Now that Apple has committed to an integration between iOS6 and Yelp, it’s important to take another look at your Yelp business strategy.
Whatever you may think about the controversial new Apple Maps app, the fact is, the iPhone is still the world’s most popular smartphone, used literally hundreds of millions of times every day for local directions and information.
iOS6 Yelp Integration
With the latest iOS6 release, Apple is taking a stand for Yelp, an established and tried and true local review site and distancing themselves from Google and it’s competing review site, Google+ Local. (see my recent post on Google+ Local)
As to the bugs in the new Maps app, I have personally had a near perfect experience so far and I consider this to be a version 1.0 of what will be a robust and solid map app in future versions. Apple may well have pulled a “Microsoft” and released an app before it was fully ready, but this I think was a necessary move. Simply put, Apple needed voice activated navigation to stay competitive with Android (it works great!) and they could not do that under the Google Maps agreement.
Yelp Integration is important as Apple is ranking local search results in Siri and via the Maps app using the existing reviews on Yelp. With the number of local searches on Mobile devices (smartphones and pads) estimated to be 60% of ALL local searches, it is time to make sure you are showing well on both Android friendly Google+ Local and the Apple friendly Yelp. Notice the Star rating on the listings above (directly from Yelp)? And how Siri says “I’ve sorted them by rating”? Now can you see how important Yelp is?
Wanna Show Up On Yelp?
Then do the following ASAP:
Step 1: Claim Your Business Listing or submit your business if not already on there.
Step 2: Encourage your clients (especially the most happy ones!) to visit your Yelp page and leave a review. Make it easy by putting a link to Yelp on your website, showing a short URL or QR code on a card you physically hand out and just asking folks outright. Most will be happy to help you out.
Step 3: Actively engage in responding to both positive and negative reviews, diplomatically.
Step 4: Create a Yelp “Deal” – this is a free and easy way to drive Yelp users to your business
Step 5: Keep your products, services and customer service GREAT so you will naturally get more positive reviews!
But What If I Get Negative Reviews?
If you are worried about getting negative reviews, consider this:
- the majority of Yelp reviews are positive (see pie chart from Yelp FAQ)
- Even the best companies get a negative review once in while. Answer them politely and it will not hurt your business.
- Yelp has a review filter system that tends to filter out “bogus” or low quality reviews (more reliable than other review services for this reason)
A Suite of FREE Tools (From Yelp directly)
Over 78 million people visited Yelp in Q2 2012 to make spending decisions. To help businesses get the most out of their online presence, Yelp Business Accounts offer a suite of FREE tools for businesses.
- Communicate with your customers– privately and publicly
- Track how many people view your business page
- Add photos, a detailed business description, up-to-date information, history, and specialties.
Start now by claiming your business listing here – sign up for a Yelp account if you do not already have one:
Should I consider other local listing services?
In my view, if you do Yelp and Google+ Local well, the others will not matter as much. However, there is virtue in having a bunch of review sites all linking to your main site. At Kaizen Marketing, we use a Universal Business Listing service that keeps them all current with just one listing, for a low annual fee. Ask about this.
If you would like expert help with any part of this process, contact me for a free online marketing evaluation.
Founder, Kaizen Internet Marketing