How To Use Yelp for Lead Generation

Yelp can be a great source for generating leads for your contractor business, whether you have a website or not. Although I highly recommend having a website, Yelp, like Craigslist, is one of the existing websites you can use to generate leads even without having your own website.


How To Use Yelp To Get Leads

Just like building a website and trying to get it to rank in Google, Yelp has certain criteria it uses to determine what companies to show when people are searching for contractor services. Understanding what these criteria are and what you need to do to get your Yelp company listing to show up will help you generate the maximum number of leads possible.

To start, I want to list out the main things you’ll want to do in order to market on Yelp, and then we’ll dive into each of them:

  • Do keyword research with Yelp
  • Build your Yelp listing
  • Optimize your Yelp listing
  • Get customer reviews


Do Keyword Research with Yelp

If you haven’t read my post about doing keyword research for leads, then you’ll want to read that first since I’m going to build upon the topics I explained in that post.

Since I’m assuming you’ve read that post and have done some keyword research, you should know the main keywords that you want your business to target. The keywords you uncovered in your keyword research will be the main keywords you’ll want to use on your Yelp listing as well.

However, there are some other tips I’ll give you that will help you refine your keywords so that you know exactly what keywords will be the most beneficial to use on Yelp.

Using the roofing-related keywords I found in my post on doing keyword research, I’m going to do a bit more research to see what specific variations of those keywords would best be used on my Yelp listing.

1) Do organic searches to find what Yelp listings show up organically

Basically, I’m going to type some of my keywords into Google to see if any Yelp listings show up on the first page. The first word I typed into Google was “roofing contractors”, and I found these Yelp listings on the first page:

Yelp Organic Listings Example

You’ll see that the top result you can click on and it will show you a list of roofing contractors in the area, while the second one is actually a specific roofing company’s listing that is showing up. That’s awesome, because, as you can see, you could get your own company’s listing on the first page if you do things right!

Then, I did a few more searches using other keywords just to get a sense for which keywords Yelp is showing up for and what I’ll want to optimize my Yelp listing for. From this, we see that I’ll definitely want to optimize my listing for the term “roofing contractor” since Yelp has a category listing that is ranking for that term.

2) Do searches on Yelp to see what keywords are suggested

The next suggestion is that you’ll want to go into Yelp and type some of your terms in their search box to see what auto-suggestions they give you. This will show you what the most popular terms are that people are searching for, and which you’ll want to include in your listing.

Yelp Auto-Suggestions Dropdown

As you see, I typed in the term “roofing” into Yelp’s search box, and Yelp automatically shows me the terms it thinks I could be targeting. From these suggestions, we can see that “roofing contractor” and “roofing companies” are some of the best terms to target.


Build Your Yelp Business Listing

Once you have successfully completed your Yelp-specific keyword research, it is now time to put together your business listing!

In order to do so, just go down to the bottom of any page on the Yelp website (the footer) and click on the link that says “Claim Your Business Page.

Claim Your Yelp Business Page

This will take you to a page where you’ll need to search for your business first, to see whether or not there is already a listing for your business. Sometimes, even if you haven’t created a listing yourself, there may already be a listing for your business, so you’ll need to check first.

Once you type in your business name and location, Yelp will serve up a bunch of different company listings that it thinks could potentially be yours. Closely review those listings to see if your business is listed, and if not, go to the bottom and click on “Add your business to Yelp”.

Add your business to yelp

Once you click on this link, you’ll be taken to a page and required to enter your business information.

Enter as much information as you can!

Seriously, it’s really important that you completely fill out your business profile. You want every advantage you can gain over other contractors, so take your time to do a good job. Later, once your listing is approved, you’ll need to go back in and submit photos and what not, but for now, just include all the information.

Another important thing to do is to make sure that you enter all of the relevant categories that your business could fit into. On the page of roofing contractors in Las Vegas, I see a contractor listed at #4 but who has really good reviews, and I think (although I’m not sure) that his failure to put “roofing” as his category is hurting him!

Don't Make this category mistake on Yelp

Don’t make that same mistake and be sure to enter the most relevant category for your business. For some businesses, there will be multiple categories that are relevant, so you’ll want to add all of the relevant categories you can.

Once you’ve entered all your business information, Yelp will want to verify your business listing, which I believe is done by them giving your business phone number a call. Once you have been verified, you’ll want to go log back in and fill out all the remaining details.

This would include photos, a company description, business hours, address, etc. Again, include as much information as you can, since Yelp is more likely to show the company listings that are completely filled out.

Optimize Your Yelp Listing

Once you have completely filled out your listing, I suggest going back through the listing and optimizing it for relevance. In my opinion, when you’re first filling out your company description and all your company information, don’t worry too much about the words you use. Just sound natural. Sell your company, what makes you great, and why you’re better than the competition.

You really don’t want optimization to get in the way of your content being readable or engaging for somebody that lands on the page for your business. Your business listing is your very own website, so treat it as such! If you’re not good at writing, then find someone who is to help you, or pay someone to do it for you.

Once that is completely finished, then it’s a good idea to go back through and make sure that the keywords you’ve identified in your keyword research are included. Don’t add words if it affects readability, but if you see that you can add the word “company” after you’ve used the word “roofing” in a certain part, then go ahead and do it. Just look for opportunities where you could add keywords in to where it would look and sound natural.

Don’t go overboard on this and don’t try to include a keyword a certain number of times or anything. All we’re trying to do is to make sure that Yelp knows what our company does and what it’s about, and text is one of the main ways that Yelp knows this.

As I stated before, your category is another important consideration, and you’ll want to make sure that you choose a category or categories that best fits what your company does.

Get Customer Reviews

Once you’ve done all this work for creating your business listing and optimizing it for search, now you’ll want to get customer reviews. Yelp is best known for its customer reviews, and therefore, the reviews are a big factor that Yelp uses to decide which companies to show for any given term.

Both the quantity and quality of reviews are important.

However, not all reviews are created equal in the eyes of Yelp, and you shouldn’t try to game the system by having all of your family and friends go and do positive reviews for you or by paying others to do so.

Here’s a great video by Yelp that explains why some reviews will be shown by them, and others will be filtered out:

Basically, you want reviews from people who have left other reviews on Yelp. At least that’s how I understand. So, how do you get reviews?

Well, as Yelp says, they don’t want you to ask for them. However, there are still lots of things you can do to get reviews. Letting your customers know you’re on yelp, or asking them to check you out on Yelp will go a long way to encourage them to leave a review. And, if you do decide to ask people to leave reviews, I would suggest doing it in a casual way and not offering any sort of discount or anything, which is also discouraged by Yelp.

At the end of the day, I think that negative reviews will find their way to Yelp one way or another, while a lot of customers with positive experiences will only leave a review if they’ve been encouraged a bit.

Why Yelp Is Awesome for Lead Generation

Yelp really can be a great way for you to generate a lot of leads for your business. Just like Google, Yelp is essentially it’s own search engines, and a lot of people turn to Yelp exclusively to find companies to work with. The great thing is you don’t have to understand much about technology to show up on their platform and to get leads. You just need to create a great business page, and get as many leads as possible!

I hope this guide has been helpful, and please let me know if you have any questions or if I can help you with your lead generation in any way.

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