Online marketing can be tiring! That’s where UpCity comes in. As a trusted advocate for small businesses, we’re here to navigate you through the piles of confusing and suspicious offers. UpCity will lead you in the right direction by providing easy insights and simple solutions for your business marketing plan. Members receives an in-depth, personalized action plan to help optimize their site, and our team is here to help you along the way.  Each week, we’re featuring an in-depth look at one of the recommended tasks built into the UpCity software.


We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again… and again. Creating a listing in Yelp is a powerful backlinks strategy for your local business. This well-liked businesses and services directory is unique because it highly encourages business owners and users to connect about listed locations and share information about their personal experiences. In addition, the local information vehicle  is turning to new territory with more transaction opportunities. As a top local authority, your search engine placement will be positively impacted if you maintain a relevant role on Yelp.

Claiming a Yelp presence should be one of the first agenda items in an SMB’s local search strategy. Yelp is a leading directory in the SEO world for a variety of reasons. Let’s take a brief look:

  • Visibility: Check out these crazy statistics: The directory saw more than 102 million monthly unique visitors looking for local businesses last quarter. Yelp’s share of local users is unmatched.
  • Engagement: Without a doubt, Yelp users are frequent, passionate, and social. 39 million local reviews have been written to date. Add a Yelp button to your own site to increase your review count as well!
  • User Experience: Yelp is simple to connect and navigate for users, and the website always features fresh, new content for buyers and tools for business owners. For example, we’re loving the new WordMap tool.

  • Targeted Customers: Yelp brings a huge number of FREE, local targeted customers to your business actively looking to purchase. No matter what your location, Yelp drives and influences the customers nearby who are ready to spend.
  • Reporting: Using a Yelp Business account, you can gain free insight into who’s checking out the page. Users can track how well the page is doing by paying attention to the activity, leads, user views, and more.
  • Mobile: Yelp knows that more users are on the go with their iPad and mobile phone. These users are looking for convenient tools to help them find and purchase products nearby. The platform is continuing to develop its mobile experiences and services.

New Local Transactions Rollout

Last week, Yelp announced the exciting launch of its Yelp Platform. This service permits users to book and process transactions directly through the Yelp platform. Beginning with its new food delivery service and then rolling out other categories, Yelp will rival delivery agencies like GrubHub and Seamless. If your business is interested in partaking, stay tuned for more details as Yelp begins rolling out more categories.

It’s interesting that Yelp has taken a larger step into commerce and is no longer just an information system. With Yelp’s reach and numbers, there’s a high likelihood that it will become a quick leader in the space. In addition, this transition demonstrates the popularity of on-the-spot convenience and transactions for local services. We’re excited to learn how Yelp handles this streamlined user experience for other markets, so be sure to check the blog for updates.

With all that Yelp offers for local SMBs, why not take a few minutes to post a free listing and drive more customers to your business? First, we will walk you through the steps on how to submit and claim your site to Yelp. Next, we will describe how to create better branding and optimize the listing after it is displayed publicly on the interface.

Add and Claim Your Yelp Listing

Part I: Submit Your Business

1. Click here to begin submitting your website to Yelp.

2. Hit the “Claim my business” button.

3. To find out if your site is already listed on Yelp, enter your Business Name and Address. This quick step will avoid any duplication issues. You will need to create a new listing if a listing is not found.

4. If you cannot find your business, click the message, “Add your business to Yelp.”

5. If your business match is found, click the “Unlock” or “Already unlocked” icon. The act of unlocking can be completed if you provide some quick user information and agree to their terms of service.

6. Fill in all the information about your business. These essential data points include the business name, address, phone, web address, categories, email address, and hours. Note: It’s essential to make sure your business information is consistent and correct across all your directory listings.

7. Click the “Add” icon after checking your work to make sure the information is correct.

8. A message appears on the next screen and instructs you to check your email box in order continue the submission process.

9. Click the confirmation link in the automatic email that is sent. You will see a Thank You message that notifies the review is currently processing.

10. Click the “View my business on Yelp” button” to check out the current appearance of your business listing. You can see the map listing and other enhanced local features right away.

The customer support team will take about one to three days for the review process. Once the listing is approved, you will receive an email notification. Click the link in the approval email to access your Yelp Business account and free tools.

Part II: Claim Your Business

1. Click the “Claim My Business” button to begin the quick three-step process.

2. Fill in the necessary information to create a business owner account, or log into your existing account. Click the “Continue” icon.

3. To confirm your email address, check your email for the verification link.

4. Click the verification link in the email. All Done! Access your Yelp Business Owners account to complete filling in more details on your business page. Then, begin exploring additional tools accessible to your business, such as audience reporting, Reviews, and Yelp Ads. See below for more tips on these items.

Don’t Stop There! Let’s Talk Content and Engagement

After you verify the business listing and it goes live, it’s important to not stop there. Millions of businesses are listed in Yelp, so to gain more traffic and views, optimize your business profile to its fullest potential.

Optimization of Content:

  • Did you know that searchers spend  two and a half times more of their time on a page containing photos? To gain an attractive listing and get found, make sure to upload business images and insert enough content to the business profile.
  • Add entertaining and important information that people want to know about. Attractive features such as quality photos, slide shows, and deals will be beneficial. These features will help to increase conversions and new traffic to your website, as well as enhance purchases and foot traffic.
  • We encourage you to include a few keywords in the listing’s content, which will enhance your rankings on Yelp and Google. Additional personalized content and marketing can be added to the History, Specialties, or Meet the Owner/Manager sections.
  • Check out the Content Guidelines which discusses what items are encouraged and rejected.

React and Respond

  • As you know, customers often view businesses negatively when they ignore reviews. Therefore, stay on top of what people are writing on a continuous basis.
  • Although you don’t need to check the page every ten minutes, be sure to listen to all your reviewers. Get engaged and communicate with users often. Monitor reviews (neutral, positive, negative, short, long, you name it), as well as reach out and respond when necessary.
  • If someone is unhappy with an experience, it’s important to stay calm and positive. Using Yelp’s response platform, you you can publicly respond to the reviewer directly via Yelp and/or respond privately.
  • As an important reminder: You are welcome to reply, and respond to conversations, but do not actively ask for reviews.

Gain More Reviews

  • If you want to encourage additional reviews, post a Yelp link in other places. Yelp icons or links can be added to your  blog, receipts, email signatures, social media accounts, or website. If you want to go a step further, ask for reviewers in person from customers.
  • Offer a call to action button, check-in offer, gift certificate, promotion, or Yelp Deal that can be applied to products or services. Yelp offers various free services and local advertising services for businesses, so check out all their offerings in your profile.
  • Take a look at your neighbor competitors to see how they are faring on Yelp. It may give your business some marketing ideas and encourage you to be more active.
  • Follow the official Yelp Blog and the Yelp Blog for Business Owners to stay informed on the latest news and offerings.

UpCity members, follow the pathway to complete this task in your UpCity account: Optimize Your Presence > Expand Your Presence > Local 102: Top Local Directories.

Are you getting reviews in Yelp? What Yelp business tools are you using to find success? Let us know below.