How Yelp Can Help Your Small Business. By Steve Marsh of Be Competition Free.,
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Have you heard the buzz about social media and how it can be used to market carpet cleaning services?
Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn — to name only a few — have helped to promote many types of businesses. Social review sites such as Yelp and Angie’s List have revolutionized how consumers look for new service companies. At Professional Tile and Grout Floor Cleaning in Boulder, CO 80302, we want to utilize as many social media options as possible. How about YOUR company?
Yelp has the numbers. As a business owner, you cannot afford to ignore this growing social influence. According to Wikipedia, Yelp.com had more than 100 million unique visitors monthly as of January 2013.
Yelp is a free online review site that allows consumers to critique businesses and make their opinions available for the world to see. Consumers have found this to be an empowering opportunity to both promote the companies they like and to trash those with which they have had a bad experience.
Many business owners have expressed disgust with Yelp because of negative reviews that have been posted about their company. Until now, disgruntled customers have had few opportunities to effectively communicate their opinions to the general public. Yelp and the other social review sites have changed all of that.
Companies must now deal with these issues. Unhappy customers can no longer be swept under the carpet, so to speak. Getting upset with Yelp or attempting to ignore this social feedback is not the answer.
Smart marketing requires you to become familiar with social sites like Yelp. These sites can be used to your grow your business. There are more advantages than disadvantages for your company if you use these sites well. Consumers using Yelp are familiar with how the system works.
The first thing to know about Yelp is that it is a free directory. Many consumers find it easier to use Yelp to find service companies rather than search engines such as Google.
Yelp lists the companies that service the area where the consumer is looking. There is a good chance your company is already listed in their directory; if not, be sure to register your company with them.
The more quality information you provide to Yelp, the better your chance of consumers selecting your company. Yelp provides an online form to make it easy to supply your company profile. Be sure this description is well-written and free of grammatical errors.
You are also encouraged to add photographs to your profile. It is a good idea to include your company logo as the first image. Be aware that Yelp uses a square format so if you provide a rectangular-shaped photo, the edges will get cropped off. Include photos of you or your techs actually performing your service.
The photos you choose will influence which consumers will respond to your company. If you want high-end customers, display pictures of you working in nice homes. If you want customers with filthy homes, show pictures of you salvaging grossly abused carpet.
The power of reviews.
Yelp is a consumer review site. It makes sense that the more reviews you receive, the better off you will be. At Professional Tile and Grout Floor Cleaning in Boulder, CO 80301, we make it a habit to encourage customers to post their thoughts on Yelp and other social review sites. Remember to also take the time to thank customers who have made positive comments.
Occasionally, Yelp will filter some of your reviews. Two common reasons a review may be filtered are:
1. If consumers posts only one review
2. They provide only a minimal amount of information about themselves.
Both of these cases can suggest that someone is attempting to manipulate the system.
Yelp and SEO
Yelp can help the search engine optimization (SEO) of your website.
If you include your website address when registering your company, it will be included as a link on their website. Search engines view this favorably and tend to rate your site higher.
Your Yelp profile page can actually become an organic search result when consumers Google for a carpet cleaner. This becomes another good opportunity for customers to find your website.
Review sites such as Yelp are going to continue growing in their influence over consumers’ shopping choices. You can use them to your advantage or ignore them to your peril.
Dealing with customers’ opinions will now need to be considered to be a part of your marketing strategy.
Steve Marsh is the creator of the Be Competition Free Marketing Program. He is a 30-year veteran of the carpet cleaning industry, an IICRC-approved instructor and a Senior Carpet Inspector. Marsh is a marketing and business consultant who provides a turn-key program for attracting better customers. For more information, log on to www.BeCompetitionFree.com.