra star from customers takes a lot of hard work and a rock-solid strategy. 

If you want your restaurant business to succeed, you need to make sure your Yelp reviews reflect the quality of service you provide. But, how do you do that?

What Does It Take To Win With Yelp?

Before we dive into ways you can use Yelp to your benefit, let?s go through the reasons why it?s important for your restaurant. 

  • Yelp has over 199 million reviews ? you might not have a presence here but your competitors do
  • 97%  of people read online reviews before making a purchase 
  • 71% of Yelp users recommend the businesses they like and support

A key benefit of using this platform is that it costs considerably less to build brand impressions on Yelp than most other online marketing services. For instance, food establishments can pay as little as $0.30 per click for a PPC campaign and rank higher than their competitors. Once a user is on Yelp looking for products or services in your industry, Yelp advertising can provide more exposure to your business, offering you a competitive edge on the platform. 

Moreover, Google also considers Yelp reviews more authentic, which is why it often indexes its business categories high on the first page. 

Ready to ensure the success of your restaurant with Yelp? Here?s what you need to do:

Create Your Business Profile On Yelp

You can start by setting up a new profile for your business, or simply click on the ?Claim this Business? button if you already see your business page on there. You?ll need a Yelp account to claim your listing and it may take a few hours to a couple of days till you get access to it.

Once there, make sure you fill out the entire profile because you don?t want users to leave due to missing information and end up on your competitor?s page. It might be a good idea to hire a professional photographer and a food stylist to take pictures of the food, the ambiance, menu, seating, and other details ? then put these images online to engage Yelp users. 

Be Active And Responsive 

One of the biggest mistakes restaurant owners make online is not being responsive enough. According to a study, 71% of customers choose a service that has a reputation for replying positively to customer reviews. 

When you interact with customers on Yelp, it helps build confidence in your services. Here are a few instances when your response matters the most:

If a potential customer has left a query about your restaurant ? if you don?t reply ASAP, chances are that they?ll move on to another restaurant to get the answers they need. 

If a customer has left a negative review ?  take ownership of your mistake and assure them that you?ll do all in your power to fix the problem so it won?t happen again. Remediate the situation with a discount coupon or a one-time free service.

If a customer has left a positive comment ? since he or she has taken time out to review you, it?s only fair that you thank them.

Promote Your Yelp Listing

For starters, add a Yelp button to your restaurant website, and make sure your Yelp page also link backs to your website to facilitate users who are looking for ways to send you feedback. 

You can also put Yelp stickers on your menu and receipts to let your patrons know that they can leave reviews there. Next, train the servers to encourage customers to ?check-in? on Yelp on their smartphones ? perhaps incentivize this with a free cookie or drink. 

You can also use Yelp advertising and pay a small amount to move up the listings and gain more exposure on the platform. 

In Conclusion

Yelp is a leading online website where diners come in pursuit of restaurant reviews and potential complaints ? they want to know if other customers think your business should be their next dining destination. 

By keeping your business information updated, adding relevant pictures, responding to reviews (positive and negative), and ensuring that it links to your other online business platforms, you are likely to use the Yelp page to create an impact on your restaurants.

But that?s not all; make sure you have a well-thought plan before you move forward with your plans to take over Yelp. Lunchbox can help you develop a viable strategy with seamless POS integration across your processes to improve the overall customer experience at your restaurant. 

We also help you tap into restaurant-specific insights, which help in building customer loyalty by improving interactions.

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