Create a Powerful Presence with This Yelp SEO Checklist


Yelp is one of the most popular hyper-local directories online. You can list your business here, while customers can review and rate your products and services.

An outstanding yelp business profile goes a long way in boosting your SEO rankings

A responsive and detailed Yelp profile helps you get more positive reviews. It helps your business grow. 

15-Step Yelp SEO Checklist for Creating Effective Yelp Profile

1. Complete Your Business Profile Details

Your Yelp profile is your calling card. A complete profile with the correct information goes a long way in amplifying your profile in searches. Enrich your profile as soon as you create one on Yelp.

There are many details that you can add to your Yelp profile. We suggest you focus on these for a start:

  • Describe your offerings along with links to your website and social media pages. 

2. Upload Quality Photos

For your business to stand out on Yelp, it should look attractive. 

One way to do it is to add a photo gallery. Yelp shows business results along with photos, as in the below screenshot. 


Pictures of your business and your products are great for building credibility. It's also a clear sign that your business is legit and active.

A few tips for photo galleries:

  • Hire a pro photographer to get quality images for the profile. Get front office or location shots of your business day and night. 
  • Upload quality product photos and update them when needed. 

Read: Image Optimization Tips (or) Image SEO tips

3. Leverage Powerful Keywords

Optimizing your Yelp profile works the same way as your website for SEO. Keywords that describe your business or services make it easy for people to find you. 

Unlike a website, the space on Yelp is limited. So, add relevant but fewer keywords to narrow down user searches. 

For example, if you deal in music equipment, your keywords could be "music instruments," "Guitars," "piano," etc. 

Perform keyword research on sites like SEMrush and use the top keywords trending in your area in your Yelp descriptions. 


4. Capitalize on Reviews

 Yelp is a popular portal for people to check company reviews. Customers have a favorable opinion of companies those local customers often review

Look at the screenshot below showing a contractor firm review that conveys whether or not the new audience can go with the firm. 


Be sure to feature the quotes from top reviews on your profile, website, or social pages. 

Here is our top tip:

  • Reviews on Yelp act as a sort of currency for your business reputation. Try and get as many as possible. For example, a person would more likely buy from a business with 50 reviews than one with five. 

5. Be Professional in Review Responses

Reviews can inevitably swing both ways. A negative review can be a silver lining too. There are many ways to deal with reviews. 

A few proven ways include:

  • Be responsive. Whether the review is positive or negative, don't ignore it.
  • Be respectful in your replies and act on a bad review if you can still save the situation. For example, in the below screenshot, a business owner responds to a negative review indicating that the user's review is baseless, which might hurt them. 
  • Don't use generic sentences like "Thank you" or " We are sorry." Use the customer's name and address the situation in its context. It appears more heartfelt and genuine. 

6. Select Suitable Business Categories

Common mistake companies make when creating a yelp profile is not thinking through the business category. They either choose too many or simply ignore this field. 

The right category makes all the difference.

When choosing categories, keep these pointers in mind:

  • You can choose three categories on Yelp. Don't add categories not relevant just to fill this section. If only one category from the list describes your business, select only that one. 

Look at the image below showing a contractor firm's categories. 

  • If you scale or add a new service category, come back and update the new category. 

7. Encourage Yelp Check-ins

Yelp allows customers to "check-in" to places like other social media platforms. It helps customers remember where they visited and earn rewards at times, as shown below. 


Check-ins are a great way to let your friends know about a place. It can encourage them to visit the place.

As a business, encourage people to check in to Yelp. 

Offer rewards for check-ins. For example, offer a discount on the next purchase when they check in on Yelp. Many Yelp check-ins send a positive signal to new customers. 

8. Build Yelp Backlinks

Like backlinks for your website, Yelp likes and backlinks can significantly impact. Instead of featuring a full-blown review on your website, you can link it directly to Yelp. 

Doing so will prove to the customer that the review is genuine.

