Boost Your Local SEO Efforts by Building a Powerful Yelp Profile

Yelp attracts over 178 million monthly unique visitors and offers significant value to local businesses. 

Moreover, today, 40% of consumers actively skim through Yelp reviews while learning about a local business. 

So, Yelp is one of local businesses' most crucial business listing platforms. And it brings influential SEO value to local businesses (restaurants, bars, clubs, events, hotels, etc.) 

Take a look at the below screenshot showing the staggering stats of Yelp. 


So, if you are still not leveraging Yelp, we will discuss the crucial tips to use Yelp for local SEO. 

11 Tips to Harness the Power of Yelp Profile to Boost Local SEO

1. Build a Verified Yelp Profile for Your Business

If you are new to the Yelp business listing platform, you must start by creating your business listing here

Use these steps to create a Yelp profile: 

Head to the Yelp Business Page and click "Manage my free listing."

Next, you must create your yelp account using your official Gmail account. You can then verify your account through a verification email. And Yelp will approve your request within two days. 


Next, you need to search your business listing on Yelp. 


If you find your business already listed on Yelp, you can claim as the real owner of the business. Click on "Claim Your Business." 

If you find that your business is already unlocked, someone else has claimed your business. Here, you need to connect with Yelp Support and prove the ownership of the business. Then you can reclaim it. 

You must create a new profile if you do not find your business listing. Click "add a business to Yelp" and start adding details to your profile. 

You can contact the Yelp for Business Owners tab if you find an issue claiming your business. Here you will find answers to most of the common and specific queries. 

2. Optimize the Crucial Elements of Your Yelp Profile

Claiming your business on Yelp isn't enough; you must enrich your profile. You need to distinguish your Yelp profile from your competitors. And Google must find your profile credible and authentic. 

So, you must add valuable details to your Yelp profile. 


Here are some crucial elements to enrich: 

  • Category: Add your specific business category and also choose highly relevant sub-categories. 
  • Business Hours: Mention your business or service hours, and keep these updated. 
  • Price Range: Mention the price range for your services or your offerings. E.g., Restaurant businesses can mention "Avg. $48 for two persons."
  • About Your Business: You need to create a valuable business description. You can highlight several USPs, your business's launch date, your specialties, etc. Moreover, you get enough room to include your business-specific and location keywords here. Other details include indoor/outdoor seating, reservation schedule, parking details, etc. 
  • Address and Contact Number: Add consistent business address and contact details to your Yelp profile. Ensure that these details are up to date and reliable. 
  • Website Link and Menu: You must connect your profile with your official website. And you must add your Menu or Catalogue. 
  • Images: Distinguish your Yelp profile by populating it with valuable images. Add images of your food specialty, venue, ambiance, products, staff, events, etc.
  • Table Reservation (OpenTable): If your business allows users to make reservations online, leverage Register on this platform, and link it to your Yelp profile and other listings. 

An optimized Yelp profile is more likely to rank in the search engine results. Moreover, it will appear more frequently for relevant searches on Yelp. 

This draws you more inquiries and increases website traffic. 

3. Leverage the Images Section to Gain Engagement for Your Listing

While consumers today invest much effort in online research for a local business, images have become crucial. 


The images of your business grow your brand's credibility engagement rate and help consumers with decision-making. Thus, good images and media on your Yelp profile grow your inquiries and conversions. 

Here is how to leverage your Yelp profile's images section: 

  • Add the images of your venue, ambiance, seating arrangement, interiors, etc. 
  • Showcase your food specialties (as in the screenshot), products, or experiences that grab user's attention
  • Add images of the front view of your business during the morning and night
  • Allow visitors to find your business easily by adding images of your store view from the road
  • Showcase your staff, events, and customers' pictures
  • Also, add some images of your branding to reinforce the memory of your brand in the viewers' minds.

The images will intrigue more visitors to check your profile. And you can expect a growth in site traffic, inquiries, and conversions. 

4. Grow Your Profile's Relevancy with Crucial Keywords

Your Yelp profile is eligible to rank for the relevant searches in Google and Bing Searches.

You need to grow your profile's relevancy for the crucial search queries. 

The right way to do it is through keyword optimization. 

