Whether you like it or not, consumers are going to read about your business on various review sites like Google, Facebook, 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 reviews and responding to them appropriately. You also have control over the company information that appears on your business pages. Often, this is the first and potentially the only information customers see, so optimizing your business pages to attract as many new customers as possible is crucial.
The key to optimizing your business page is to take control of the two aspects: your business photos and information. 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 log in to the control panel page on those sites, update your business information, and optimize your online business profiles with the following strategies.
Don't forget that you can also utilize your online presence to help garner in more customers and maximize your potential for profits. Learn more by downloading our free playbook guide.
1. 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 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.
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 worth paying the fee.
Post high-quality images that are well lit and in focus—if your photos look amateurish, potential customers will assume your business is amateurish.
2. 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 your business. For example, Google and TripAdvisor ask what services or amenities your business offers, whereas Yelp asks about things like Wi-Fi availability and whether your business accepts credit cards and Apple Pay.
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.
3. Tell your story.
Each review site has different ways you can tell your story. Yelp lets you showcase your “Specialties” and “History,” Google and TripAdvisor have basic “Business Description” fields, and Facebook lets you include a written description and video story.
Like with everything else we’ve already discussed, you want to take advantage of these opportunities. The key here is to tell a compelling and short story. No one wants to read page after page about your business history from the Yelp app on their phone.
- As you do 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 online profiles don’t have to look perfect, but they should definitely show your business personality, so don’t be afraid of creativity.