What is Yelp?
Yelp is considered one of the leading free business directories online. It provides a range of free tools to help firms establish themselves on the internet. According to the company, Yelp had a monthly average of 23 million unique visitors who visited Yelp via the Yelp app and 69 million unique visitors who visited Yelp via mobile web in Q2 2016. Yelpers have written more than 102 million reviews by the end of Q2 2016. This provides serious marketing potential!
You can set up a Yelp business page which allows you to add contact information, photos and a link to your website. Once you have an account set up, it also allows you to connect with customers, in particular customers who have reviewed your business on the site.
With so many business directories available online, why should your law firm choose Yelp? Well, as well as the impressive number of monthly users, there are a few stand-out benefits that come with signing up with this popular company.
• Around 35% of consumers who have searched for a business on Yelp, go on to visit the company within 24 hours
• Those who review firms on Yelp go on to purchase something within a week
• Yelp listings show up higher on search engine listings
• Even just a one-star improvement on a review on Yelp provides a 5%-9% increase in revenue
Yelp users also search for a wide variety of firms. So regardless of which industry you work in, you have an excellent chance of reaching your target market.
Great for online reviews
You probably know just how important online reviews are for your business. Yelp is one of the most popular places customers leave a review. In fact, a staggering 93% of consumers say that they have gone on to make a local purchase after visiting Yelp. So, if you’re looking to target customer reviews, Yelp is definitely the site you want to be on.
However, there’s one crucial thing you need to know about Yelp reviews. Unlike Google and other review sites, Yelp is pretty strict on not encouraging people to leave a review. Instead, it wants customers to only leave a review of their own accord.
Promoting Your Law Firm on Yelp
One of the most important defining features of our modern world is that everyone has an opinion on everything and they’re able to propagate this opinion to the rest of the world. There are places on the internet which are especially dedicated to giving opinions about products and businesses.
Yelp is one of those places which cater to the people who have an opinion on every business. Yelp has a huge following which gives it the ability to be used as a tool in the hands of a right person, it is almost as much of a place to promote your product and businesses as social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are. Every business which aims to grow must have a presence of social media in this age where everyone checks the internet before making any decision.
Like all businesses, law firms are also a business and they need exposure for both their sustainability and growth. We can help you in building a strategy for the promotion of your law firm on Yelp.
Like all social media websites, all the content of Yelp is created by its users. When you first log in to the website and search for your business, you’ll be faced with one of those possibilities. The first one is that your law firm doesn’t have its page in which case you can simply create a new one whereas the other possibility is that your page has already been created by someone so in this case you’ll be required to claim this business as yours which will give you a control over the page.
Once you’ve made or got hold of the page of your business, there are a couple of steps you need to follow to promote your law firm on Yelp.
Build Your Business Profile
The first thing any business needs to do on Yelp is to give a short introduction of the business to the Yelp community.
Reviews are just one aspect of the information present on Yelp, a large number of people visit Yelp to find the contact and location information of the business. All the basic information about your law firm should be shared on the page of your business which includes the location and contact information and the link to your website.
The reason why the sharing of this information is important is because it makes your law firm more credible. The businesses which have real physical locations and phone numbers have found to be more trustworthy than those which don’t share real physical addresses.
People are attracted to eye-catching designs, the major part of which is high-quality pictures. Pictures make the page of your business look attractive which lead to a larger time spent on your page which increases the probability of the conversion of the visitor to a client. Pictures also make your business more approachable and people can feel connected to it which builds trust.
The number of pictures doesn’t have to be much, however, it should cover the important things like photos of the staff, the outside view of the building which can help people in locating it if they ever want to come to you and a few photos of the interior will also leave a good impression.
Google’s algorithm gives preference to websites which have backlinks coming to it from quality websites. A top spot in Google’s search results can do wonders for the visibility of your business and Yelp certainly helps in improving the position of your business in the results of Google.
There are many people who look for local businesses instead of moving far so the mentioning of your address and website will make your firm a more convenient option for them.
Go for Keywords
Search engines work with mathematical precision and they follow a set of instructions to order pages in the right order. Everything you write on your Yelp page must be search friendly for it to be shown at the top of the search results. Using keywords for the kind of services your law firm offers will help in making your content stand out from the crowd. Terms like ‘contract review’ and ‘bankruptcy lawyer’ are what the people search for so fill your content with as much of the keywords as possible.
The entire platform of Yelp is built around customer reviews so a business which has an average near to five stars is bound to attract more new clients. Getting referrals on Yelp is great and there is no harm in asking your clients to leave their feedback on Yelp if they’ve been provided with a quality experience. Most clients are usually happy to give feedback if they’re happy with the service.
The importance of good reviews on Yelp cannot be overstated. A good review can get your law firm, good clients.
Replying to Negative Feedback
People have different expectations from the businesses they deal with and this is true in the case of legal firms when the client may not get a court verdict in his favor. People who think that they’ve been treated in an unfair way are usually the people who’re the most vocal on websites like Yelp.
There is nothing to be scared about negative reviews, in fact, it is an opportunity to bring the customer back by responding in a positive way. This will also leave a good impression on the potential clients who read your response to the feedback.
It is important to tread carefully and respond with patience instead of challenging the reviewer which has the potential to enrage him further. If you have to go out of your way to deliver value to your clients then it is usually worth the effort in the long run.
The feedback on Yelp is not just for the potential clients, it is also an opportunity to judge yourself and understand the way your clients see you. Feedback from clients on these websites can teach things which you may not have been able to find on your own which can include the way your staff treats your clients etc.
The world of Yelp is yours for the taking, all you have to do now is to pluck this fruit.
Edward Kundahl, Ph.D., M.B.A.
Ed can be reached at (or visit his websites)