  • Use Google Keyword Planner and to search and filter the right keywords for your business. As the local audience typically accesses Yelp, try finding the keywords that local users use in their search queries. 

Along with specific keywords, go for location-specific and long-tail keywords to boost relevancy

E.g., A specific keyword like "Best plumbing service" can have location-specific variations like: "best plumbing services in Houston."

  • You must also use Ahrefs or SEMrush to check which keywords are sourcing leads for your competitors. 

Add these to your set of crucial keywords.

  • Next, add the crucial keywords to your Yelp profile. Map them in your offerings, description, image names, etc.

These keywords will add considerable SEO value to your Yelp profile. 

However, you need to ensure not to stuff keywords in your Yelp profile. Google is most likely to condemn keyword stuffing. 

5. Build Backlinks through Yelp Community 

You must club your keyword optimization efforts with backlinking efforts.

Backlinks connect deeply with your site authority and local authority. And abounding high-quality backlinks give you a much-needed push-forward in the SERPs. 

You can connect with Yelp Community members and plan link exchange and guest posting activities. You can find similar businesses using keywords and connect with them for link-building opportunities.


This approach allows you to generate valuable backlinks within your community.

Moreover, you can create a press release about your business listing on Yelp, GMB, and other listing platforms. 

This PR will boost brand awareness, attract views to your Yelp profile, and gain a backlink. 

These backlinks will significantly add to your local SEO value.

6. Enrich Your Profile's Visibility and Prominence with Reviews

Yelp reviews have a say in your brand's social proof and local SEO value. Today, consumers actively switch to Yelp reviews while researching local businesses. 

92% of consumers who trust online review platforms consider checking Yelp reviews before a local purchase. 

So, your Yelp reviews form one of the most crucial elements of your listing. 

Image: Here is a funny positive review example on Yelp -


Here is how you can attract abounding Yelp reviews for your brand: 

  • Request reviews from your customers while they are still in your store. You can add barcodes of your Yelp profile to your feedback form. And your customers can scan these to post their reviews on your Yelp profile directly. 
  • Offer them deals or gifts (using the option in your profile as shown below) for providing reviews on your business.
  • Create crisp review request emails, and link your Yelp profile to these requests. 
  • Attach incentives to your review generation requests. (E.g. "Rate us on Yelp, and you can win a 10% discount on your next visit.”) 
  • Collaborate with niche influencers and local bloggers to give your business a visit and post a review. 

7. Craft the Right Response for Positive & Negative Reviews

Yelp reviews hold a prominent value for your business, and you must respond to these reviews. 

Moreover, 89% of consumers are excited to read the brand's response to reviews. Good responses boost your brand's social proof and encourage other consumers to post reviews. 

Also, user-generated reviews cover some important long-tail keywords for your brand. 

And you can showcase Yelp reviews by linking them to your website. And you can highlight positive reviews on your social media channels. 

Ways to Respond to positive reviews: 

  • Be quick with your response, and you might be able to start a live conversation. You can use this conversation to get some more positive feedback. 
  • Ensure to address the reviewer with his/her name and add your name while signing off.
  • If you see a detailed exclusive review, you can publically reward the reviewer with a discount on your next purchase. It will encourage more positive reviews. 
  • Chat with loyal reviewers, praise them, and request them to recommend your business to their friends. 

Ways to respond to negative reviews: 

  • Show concern for the customer's complaint and craft a strategic response. 

The screenshot below shows how a business ignores users' reviews. It will create a negative impression among the audience that you don’t care about customer sentiments. 

  • Save yourself from a public argument by taking the conversation on a 1:1 channel. 
  • Try offering a mid-way to reconcile with the customer.
  • Offer a discount or monetary solution if the customer's lifetime value is high. 

Read: How to Respond to Positive & Negative Reviews in Google My Business

8. Gauge and Optimize Your Yelp Profile Performance with Yelp Dashboard

Yelp Dashboard offers you a comprehensive view of your brand's performance on Yelp.


You have free access to important metrics like: 

  • The number of viewers on your Yelp Profile daily and even at a particular time of the day. 
  • The user actions are taken on your profile.
  • You can even set email notifications while a user is reviewing (or performing an action) on your profile.
  • You can even message the consumers who have reviewed your profile.

