A lot of auto shops advertise on Yelp, but not all of them enjoy the best bang for their buck. From a Yelp discount on ads to strategic profile tweaks, there are ways to make the most of your investment.
Bulletproof Your Yelp Profile through Optimization and Enhancement
The No. 1 place to turn your attention when thinking about Yelp ads is your profile. It is your flagship presence on Yelp (and also has relevance on Google, because Yelp ranks highly in organic Google searches – more to come on that).
The basic items to address first on your profile are:
- Company name
- Physical address
- Phone number
- From The Business – your “About” section where you need to explain what services you offer, your value proposition (maybe you’re the best deal in town on transmission repair?) and any other relevant information, like free Wi-Fi in the waiting area.
Updating the above sections can help prospects get to know your business when they find, and also pushes your business up higher in search results on Google (because Yelp often has a high rank in Google searches for local auto services).
Yelp Enhanced Profile Features
Yelp’s Enhanced Profile features are profile updates that you pay for, but we’re going to explain why the investment is worth it.
Visual enhancement – Profiles that aren’t “Enhanced” will automatically show the pictures uploaded by users reviewing your page. You can’t rearrange the order of these images or delete them (unless you flag them and Yelp considers them inappropriate).
Your photo slideshow is one of the first things that catch people’s eyes when they see you, and you want to show photos that highlight your business in a positive way.
In the example below, you can see how a user’s negative review and picture are front and center for an auto shop. This picture is definitely not serving this Yelp profile well.
Also, you’re only able to publish a video on your Yelp profile if you opt-in for an ”Enhanced Profile.” Video is one of the most effective tools for converting customers, so you definitely want to pay-to-play to get this feature.
Remove competitors – Yes, it can be a frustrating thought to know that Yelp pushes you to spend money on something as basic as keeping other auto shops off of your Yelp business page. But let’s talk about why this feature is critical to your success on Yelp.
It’s likely that as a business owner you absolutely don’t want a competitor with better rating to appear on your page and steal your business. Cleaning competitors off your page ensures that you keep the customers you acquire organically and through paid ads).
Call-to-action (CTA) button – A basic profile with no enhancements will always give prospects the ability to message a business and request a quote. However, savvy auto shop operators know that “Request a Quote” isn’t the always the most effective CTA.
The CTA button will either link Yelp visitors to a specific page on your website or have them call your business directly from their mobile device. The winning part of the CTA enhancement is that you get to customize the offer for your prospects.
Keyword-Optimize Your Yelp Business Profile
Now that you know the ins and outs of cleaning up your profile and making it airtight against competitors, it’s time to make it sing with keyword optimization. If that terminology sounded foreign to you, don’t worry!
Keywords are relatively simple in function but do require some knowledge on the part of the person choosing them. The text you choose for your profile is critical in two ways:
- It informs people looking at your page about the services and products you offer
- It also informs Google about your products and services (so that Google knows which searches to rank you in)
So essentially, keyword optimization can help rank you higher and thus supercharge the organic traffic to your page.
If you need assistance making your profile search engine- and user-friendly, we recommend that you familiarize yourself with basics of SEO and user behavior or hire a professional.
Since Yelp isn’t going anywhere any time soon; optimizing your Yelp presence is a small and worthy investment of your marketing dollars.
Mind Your Reviews and Make People Feel Special
By “minding,” we mean responding to them in a timely manner — same business day is ideal, but we’ll take the next business day if necessary. Respond in a kind and understanding fashion. Minding your Yelp reviews tells the Yelp community that not only are you active on the platform but also that you care about their opinions.
We know there are people who will post irate, unsubstantiated and otherwise questionable reviews. When these scary reviews pop up, admit the mistake. Handle them with urgency and care. Diffuse the conversation by moving it from Yelp to phone or an in-person visit. When the issue is resolved, ask the person if they’ll consider:
- Updating their review text
- Updating their star rating to reflect the resolution
People take notice when wrongs get righted and companies take care of their customers. Yelp is the perfect platform to showcase that you take customer service seriously. Put your pride aside, communicate directly and deal in facts; it will pay dividends for your local reputation.
Some business owners love handling their online reviews; others don’t want to go near it or don’t have the time for it. If you fall into the latter category, hire some help or recruit an employee to be your Yelp voice. Establish some basic policies and procedures for responding to reviews, both positive and negative. This will help you maintain a brand-specific and cohesive presence on Yelp.
Track Your Yelp Ads Campaign To See What’s Working
So many business owners who are advertising on Yelp discount the results of the campaign because they don’t track the return-on-their-investment (ROI). Are you having the same problem?
If so, we recommend that you:
- Analyze the activity from the leads to determine what monthly revenue you made from your ads campaign.
- Compare it to your cost of running the ads for that month.
This assessment will help you determine what you’re getting back for every dollar you spend on Yelp. Yes, this means tracking that Yelp activity to the phone line or website where they’re leaving Yelp and entering your domain to do business. (If you need help setting up phone tracking, talk to your marketing person or connect with our team)
Why is tracking important? As they say, the proof is in the pudding. You will quickly see if your campaign is paying off for your shop.
This technique has led to a better understanding of the return-on-investment for several of our clients; now they are making even more money through Yelp advertising.