7 Expert Tips To Optimize Your Yelp Profile & Make It Work Smarter for Your Automotive Business
Regardless of whether you ever run Yelp ads for your auto shop, you want to make sure your Yelp profile isn’t costing you any customers.
If you don’t manage your Yelp business profile, it can raise red flags for consumers searching for an auto service provider.
A Yelp profile that looks unkempt tells prospective customers that you likely don’t care about your customer feedback and don’t really try to improve your operation based on customer feedback. They may also assume (mistakenly perhaps) that you probably care even less about other aspects about your business if you don’t care about customer feedback and/or areas that are meant to drive business for you!
Both are bad for your online reputation, and your online reputation is what helps people decide to do business with you.
How do we know reviews are that final stop for consumers before they give you their money? Research shows that 8 out of 10 people consult online reviews before engaging a business.¹
Here are 7 expert tips to optimize your Yelp profile, or strategies for creating a very effective Yelp profile. Some are optimizations (improvements and tweaks) and others are enhancements (things you pay Yelp to be able to do with your profile).
These game-changing profile alterations are likely to increase your chances of:
- Appearing higher in Google organic search results – Yelp regularly appears in top spots in Google search results for many business-related searches. Setting up your profile while keeping search engine optimization in mind can help you show up higher in Google results for relevant searches.
- Better convert prospects that land on your Yelp page – The right information and call-to-action can make all the difference in whether a visitor to your Yelp profile calls you!
Prevent competitors from stealing opportunities by removing ads from your profile.
Ready to get started?
Optimize Your Yelp Business Profile (For Free)
Optimizing your Yelp profile is free, and literally every company on Yelp today can do following no-cost profile improvements. Smart Yelp advertisers take advantage of these free ways to up your Yelp game.
1. Clean up your Yelp profile. The top priority when thinking about Yelp ads is your business profile, which is your flagship presence on Yelp. It needs to be an accurate source of information about your company.The immediate items to address on your profile are:
- Business name
- Physical address
- Telephone number
- Website Address
- Your “From The Business” section – this is the “About” section that will explain what services you offer, what the value of your services is and any other information meant to inform the customer (like free concierge service, complimentary Wi-Fi, etc.)
- Your business category, which is located under your business name on your profile. Your category(s) tells Yelp what search results you are best suited for (for example, “Auto Repair” or “Personal Chefs”).
Updating these sections helps prospective customers learn about you when they find your business on Google or in Yelp search.
This is the first area where optimizing your profile can improve your Google presence: Yelp ranks high in organic Google search results, so updating your business info helps your presence on Yelp and Google.
So you know how to clean up your auto shop’s Yelp business profile.
It’s critical to address another part of your Yelp profile: keyword optimization. (If this keyword optimization terminology didn’t ring any bells, don’t worry!)
Yelp profile keywords can help boost your presence on search engines (particularly Google). Keywords are important in two ways:
- They educate people looking at your Yelp profile about the products/services you offer.
- They tell Google about your company and help it decide what search results to include you in.
Because keyword optimization helps you rank higher in organic search, this tactic can supercharge your Yelp profile’s organic visibility and drive additional traffic to it.
If you’re a transmission shop, obviously some keywords that might be useful to your profile:
Transmission fluid change
Here’s how to research keywords that apply to your particular niche of the auto industry:
Access Google Keyword Planner.
A. Visit ads.google.com.
B. Sign into your Google account (if prompted).
C. Once in Google Ads, click on the top navigation option called “Tools” (also shows a wrench icon.
D. Two boxes will pop up. Click the one that says, “Find new keywords.”
E. Enter up to 10 separate keywords or keyword phrases and click “Get Results.”
2. Use it to search for keywords and search terms people use that are directly related to your services. (like the transmission keyword phrases above)
3. Given their search volume and level of competition, insert the best choice keywords into your Yelp profile.
Where should these keywords appear? There’s a section of your profile called “From The Business” (sometimes displays as “About the Business”) where sections titled Specialties, History and From the Owner exist.
These are the areas where plugging in your keywords into descriptions of your shop can help you rank higher in local search results for your services.
We advise getting familiar with search engine optimization (SEO) basics and user behavior. If you need help keyword-optimizing your Yelp profile, consider hiring a professional. Of course, as marketing and Yelp experts, our team at Conceptual Minds is here to help!
We can supercharge your Yelp profile with keywords relevant to your specific services for only $99. Contact us today to set up a call with our Yelp expert.
Manage Your Yelp Reviews
Consumer surveys tell us that people won’t do business with a 3.3 star rating or less.² You want to do all you can to make sure your star rating is as high as it can be, but also that it doesn’t drop to under 3 stars.
You also want your reviews to give your prospective customers a good idea of the quality customer service and excellent tire and/or automotive repair services you provide, not a glimpse into one customer’s extraordinarily bad experience with his or her auto service problems.
