Beginner's Guide To Yelp For Business

yelp-iconWhat is Yelp? Yelp is a great resource for those browsing the web in search of local businesses and want to research the quality of their products or services based on customer reviews. This site allows for those who have used a company’s product or service to write personal reviews on their experience. Newcomers to Yelp are able to search businesses in the area and compare them to others based on the quality of their product or service. Here’s why Yelp is important for your business & how to use it.

Why It’s Important

Yelp is a great site for businesses to take advantage of 120 million monthly unique visitors. By claiming your businesses Yelp listing, you are able to respond to reviews or comments, edit business information, and use this to your advantage by mentioning your excellent Yelp rating on your website or to current and potential clients. Yelp is a social media platform that primarily utilizes reviews for the core focus. You can essentially encourage more reviews of your business using the following tactics:
  • Adding a Yelp link to your website
  • Adding a Yelp link to yours and your staff’s e-mail signature
  • Adding your Yelp review rating and link to office materials such as brochures, flyers, etc.
  • Post Yelp signage within your location; on tables and windows.
  • Promote on Yelp by offering special deals, etc.
  • Utilize keywords within your listing
  • Sending a follow-up e-mail blast to encourage reviews
Always remember to encourage reviews with the above and to not ask for them directly, via in-person or online. A genuine review can go far compared to constantly asking for positive reviews. Reputation of your business is key, and Yelp can help build a well-earned reputation via reviews. Below you can learn more about creating a Regular Yelp Profile and a Yelp Business Owner profile, if you do not already have one, and also about how to claim your business listing.

The Best Businesses for Yelp

Being a part of any social media network takes work and time. Yelp offers a robust set of fields you can fill out including company information, logo, photos and a short form interview of the business owner. Yelp is unique because it’s one of the most active platforms on the internet when it comes to reviews. As a result many consumers flock to Yelp to research companies before contacting them. Companies who benefit the most from having active Yelp accounts are:
  • Attorneys/Law Firms
  • CPA Firms
  • Landscaping & Lawn Care Companies
  • Contractors & Construction Companies
  • Restaurants
  • Roofing Companies
  • Painting Companies

How to Create a Yelp Profile and Claim or Create a Business Listing

Yelp has a general sign up page for their site where you can create an account, but they also have a site for business owners to create an account as well. With the general sign up directly from, you create a profile by inputting your name, email, and desired password. This profile is meant for users who are seeking business reviews and/or those ready to write a business review. Steps to creating a Basic Yelp Profile are below.

Steps to create a Basic Yelp profile:

  1. Go to the home page.
  2. Click the “Sign Up” link in the top right corner.
  3. Enter your first name, last name, email, desired password, zip code and birthday (optional).
  4. You are then asked to upload a photo and select your gender. (You have the option to skip).
  5. Your profile has been created. You are then able to invite friends, update profile information, write reviews and more.
Business owners create an account through the Yelp for Business Owners site,, where you are immediately asked to start the profile process by finding your business.  This site allows business owner’s to claim their business listing, edit information, add photos, and more. If your business is not listed for you to claim, you may simply click “Add Your Business to Yelp.” Steps to creating a Business Owner Profile are below.

Steps to create a Business Owners Yelp profile:

  1. Go to the home page.
  2. Click the “Sign Up” link in the top right corner.
  3. Search for your business by name and location.
  4. Select the “Claim” button to claim your business listing or “Add Your Business to Yelp” link at the bottom of the page.
  5. When you select the claim button for your already existent business listing, you are then prompted to create a business owner account where you will enter your first name, last name, email address and desired password. After clicking continue, Yelp will have you call to verify your business by entering a pin number.
When you select “Add Your Business to Yelp,” you will be able to fill out all information for your business and add it to Yelp.