You can plan special promotions at particular hours or days based on these metrics. Also, when you’re new to Yelp or there are already established competitors.


Moreover, the user metrics and actions help you understand the highs & lows of your profile. You might need to enrich some details to grow engagement and conversions. 

These data insights will help you optimize your profile, and you can translate it into higher SEO value.

9. Use Yelp Badges that You Can Showcase On Your Site

A good way to leverage Yelp reviews is through Yelp Badges. You can showcase your positive Yelp reviews directly on your website through Yelp Badges. 


Positive reviews on your Yelp profile have solid social proof. And as you can display these trust badges on your site, your site's conversion potential grows. 

The below screenshot shows a business showing fresh reviews on their site. 


Positive reviews will encourage more consumers to offer reviews. 

Moreover, Yelp Badges help you stay updated whenever you win a new review on your Yelp profile. 

You can check more features and leverage Yelp Badges for free. Install these features from the Yelp for Business Review Badges section

10. Bring Competitor Analysis into Play

The Yelp business listing platform attracts a long list of businesses. And you are most likely to find your competitors' listings on Yelp. 

So, if you are new to Yelp, you can take cues from your competitors' listings. You can find top competitors by seeing who is ranking on top in the organic SERP from Yelp, as shown in the screenshot. 


Check their business categories & sub-categories, their specialties, their keyword choices, etc. 

Moreover, scrutinize the images, descriptions, offerings they post, etc. 

You can map this learning in your profile to enhance its visibility. 

Moreover, you must pay attention to the type of review responses used by your successful competitors

A good strategy is to scrutinize businesses with 4+ star ratings on Yelp. And compare these businesses with businesses having below 3-star ratings. 

This allows you to understand what is working for high-rating businesses on Yelp. Add these insights to your profile so it appears more frequently in Yelp and Google Searches. 

11. Choose for Yelp Elite Membership 

Yelp community offers an Elite Membership for users who wish to draw out more from Yelp's platform. 

The Elite Members enjoy a better reach on Yelp, and their reviews hold significant value. And these members have access to profile badges, impressive profile covers, regional parties, etc. 

Here is how you can become an Elite Member on Yelp: 

  • Add an interesting, relevant, and high-quality profile picture. 
  • Review abounding businesses to show your activeness in the community. Quality reviews make your recommendations more influential in the community. 
  • Bookmark several recognized establishments to show your involvement. 
  • Add images of the business and your reviews to make it look more authentic. 
  • Check in to the Yelp profile to answer questions like "how was the seating arrangement" and help other consumers. 
  • Show your community spirit by adding reviews, recommendations, updates, insights, etc. 

Fill in for the nominations of the Elite Member on the Yelp website.

As an Elite Member, you can better engage with the community and even attract backlinks from community members. Moreover, your reviews, recommendations, and insights have a stronger influence. 

Key Takeaways

If you are still not leveraging Yelp for your local business SEO, here is how to use it: 

  • Claim or create an authentic Yelp profile for your business
  • Add a consistent business name, phone number, and address. And optimize crucial elements like Business Hours, Price Range, Images, Table Reservation, etc. 
  • Add quality images of the venue, food, staff, products, events, front view of the business, etc. 
  • Research business-specific and location-specific keywords and map these in your Yelp profile description
  • Network actively with the Yelp community members to gain brand mentions and backlinks. 
  • Gain abounding Yelp reviews and craft strategic responses to positive and negative reviews. 
  • Use Yelp Dashboard to gauge profile traffic and user actions. Also, use these insights to plan promotions, grow engagement, and draw high traffic. 
  • Scrutinize your successful (4+ star rating) competitors and map their successful efforts to your profile. 
  • Connect with Elite Members or nominate yourself as an Elite Member to gain better reach.

Rank Your Website

Brice Decker

Brice has been handling marketing projects for more than 12 years and he is providing consulting services on SEO, Social Media and PPC. He has a huge expertise in working at large corporations including Accenture Interactive & PwC Digital Services.


Brice Decker

Brice has been handling marketing projects for more than 12 years and he is providing consulting services on SEO, Social Media and PPC. He has a huge expertise in working at large corporations including Accenture Interactive & PwC Digital Services.

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