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How to connect with more customers on Yelp

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

Customers connected with businesses on Yelp more than 111 million times in a recent month.* That’s 3.7 million connections a day and 154,000 connections per hour. 

But what exactly is a connection? It’s essentially any way a customer can interact with your business on Yelp. Whether it’s clicking from your Yelp Page to your website or opening directions to your business on the Yelp app, consumers are constantly connecting with small businesses like yours.

To drive more of these customer connections for your business, it’s crucial to attract these high-intent customers and show them that you’re the best choice. And because after visiting Yelp, 90% of customers make a purchase within a week, you have a small window of opportunity to grab their attention and give them the information they need. To help you do that, follow these tips for increasing and converting your customer connections on Yelp.

Completely fill out your business information

Claiming your business gives you access to over 20 free page features and tools, including the ability to add the most up-to-date information to your business page. It’s the easiest way to attract customers on Yelp—and it’s completely free. When all parts of your page are filled out, you’ll appear in the most relevant search results, and when customers land on your page, they’ll be met with an abundance of helpful information. 

This includes the basics—everything from your phone number to your operational hours to your amenities. You should also choose up to three categories that match your business, and from there, select as many services as applicable within each of those categories. For example, if you work on roofs, you can choose the roofing category and then select from nearly 40 services, like roof repair, clay tile roof installation, skylight repair, and more.

Additionally, the “From the business” section allows you to share who you are and what you offer—all in your own words. It includes three parts:

  • Specialities. Describe what you do exceptionally well. Let your customers know what you’re all about and what you specialize in.
  • History. Tell your customers what year your business started and the story of how it all began.
  • Intro. Also called Meet the Owner/Manager, this is where you can say hello to your customers and tell them why you’re passionate about the work you do.

The keywords and phrases used in these sections help you appear in Yelp search results, so be sure to naturally include terms that describe your services or products throughout your descriptions. 

Best practice: If anyone’s ever asked you “Do you offer ______?”, then that information should live on your Yelp Page. Once your page is complete, be sure you keep it up to date. Whether you’re offering a new service or you have updated holiday hours, be sure customers can rely on the information you have displayed on your Yelp Page. 

Tip: You may have already done the leg work of writing these sections when you created your website or built your business plan. Don’t reinvent the wheel. Think of the important items and offerings you want customers to know about, and then write a few sentences to draw attention to that. Plus, you can edit these sections as often as you like, including making seasonal updates, adding new services, and more.

Add photos with captions

People on average remember just 10% of information three days after hearing it; adding a picture can improve recall to 65%. Photos evoke emotion, tell a story, and simply help people see what they can expect from a business. On Yelp, you can upload an unlimited number of pictures to your page—maybe it’s your signature black truffle fries or the final look at a garage door installation or the results of a five-hour balayage process.

Don’t forget the captions either. Looking at photos without captions is like watching a foreign film without subtitles. Important information is bound to get lost in translation. Photo captions also allow you to add in words that will help you get more visibility via Yelp search results. The text used to describe the images will allow customers to find results that closely align with what they’re looking for, like a “pulled pork sandwich” or “recess lighting.” Check out these tips for crafting the best captions.

Respond to reviews

It’s no secret that Yelp is best known for customer reviews—as of the end of last year, there were 244 million cumulative reviews on Yelp. But outside of people leaving reviews, customers are coming to Yelp to read those reviews and see how you respond to them. People seek out businesses that care about their customers and the experiences they have. Responding to reviews reflects your customer service practices and shows all prospective customers that you take your service seriously—whether the review was glowing or critical.

Studies show that replying to customer reviews results in better ratings. And it makes sense—when consumers see you’re engaged and responding to customers, it shows your investment in their experiences, past and future.

Download the app and turn on notifications

The Yelp for Business mobile app gives you access to your Yelp Business Page while you’re on the go. This allows you to update information at any time, quickly respond to messages or job requests while you’re away from your desk, monitor performance at a glance, and more

You can also set up mobile push notifications so that you are notified in real time of events, such as when:

  • Someone writes a review for your business
  • Someone sends a message or request for a quote (if enabled)
  • Someone posts a question about your business

Timing is key, especially when it comes to responding to messages or requests. 93% of people compare businesses on Yelp before making a decision, so replying quickly will make it more likely that you’re among the first to respond, increasing the chances that the customer hires you. The longer you wait, the more likely another business will secure the job before you.

Try Yelp Ads or the Upgrade Package

While there are plenty of free features to choose from on Yelp, if you’re considering using some of your marketing budget toward paid features, Yelp Ads and the Upgrade Package can help boost your visibility and give customers new and unique ways to connect with you. 

With Yelp Ads, your business appears in a number of prominent places on Yelp, including in sponsored sections on search results pages as well as on your competitors’ pages. This means customers are more likely to find you while searching for the services you offer—in fact, you’re three times more likely to seen by prospective customers when using Yelp Ads.** Naturally, the more exposure your business gets, the more customer connections you’ll have.

Once customers land on your page, that’s when you can really wow them. After filling out your business info as noted above, consider investing in the Upgrade Package to help your page stand out, attract, and convert customers. The package includes Yelp Connect, Call to Action, Logo, Portfolio, Business Highlights, Slideshow and the removal of competitor ads from your page. These features draw attention to your business and can help you convert virtual window shoppers into customers by showing off the best your business has to offer.

*Yelp Internal Data 2021, based on the number of connections made on Yelp between September 21, 2021 and October 21, 2021

**Yelp Internal Data, 2019. On average, advertisers that spent $200-$1200 per month on advertising appeared on search results pages (both organic and paid impressions) ~3x more frequently than when they didn’t advertise

The information above is provided for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and may not be suitable for your circumstances. Unless stated otherwise, references to third-party links, services, or products do not constitute endorsement by Yelp.

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