Optimize Your Yelp Listing to Get More Customers

The world of the internet has become diverse and huge, making the criteria for search engines and directories strict. This is done so in order to improve the relevant search results for the users. Relevancy has become a key factor that has helped in an improved reliance of people over the internet. 

However, if your business does not match this criterion, you might not be able to gain much from the internet. Fortunately, we have some of the best tips for optimizing the Yelp listing and ranking higher for the users. 

What is SEO?

Before we move on, let’s take a quick glance at SEO because it is highly related to anything that is seen by the users online. The term SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization. It means to modify your content in a way that it results better among the search engines. There are a lot of factors that influence the rating or SEO. 

Mainly, it includes keywords. Keywords are searched by the users that are looking for information online. A keyword could be a single word or a set of phrases. For example, “best pizza in New York” is a keyword by tourists or residents of New York. When they type in this keyword, they will be shown some options. To rank for a particular keyword, you need to put added focus on it. 

This is about basic SEO. Other factors include content relevancy, updates, traffic on the website, bounce rate, and other such factors. How is it related to Yelp? You need to optimize your Yelp SEO to rank better and get more customers.

SEO is one of the most important things for online business directories.

How to Optimize Your Listing on Yelp?

Filling Out Business Information

It may seem obvious but there are certain tips that could help you out in filling your business information properly. One of the most important things is that you don’t leave anything unchecked or blank. For example, instead of one cell number, always go for two. Why? Customers could come to your page and dial out your number which could not be reachable. That’s it, the customer’s gone. To avoid this, always have the alternative number. 

Fill out everything in the proper manner. Don’t overstuff anything or eliminate it. For example, don’t overstuff your cell number in the main title, description, and contact details rather give it only at the right spot. Many think that overstuffing your contact details increase the chances of customers but that is a misconception. As mentioned above, the Search Engines are looking for maximum relevancy and if you haven’t made your business information relevant, it will impact the listing negatively.

Yelp gives preferred rankings to those businesses which have complete information. Also, make sure that whatever you have written is grammatically accurate and there are no typos. Customers also get a better impression of the business if the information is complete. It also reduces the number of questions a business owner has to answer because most of them are answered in the business description. 

Your complete business information includes having the pictures as well. Add the maximum relevant pictures. For example, a restaurant should add pictures of the menu as well as the exact dishes. A hotel should add pictures of the hotel rooms, facilities, lobby, and other areas of the hotel. Similar strategies should be followed by other businesses too if they aim to attain maximum success. 

Pay Attention to Keywords

As we said, Keywords are the most important aspect for any website and SEO. If you want your listing to be more visible, there has to be some adjustment towards the keywords accordingly in the content and description of the Yelp Page Listing. For example, if you own a fast-food restaurant in New York, you can generically use the keyword “best fast food in New York” when writing out the business description. 

If you are all ready with the keywords and business description, you can optimize your listing further by requesting the customers to review the product on Yelp with specific keywords. For example, ask your customer to use the following sentence in his review “I had the best pizza in New York” which will automatically improve your listing and optimize it towards people who are searching for the “best pizza in New York”. However, openly encouraging customers online to review you on Yelp is explicitly discouraged by Yelp so make sure you generically ask your physical customers. 

Although one can figure out many keywords themselves like we did above if you want more accurate keyword optimization, we recommend using Google Keyword Planner or SEMRush which is one of the best SEO planners for your business. These will provide you relevant keywords.

You can learn more about Keywords and SEO over here – SEO Techniques – How To Gain Online Attention.

Be Responsive

Yelp as well as many other web directories rank those profiles better which are more responsive. This means that they are highly active on the platform and actually working to maximize the customer experience. For example, a business that gives replies to every review will be having a better ranking compared to a business that barely does so. 

Moreover, this will leave a good image on your potential customers as well. Replying to every review be it good or bad gives your customers a sense of trust and belonging that is a key factor in repeat purchases as well. You will definitely get more customers by being active on the platform and replying out to reviews. Yelp will also give the business a relatively higher status. 

Yelp is a social networking site. You need to be responsive to it.

Talk Out to a Negative Reviewer

If you are not getting the desired results on Yelp, there could be negative reviews that would be affecting the business. Many businesses are frustrated with the review filter by Yelp because it often filters out the positive ones as well. However, there is a certain control to the business on Yelp regarding reviews. By following a certain procedure, you might be able to benefit. 

Keep in mind that for positive reviews, you should send a friend request to the customer while for all the negative reviews, the simplest thing to do is flag them. Although it may not create a major difference, there are certain directions provided by Yelp to talking out with a negative reviewer. If a particular customer is dissatisfied, all you have to do is compensate and they might take their review down. A little compensation could bring positive results in the long run. 

However, it is recommended that you resolve the customer’s issue first and then point out taking down the negative review. In case a business does it right away, they can lose the opportunity to get it taken down. This is because the customer might feel that all the business cares about is the rating or review and does not care about the problem that was faced by the customer. 

Read more about Cybersecurity of your business – Cybersecurity Matters Even If You Are a Small Business

Category Selection

One of the major mistakes that many business owners make when they create a profile on Yelp is that they do not select the categories in the right manner. However, the concept of relevance is degraded and negatively affects your rankings.  Yelp allows the business owners to select three categories maximum. Many mistake this opportunity and purposefully put themselves in three categories with the hope that they will be ranked in those categories as well. 

However, if the categories are not relevant, you will see yourself way below the list and that could hide the business from the potential customers.  Select only the relevant category. In most cases, it is going to be only one. Don’t mention a category that does not apply to you “CURRENTLY”. By mentioning a category thinking that it could get relevant sometime in the future, the yelp listing will go down. 

If you are confused about category selection, take a look at the competitors and see what categories have they mentioned. Take an idea from them and then decide. 

Go for Special Offers

Want to get more customers?  Give away special offers to the customers via Yelp. For example, you can have a particular discount code on the Yelp page only and redirect people from other networks such as Facebook to view this discount code. As a result, this will increase the traffic on your Yelp business page and push the ranking better than your competitors. 

High traffic and stats values are important factors towards the Search Engine Optimization of your website. Moreover, special offers like these are going to bring more customers to you as they will be getting a discount. Pro-tip – Use these special offers on the events like Christmas, the 4th of July, Thanksgiving, and other important days. 

Yelp uses a series of algorithms to rank your business, just like any other search engine.


Managing a business on Yelp is not a tough job and anyone can do it with just a little bit of effort. To maximize the business ratings, the above-mentioned points should be followed and you will see the results in only a few weeks or possibly a few days. Just remember that relevancy is the key to optimizing your yelp listing to get more customers. Wherever you get irrelevant, there will be a fallout in the listing’s position.