Whether you like it or not, consumers are going to read about your business on review sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor. That part is out of your hands. You’re not completely powerless, though. There are effective strategies for improving your reviews and ratings, such as monitoring your reviews and then responding to them appropriately. You also have control over the company information that appears on your business pages. In fact, oftentimes this is the first and only information potential customers see, so it’s vital to optimize your business pages to attract as many new customers as possible.
The key to optimizing your business page is to take control of the two aspects you have control of: your business photos and information. In order to do this, you first need to claim your business page on the sites where your business is most popular. Once you’ve done that, you can then log in to the control panel page on those sites and update your business information, which will vary from site to site.
Upload Photos that Make Your Business Look Good
The first thing consumers are going to see when they find your page on a review site is the featured photos. This is a crucial opportunity to show potential visitors what your business is all about. Your goal should be to feature photos that show consumers what makes your business unique and fantastic.
The best way to do this is to use images that convey your business’s personality, preferably through a combination of lifestyle shots that show off your location, your products or services, and your customers and staff. They need to look good, too. If need be, hire a professional photographer to get high-quality photos.
Pro-tip: Post high-quality images that are well lit and in focus—if your photos look amateurish, prospective customers will assume your business is amateurish.
Some sites, like Facebook, will allow you to upload a variety of featured photos such as a profile picture and cover image, or even a carousel of featured images. Other sites, like Yelp, might only let you upload your photos into the general queue of customer-generated photos, and charge you a fee if you want to make your photos the feature images. In those situations, you’ll have to weigh the cost versus the benefits to decide whether it’s worthy paying the fee.
Get the Details Right
Nearly all review sites let you edit your basic business information, including:
- Phone number
- Business hours
Make sure those details are correct and up to date. Beyond that, the various review sites will let you include additional details that give potential customers more information about what your business offers. TripAdvisor, for example, asks what sort of services or amenities your business offers whereas Yelp asks about things like WiFi availability and whether your business accepts credit cards and ApplePay.
Make sure to fill this information out completely and accurately. If your business does not provide a certain feature—if you don’t sell alcohol, for example—make sure to specify “No” rather than leaving that item blank. This will minimize the chances of a customer walking into your business with unrealistic expectations and subsequently writing a negative review.
Tell Your Story
Each review site has different ways you can tell your story. Yelp lets you showcase your “Specialties” and “History,” while Google and TripAdvisor have basic “Business Description” fields. Facebook lets you include a written description and even add a video story if you want.
Like with everything else we’ve already discussed, you want to take advantage of these opportunities. The key here is to tell a compelling story and to do so succinctly. No one wants to read page after page about your business history from the Yelp app on their phone.
- Like with photographs, focus on telling customers what’s unique about your business and what value you can offer them
- Make sure your description is well written and free of spelling and grammar errors
- If need be hire a freelance writer or editor to make your story pop
Your story doesn’t need to be perfect, but it should have personality, so don’t be afraid of creativity!
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