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Yelp SEO

Jan 10th 2019 at 8:44 AM

 

If you've come here you probably frustrated with your ranking of Yelp and trying to figure out what you should be doing to rank higher for Yelp. You're in the same boat with thousands of other business owners that just don’t understand why your business is doing so poorly on Yelp when everywhere else is on point.

Why is it you have 3 5-star reviews, 10 pictures, full descriptions, perfect keywords and still the top 3 business have 1 picture no reviews and horrible spelling and grammar? Yep, weird huh?

Tip 1

Of course the first thing you need to do is make sure you have claimed your listing. This gives you the ability to edit your Yelp page and hopefully improve your ranking.

Tip 2

Make sure you complete the listing with plenty of pictures and descriptions with a few keywords that are relevant to you. This is just the basics. This may not matter much though.

Tip 3

Make your listing look good. This matters to get customers calling you and visiting your website. Doing the bare minimum just doesn’t fly these days.

Okay, down to the nitty-gritty. Yelp has to have some sort of ranking algorithm just like Google and everyone else. We may think they are just throwing darts at a wall arbitrarily picking the ranking but there has to be some type of system. Even if that system involves adding in a factor that increases their chances of you buying advertising from them, it doesn’t matter. Many people have tried to get answers from Yelp with no luck at all. They just want you to buy ad space and get you to pay to be at the top.

Let's dive into Yelps business model first. Yelp prides itself in being the place you go to find reviews for a local business. They are winning that one. If I wanted to find a few local restaurants that are good I would probably use Yelp and not Google. Any other business and personally I probably would rather just go to Google. Anyway, Yelp makes money on advertising just like most internet companies. After you claim your business you will be getting a sales call from them. I have heard mixed reviews from local business owner on yelp advertising services. Sometimes they work and others not at all.

Small businesses almost always have limited marketing budgets and are not willing to fork out the cash for Yelp's expensive advertising. Yelp actually told me my cost per click would be $24 per click. That is ridiculous even for a web design company. I'm a cheap ass though so you can bet they arrived at that price from the demand they were seeing from other web design companies (eyes rolling). This is actually the same price that a lead company asks for per lead.

Getting Good Reviews

It's pretty well known reviews are a huge factor for ranking in Yelp. More reviews with your main keywords help your overall ranking for Yelp. They are also very strict about businesses asking customers for reviews. They recommend letting them come naturally.

Yelp has an algorithm that is very picky with reviews. If you have a customer give you a 5 star review and that's their first review as a "Yelper" it probably won’t stay up. Yelp values their users that have established credibility with them. They even have elite reviewers that go though even less scrutiny when posting reviews.

Off Page SEO

After speaking with Yelp recently I probed pretty hard to see what it takes to to rank higher in their results. The guy I was speaking with basically told me nothing. However, from reading between the lines during our conversation I came to the conclusion it had to be off page seo. Citations directed at yelp. Maybe we can even link to your Yelp page trying to drive traffic for it higher. I directly asked him about this and he said it wouldn’t be a bad idea.

The most important ranking factor of all $$$$.

How much cash you give them. Go ahead try them out see if it works, try to track it as best as you can and maybe it will bring you some customers. If it fails, move on don’t worry about it. Look at other options that may be a better fit for your business.

During the research for this article I have come to the conclusion that Yelps business practices are shady at best. There are numerous lawsuits they are involved in with regards to manipulating reviews and rankings. They have advertising rates that are 100x Google and Facebook’s. They also give you less control and tracking options during your ad campaigns. Can they be useful? Yes, maybe if you have the right type business. Good luck and remember, as a small business, don’t waste your time trying to fight a giant like Yelp. It's not worth your time. Focus on your Google rankings and being great at what you do. I have never talked to a business owner that said I wouldn’t be here if it weren't for Yelp. I have however talked to 100's of people that say if it weren't for Google they would be a one man operation. Go where you can get the most bang for your buck. If you have more questions on how to improve your SEO feel free to contact us at Barber Web Design.

 

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