Dealing with Negative Reviews/Comments

Yelp’s main focus is on reviews, so it’s important for you to respond to reviews; both good and bad. However, when responding to a negative review think about the tone of your message first but always thank them for their patronage and feedback. By responding to negative comments, you also create a more genuine relationship for the future; you can change their overall perspective for the better by doing this. Always provide a simple solution to help ease their unpleasant experience and make the necessary changes so that this experience will not happen again in the future. When responding to negative reviews try to address the other potential customers reading the reviews. Make sure you apologize for their bad experience, offer something if possible, then apologize and add a note about making sure the issue won’t happen again. Example of handling a negative review well: Review:
I have never written a negative review in my life but the service department at Earnhardt Honda has earned this one with utter incompetence and dishonesty. I brought my 05 Element in for diagnosis of a blank odometer screen. After two hours in the waiting room Chris Szewc informed me that my instrument cluster was bad and that it would cost over $700 to replace. I decided to wait so I paid the $118 diagnostic fee and left. When I got home I googled “element odometer blank” and was able to learn that my problem was due to a bulb on the cluster. I took it to another mechanic and asked him to replace the bulb which he did solving the problem. I do not like to threaten anyones livelihood so I contacted Chris directly explaining his error and asking for a refund. He clearly did not want to deal with it ad referred me to his manager John O’connor. John was very short in response on 9/17 saying that the tech who diagnosed my vehicle would return on Monday 9/22 at which point he would interview him and get back to me. That Monday came and went. It is now 10/3 and I have heard nothing. In a nutshell, Chris Szewc, a commissioned Earnhardt Honda sales person disguised as a service manager tried unsuccessfully to steal $700 from me. I called him on it and asked for my diagnostic fee back. He brushed me off to his manager John O’connor who swept it under his rug. Beware! These people will take advantage of you if given the chance!
Jay – thank you for bringing this situation to our attention. First and foremost, I would like to apologize for any inconvenience we may have caused ou, as well as any miscommunication from our Service Department that has led to your distrust in our dealership. Our service technicians are highly-trained and qualified. I am discouraged to hear of your negative experience. Above all else, providing excellent customer service is our main goal and it is unfortunate you were not treated with the respect you deserve. Given the opportunity, I would like to learn more details about your case and to be able to make things right. Please contact me at your convenience.
Example of handling a negative review poorly: Review:
We were serve a completely raw burger that was charred black on the outside and tasted distinctly of propane. When we politely mentioned it to the server, we were rudely “corrected” by a manager who indicated that the burnt flavor was actually the smoked onions, which was noted on the menu. I’m pretty sure propane and smoked onions are very different flavors. Don’t be drawn in by the cute decor – the wine list is overpriced and there is a reason why the food is cheap. Because it is utterly foul, and the service is just as bad.
It has been said, “An educated consumer is our best customer”, clearly you do not fall into this category. You are an idiot. I remember your table, after you and your girlfriend shared a burger and ate the whole thing except for the last bite…you then chose to complain about the burger, after our server checked in with you several times during your meal. I even took the burger off of your check…you’re welcome. First, we do no use propane gas, you’re not from NYC, so let me inform you that no one in NYC uses propane gas in their kitchens, unless you’re eating off of a food truck. Second, as far as the quality of our product, we use the same meat, fish and vegetable purveyors as Keith McNally, Daniel Boulud, Freeman’s, Burger and Barrel, etc etc etc. Third, based on standard industry mark ups compared to our mark up, our wine list is the best value list in NYC, by at least 30%. Fourth, There is an Applebee’s in Times Square. I think you would feel more comfortable there with their sugary drinks, White Zinfandel, a bottle list that caps out at $35 and they won’t cook their red meat under medium (like all major chains outside of NYC, the warning is written on the menu for you.) Welcome to NY, now please go back to where you came from. I am very thankful that you will not be returning to my establishment.


Yelp is a great tool to get in front of your target audience. Many businesses have recently taken advantage of it. It’s easy to navigate and set up while giving you the opportunity to expand your company’s presence on the web. By using Yelp for your business, you are able to manage your online reputation by interacting with your client’s based on their overall view of your business. By: Brianna Lawson Digital Marketing Specialist]]>