In the past decade, social media marketing has taken the internet world by storm and many online businesses have flourished because of it. For local businesses, there is one website that plays ‘giant’ and rules them all which is also known as ‘king of the hill’ in the industry. This online giant is – YELP. It is one of the top review sites on the internet which commands 25 million visitors monthly and its growing day by day. Business owners who have listings on this site can clearly enjoy the boost in their sales receipts.

So what is Yelp?

Yelp is one of the several online directories that your potential customers can access which help them to choose where to buy from. With the mushrooming of smartphones in the market, a large number of population is now using services like Yelp to find places to shop, eat, drink, and be entertained. In simple terms, customers who want to know the personal experience of other customers about your business, the services you offer, or product reviews, can go to Yelp’s website.

What makes websites like Yelp so powerful?

Since Yelp is growing rapidly in popularity, it gives every user the chance to feel like a critic. From a small diner to a car mechanic, there will be a Yelp review for it. This huge online review database can offer suggestions on businesses/places that you’ve never been before. So, different categories of businesses can be reviewed as well. For example, you visited a restaurant and you didn’t like the food, but the ambiance was on point, you can rank the details compared to the food. Yelp also give customers a chance to send messages to the business owner/company, so that they can share the experience and ensure that the business will see the critique.

Here are the most useful tips for getting the top rankings on Yelp:

• When you’re listing your business, make sure that you fill in all the data on the admin pages. In future, this will really affect your success – if your information is not complete then there are pretty good chances that the potential customer will just move on to your competitor who has filled in all the details diligently.

• Whether you’re introducing a new product, service or some policy, you need to ensure that you keep all your information up to date.

• The most incredible part of Yelp is the advantage to advertise and communicate discounts and offers to potential customers. When you use this feature your announcement will appear in their Announcements and Offers directory, thus providing you with an advantage of beating your competitor. For example, if you’re running a restaurant and there is no footfall, you could simply send out an announcement of perhaps free drinks or starters to all customers that come from Yelp and grab the attention of potential customers who are passing through your area.

• Of course, review sites can be powerful, so there are chances that they can draw negative comments. Recently, Yelp added a facility of responding back to customers’ comments. If you can utilize this facility smartly, you can turn even dissatisfied customers into the happy ones by communicating with them and addressing their queries and complaints in a positive manner.

• Another handy little benefit you can get whilst using Yelp is ‘badges’ that you can add to your blog pages or website. Make sure that you embed them into your website to give a good impression on your potential customers as well as existing satisfied customers so that they will be more likely to trust your business.

If you work on these tips, then these online directories like Yelp will not only benefit your business but also increase new customers and perhaps, most excitingly of all is to have a massive opportunity of being way ahead of your competition. With millions of users, it has become the topmost helpful guide to help your everyday customer get the best deal for their money.

So, it’s better to start now and take control of your business and take it in the right direction. Regardless of how long you’ve been in your business, it’s never too late to work on improving your image and quality of your products & services, forging customer relations, and asking your customers to give an honest review on Yelp.