So when looking at your reviews, if you see room for improvement in your score and review quality, make sure you’re checking off the following:
3. Respond to every review you have. Thank current customers for their business and their feedback. Offer assistance and a phone call to customers who wrote a negative review. Even older but positive reviews can get a response like this: “Hey, we know this review is a bit older, but we wanted to acknowledge you as our customer. Thank you for your business!”
Not only does this send your prospective customers the message that you care about every customer interaction (and what they have to say about it online), but it can strengthen relationships with previous customers. We all know it’s cheaper to keep current customers than recruit new ones. Use reviews as a place to become aware of the customer sentiment of your business, bolster the relationship with current customers and help create resolution and a happier customer in the case of a negative review.
Negative reviews don’t have to remain negative forever, either. You may have an opportunity to fix a problem for a customer, and that customer could easily be encouraged to revisit their negative review and amend/update their remove with a more positive review.
4. Don’t ask people to review you on Yelp. Yelp’s software is very good at detecting reviews written by people that were likely encouraged by the business to leave a Yelp review. These kinds of solicited reviews go to the filtered section of your business and do you no good in terms of getting your Yelp review ratings up.
We know some businesses have had major bones to pick with Yelp about their review algorithm hiding what the business owners know are true reviews from real customers. While the software’s not perfect, it was built to let only authentic reviews count toward a business’ star rating.
While this helps consumers pick the businesses that have real feedback and ratings on Yelp, not reviews solicited by businesses, this also helps competitors from writing fake reviews and hurting your reputation.
So yes, the algorithm can be frustrating, but it’s here to stay. We encourage auto shop owners to work within its limitations and continue to monetize Yelp. The fact is that not being on Yelp is still a missed opportunity to bring more customers to your business!
Use Enhanced Profile Features on Yelp (Paid Features)
Profile upgrades on Yelp known as “Enhanced Profile” do cost money, but the investment is worth it in more ways than one.
5. Enhance your page with the right images and video.
Regular profiles that aren’t “enhanced” will always show the latest Yelp reviewer’s pictures front and center, no matter if they’re a picture of your smiling team or a dull picture of a dirty air filter.
Yelp doesn’t discriminate against reviewers’ photo uploads (unless the picture is inappropriate), so you have to take control of your photo carousel.
Enhancing your profile gives you final say in what images people will see as soon as they are on your profile; you want photos that highlight positive aspects of your business so you can put your best foot forward visually when people come to you both from organic Yelp search and if/when your ads are in play.
The screenshot below shows an example of a Yelp profile (with no enhancements) that isn’t getting good visual representation via the one picture currently showing. A lack of pictures showing quality service is a red flag to today’s users, who are accustomed to businesses putting their best foot forward online.
Enhancing your profile also lets you upload a video to the carousel, something that you can’t enjoy with the regular profile. Great videos convert customers better than static images, so you want to opt-in for this feature.
6. Clean competitors off of your profile.
It’s frustrating to think that Yelp makes you spend money to rid your profile of your competitors, but this is a critical part of maximizing leads through Yelp.
It’s expected that, as a business owner, you don’t want a competing auto shop with a better rating to be visible on your page when people find you – that will inevitably lead to you losing business.
Removing competitors through profile enhancement ensures that you keep the prospects that reach your profile organically and through Yelp ads.
Right now, most profiles that we see that are unenhanced will have their local competitors featured in a prominent place on their profile, as we see below:
See how one of those competitors has a higher star rating than the actual Yelp profile we’re viewing? It’s likely a prospect viewing this page, which is unclaimed and unmanaged, will click on AATO Transmission & Transaxle to learn more about their shop.
7. Close the deal with a unique call-to-action (CTA).
Albeit without the bells and whistle of an enhanced profile, a regular/unenhanced Yelp profile will always give users the option to directly message the business and request a service quote.
Savvy business owners know that you can achieve the desired action by your prospect more frequently through the right messaging on calls-to-action (CTA).
Customization is the key here; for example, creating a unique offer your customers can’t refuse is what compels them to do business with you. The CTA button can link your Yelp visitors to a specific page on your website or have them call you directly from their mobile device.
The offer you create for Yelp users can differentiate you from competitors (who have similar services and star ratings) by incentivizing your prospects with money savings, a complimentary service or another compelling offer.
Here’s an example of a profile with a great call-to-action that compels prospective customers to act now:
Above, we see a CTA that goes beyond requesting a quote and presents a compelling proposition– saving 5% on transmission services! This makes all the difference in compelling a Yelp user who, once they get to your profile, sees your great reviews and then has a compelling reason to contact you for service.
Improving Your Profile Today To Monetize Your Yelp Presence
Our team at Conceptual Minds has more than a decade of experience helping automotive clients succeed with marketing, and we’ll be happy to guide you through the profile enhancement process.
When you reach out to us, we’ll provide you with an expert overview of your Yelp presence and what action we recommend you take on Yelp to best monetize it for your shop.