Since it’s inception in 2004, Yelp has become a household name and with a current average of 142 million users per month Yelp is a powerful tool for getting business to your shop. Here’s how get noticed on Yelp and get more customers.
Small businesses represent more than 99% of employers in the US. Yelp recognizes this and they are prepared to cater to small business, like your auto service business. Yelp allows businesses to register with a free account, that allows you access to many of the features Yelp has to offer. $0 is a investment everyone can make, all you need to get started is an internet connection and an hour of your time.
If you have not already claimed your business page head over to Yelp for Business Owners and create an account. Be sure to add as much recognizable information as possible. Keeping your business profiles consistent across the web is incredibly important. It helps customers recognize your shop and become familiar with your brand. Once you have your page personalized your Yelp page it will be more effective immediately. Some key pieces of information to include on your yelp business page are:
A free account can be a great place to start, especially if you are new to Yelp. There are two main strategies you can implement with your free account that will really allow you to get the most out of your Yelp membership.
Many auto shops are concerned about the impact a negative review will have on their business. I have heard horror stories of businesses getting negative reviews for something as simple as not being able to take a walk in on a day they were completely booked. These are good shops that tried to work with an unreasonable set of expectations. When situations like this cause bad reviews, you can address the negativity and future customers will appreciate your attempt at resolving the impossible situation.
Even if there was valid concern that caused a mediocre or poor review, you still have the opportunity to respond and try to make it right. Sometimes this can cause a user to edit their review to be much positive. That doesn’t always happen, but at worst, responding to legitimate customer complaints shows people that your customers are important to you and that you want to make sure they are happy.
If a customer leaves a positive review, there is value in responding to that as well. By publicly thanking the customer for their review you have reinforced their importance to you. These customers are more likely to refer friends and family. At the same time, potential customers that see your appreciation will begin to trust that you will value their business in the same way.
Another feature available to you on a free account is Yelp Business Analytics. This tool can tell you a lot about how your customers are using Yelp to connect with your shop. You can see what type of devices customers are connecting with (ie. mobile or desktop), you can also see when someone uses Yelp to get directions to the shop, go to your website, and even make a phone call to your shop.
While using Yelp’s free account you can take advantage of the analytics tool and get a sense of how people connect with your shop and use that information to plan any advertising or marketing you plan to do in the future.
Once you have an idea of how Yelp works for you at the free level you can experiment with paid advertising on Yelp. One of the great things about Yelp advertising is that they have so many options. You can engage in self-service advertising where you set your own budget, or put it in the hands of the experts with full service advertising where you will have a dedicated account manager.
There are options for every budget and you can explore choices such as pay-per-click advertisements, removing competitor ads from your page, creating feature videos, create coupons, and so much more. Yelp has some great business resources and case studies to help you determine if you want to pursue a paid account for your shop.
However, it may be the case that paid advertising is not for you. There are many auto shops on Yelp that see great returns without needing to pay.
Ultimately, you want to market your business where your customers are and Yelp is one of the largest congregations of your potential customers. Just remember, like any social media platform, you get out what you put in when it comes to Yelp.
The greater the customer interactions you can create, the better. The better you understand how your customers interact with your page, the better. Once you have a handle on those two, the rest will fall into place.