Yelp is one of the fastest-growing business review sites in the world, enjoying more than 178 million unique visitors per month across 35 different countries. Its entire purpose is to connect people with great local businesses.
Many believe it’s one of, if not the most credible business review sites in the world, nearly outshining Google.
By the end of 2020, over 224 million reviews, stories, and experiences had been submitted for businesses in the food, drink, auto-repair, real estate, and education industries (among many others).
Therefore, having a fully-optimized Yelp page is so important for your business. You can gain a whole heap of traffic and those all-important leads just by setting up a free account, logging in, and implementing useful SEO keyword strategies.
Where do you start? What’s the best way to begin implementing SEO strategies?
Your journey starts with keyword research — and it’s a lot simpler than you think.
- Yelp is an amazing tool for local businesses — you can expose your own business to thousands of people in your local area.
- Using proper keyword strategies is vital — keywords help grow organic traffic, resulting in more leads and sales
- There are three useful SEO keyword research tools at your disposal = SEMrush, Google Keyword Planner, and Wordtracker. Use all three to get a better insight into the keywords you should be using
- You’re a local business? Search keyword terms and phrases relating to your local area e.g. “Orange County electrician”, “electricians in Orange County”, etc
- Once search the keywords using the SEO tools, choose the keyword variations. These variations will be ranked by volume (no. average user searches per month) — choose keywords under 1k volume if you’re a small local business
- Check competitors ranking high on Yelp — will give you insight into what they’re doing right
Keyword research and implementation are vital for your Yelp page’s SEO — here’s why.
Let’s get this straight right off the bat: Keyword research is one of the most important parts of any SEO strategy. Why? Because it acts as the foundation of your marketing endeavors, helping your Yelp page generate more leads, more traffic, and more of those coveted sales!
The reason why so much emphasis is placed on keywords is they determine whether your Yelp page will gain organic traffic or not. If you use the wrong keywords that target a totally different market or industry, your page borders on useless, and you won’t target the customers you so vitally need.
So, where do you start with keyword research for Yelp?
Let’s say you’re an electrician based in Orange County and you want to begin using keywords to help your Yelp page rank on search engines. You have all the content ideas ready but you’re not 100% sure whether any of the words you’ve used are relevant or useful for ranking.
That’s totally OK. Not every business owner knows how or where to start with this, which is why the information below will point you in the right direction.
There are several SEO platforms available to you to begin researching keywords
First, you’re going to need an SEO platform to start finding relevant and useful keywords. Some you need to pay for, while others are free but with restricted access.
- SEMrush = SEMrush is arguably the best SEO tool you can have in your arsenal. Covers not only keywords but also advertising, social media, reporting, competitor analysis, traffic, and content.
- Google Keyword Planner = Google Keyword Planner is a keyword research tool within Google Ads. It’s completely free-to-use but you need to register for a Good Ads account before you can begin using it.
- Wordtracker = Wordtracker is a lesser-known keyword tool that’s free but with restricted access to some of the premium features. You only have 12 free searches.
The art of searching for keywords and keyword variations — simplified
Keyword research doesn’t have to be difficult, even though many believe it is. We’ve witnessed a ton of local business owners make this step a lot harder for themselves, costing them time, effort, and money.
So, let’s simplify this entire process for you into bite-size chunks:
- Register or sign up to all three of the above SEO + keyword platforms. Doing this will allow you to compare your chosen keywords to find the best ones for your Yelp page.
- Once you’ve signed up, search “Orange County electrician”, “Orange County electrician services”, or any other variation into all three SEO keyword tools. Pretty much anything that describes your business. Make sure you focus on keywords that fit your immediate location to gain traffic from local users. This will bring up a list of other keyword variations sorted by volume (highest to lowest). Volume means the number of average monthly searches for that particular keyword and its variations.
- Place each keyword variant and its volume into a separate document (Google Docs is fine but any other app or software is OK too). We recommend roughly 50 keywords.
- Later, you can use these keywords on your Yelp site. You don’t need all of them — just the ones that fit with your content and have the right search volume.
Knowing which keywords to use isn’t just about high volume
There’s a common misconception that higher volume keywords are the best to use for your Yelp page. This isn’t true. You have to be a little more selective.
Higher ranking keywords (1k+) are generally best for larger, well-established sites with a history of ranking on Google or other search engines. These sites are already up there with the big boys and are able to compete against them.
If your local business is smaller, you’re going to need keywords with smaller, less competitive search volumes. Anywhere below 1k.
Check competitors to see who ranks highest on Yelp and Google
This step is often overlooked but it’s so crucial to the success of your Yelp page. Simply heading over to the Yelp website, searching “electricians Orange County” (or something similar), and seeing what they’re doing on their page is very useful and acts as a foundation for your own page.
You can also type “electricians Orange County” into Google and see how your local competitors are ranking and who’s on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). This, again, will give you insight into what they’re doing right and how you can incorporate it.
Using your keywords and improving your Yelp ad
Once you have your list of keywords ready, it’s time to use them in your Yelp ad. A Yelp ad is a paid advertising campaign where Yelp prioritizes your local business above others on the platform, providing you with more exposure.
Since you’re paying for this service, you need to do it right.
Your Yelp ad text is the cherry on top
Your ad text is what your potential customers will see first. It should include concise, mouth-watering details ready to attract those loyal, lucrative customers.
- Use numbers — Make sure you add your prices and phone number, preferably at the start of your ad text. This gives potential customers immediate insight into your prices, enticing them to call you for your services. Don’t forget to promote any deals you may have as well.
- Be specific = If you’re an electrician, specify exactly what you can provide your customers and how your services can help them with their specific problem.
- Approach the text as if you’re a copywriter = Sell yourself! Make yourself stand out. Use short, sharp sentences e.g.
- Be customer-centric = Write an ad text that speaks to your potential customers. Make sure you’re offering a solution to their problem. Don’t boast or brag but confidently say you can fix “XYZ” for a decent “XYZ” rate/price.