Yelp remains to be a hot topic in the beauty industry – do you love it or hate it? You may wonder, is it worth the time and effort to set up your Yelp business listing? And can you get more clients by using Yelp?
Yelp gives you the opportunity to get more exposure to a local clientele – for free!
Such visibility is particularly important for a local service business such as esthetician or spa. It helps you appear high on local searches and let potential clients read reviews about your business.
Why is that important?
Did you know that local searches lead 50% of mobile users to visit a business, while 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations?
Yelp has the “SEO juice” so your listing is more likely to show up in the top search results, while their review feature gives you the social proof you need to attract new clients.
Not to mention, a one-star increase in Yelp rating can translate into a 5-9 percent increase in revenue.
In fact, many of my students find Yelp to be the #1 way to gain new clients.
How To Optimize Your Free Yelp Listing
I know some business owners are annoyed by the numerous phone calls from Yelp trying to sell them advertising.
We have to understand that the folks at Yelp do have a business to run and that’s what they have to do.
I have also heard quite a few stories on how estheticians are spending their advertising dollars on Yelp and not getting the ROI so be cautious if you’re considering advertising on this platform.
It’s entirely up to you – if you think investing in their services is worth it, do so. If not, you can always ignore or block the calls so they won’t bother you.
There are a lot of benefits just by taking advantage of their free listing if you know how to get the most out of it:
1. Claim Your Yelp Page
First thing first, you need to claim your Yelp page. If your business isn’t already listed on Yelp, you can simply “add your business” and make sure you choose the right category.
When people find you on Yelp, give them a positive first impression and build trust right off the bat by showing that you’re active and “legit.”
Add your website address, list your business hours, and include as much information about your business as possible. Upload some photos to make your profile more interesting and give potential clients a sense of what it feels like to be in your spa or office.
For example, include images of your staff members, treatment rooms, specialty products, recent events, and even flyers of any special promotion that’s going on.
2. Fill Out the “Meet the Owner” Section
People do business with those they know and trust. When they find your business on Yelp, they probably want to learn more and feel comfortable with you before booking an appointment.
Leverage the “meet the owner” section on Yelp to share something about yourself that’s relevant to your ideal customers.
Let your personality shine, share your philosophy, be relatable, demonstrate your credibility, and show them why they can trust you.
Don’t forget to add a professional photo to make the readers feel like they “already know you” before coming to your office.
3. Get Client Reviews
Many people make their decisions based on online reviews, which instill trust and credibility in your potential clients.
Make it a habit to ask your happy clients to write a review your Yelp profile.
Besides asking them the moment they’ve finished their treatment, you can also send a reminder email a day or two after their appointments with a link to your Yelp page to make it easy for them to leave a review.
You should build up your reviews organically – don’t ask your mom, friends, cousins, or the entire church (!) to submit a review all at once.
Yelp will hide reviews if they believe there are suspicious activities. For example, when you get 10 or 20 reviews within a very short period of time.
4. Respond To Reviews
What do you do if you get a not-so-positive review?
Keep in mind you want to respond, not react.
Do not ignore the review. Instead, be proactive and address the problem. This is the key to managing your online reputation.
Responding to client review isn’t just great customer service. When potential clients see that you’re taking action to fix what’s gone wrong, they’re more likely to have a positive impression about your business.
When you respond to reviews, whether they’re good or bad, always find out why so you can learn and improve.
Don’t get defensive. Your attitude in dealing with not-so-positive reviews can either make things worse or turn the situation around.
You can take the conversation offline, reach out to a client, and invite them back by saying, “I’d really like to fix this situation. I’d love for you to give me another opportunity to do better.”
5. Create a “Check-In” Offer
When a client “checks in” on Yelp, they’re essentially broadcasting to their friends that they’re at your business.
You can create a special offer, e.g., a bonus treatment or a free sample, giving clients incentive to check in on Yelp.
A “check-in” is a great form of social proof that doesn’t require much effort from your clients, making it that much easier for them to take action and spread the word about your business.
Increase Your Reach With Yelp
No platform is perfect but for many estheticians, a free Yelp listing has worked well for them.
It’s worth putting in the time to set up your Yelp page and ask for reviews, so you can get found on local searches and have the social proof that new clients need to give you a try.
In the Esthetician Inner Circle, you’ll learn my tried-and-true strategies to get more clients and grow your business. You’ll learn how to combine online and offline marketing to stand out and be found.
Click here to learn more.