To get more backlinks, try these tips:

  • Let people know you are on Yelp by posting a Yelp badge or a clickable link to browse your profile.
  • Add your Yelp profile link in your email signature and any SMS messaging to your customers. 

9. Create Yelp Deals

Capitalize on Yelp deals. 

Business owners can create special deals and promos, especially for other Yelp members. Creating such deals is a promising way to get more leads. It gives new customers more incentive to shop with you.

For example, you can offer a deal at your cafe where people can order a meal, get a dessert, and a mocktail free using a Yelp promo code.

Another way to boost sales is to reward people with a Yelp deal when they check in to your business on the mobile app. 

10. Conduct Yelp Competitor Research

Yelp is a hyper-local listing platform. That means that there are probably businesses similar to yours listed there. 

To gain an edge over other local players, study their Yelp strategy and profile. 

Competitor research on Yelp can provide valuable insights on fine-tuning your Yelp profile. Find the top and well-performing competitors in your niche, as shown in the below screenshot. 


A few tips on competitor research:

  • Check the reviews and see their strong suits and where they are failing. Use this to your benefit.
  • Analyze the photos they share. Improve your photo galleries to do better and attract more prospects. 

11. Update Changes in Listings

Updating your Yelp listing is as important as creating one. AN outdated listing hurts your online ranking and reputation. 

Imagine if a prospective customer looks up your address on Yelp and drives over only to find that you have moved! It's unlikely they will bother to track your new location. 

Update your listing when:

  • Your business address, phone number, or name changes. 
  • You open a new branch or store at a new location. It eliminates confusion and reduces the distance to travel by providing business details of each store. 
  • You offer a new product or service. Update your photo gallery to showcase it. 

Read: Best Local Listings Management Tools On the Internet

12. Showcase Yelp Badges

Yelp badges or Review badges help you showcase your Yelp reviews on your website or social media pages. It's an interactive counter. 

It updates every time you get a new review. 

Placing a badge on your site lets your visitors know the number of reviews for your business. It helps them gain confidence that your business is sought after. 

The below screenshot shows an example of how the yelp reviews appear on-site with a badge.


To make the most of Yelp badges, do the following:

13. Utilize Yelp Dashboard Analytics

Want to get detailed metrics of your Yelp profile? 

Use the Yelp dashboard. It's free and provides loads of valuable data on your business performance. The dashboard can give you useful insights into many aspects of user engagement. 

Let's examine a few crucial metrics you can track:

  • Track the visitor traffic to your Yelp profile. The dashboard shows the frequency at which it appears in search results.
  • You can track the user actions and the day's exact time.

14. Consider Yelp Advertising

Like Google Ads, Yelp ads are also placed above the organic results, as shown in the image below. 


Go a step further with Yelp when you invest in Yelp Ads. 

You can grow your customer base by placing targeting ads on Yelp. It's a good investment if you see organic growth in your Yelp page traffic. 

Unlike other Ad platforms, you pay when someone clicks on your Ad. Spending money on Yelp Ads can bring more traffic and visibility.

When placing a Yelp Ad, remember to:

  • Define a target audience and location for the Ad. 
  • Set an Ad budget per month or quarter and track results. 

15. Upgrade Your Membership

Go the extra mile by qualifying for a Yelp Elite membership. It opens up many avenues to explore and brings you into focus. 

A membership gives you exclusive access to many events and perks. The businesses can generate more leads as Yelp won’t show the ‘You might also consider’ section as it’s shown for free profiles. 


Getting an elite membership is not easy. Here are a few things you can do to gain access:

  • Post quality pictures and well-written reviews.
  • Add more to your profile and share details of how you went the extra mile to help your customers and the community. 

Trying for an Elite membership is worth the hard work. 

Key Takeaways

  • Keep your Yelp profile updated with the latest details about your business and any new locations.
  • Spruce up your photo gallery by uploading high-quality images shot by professionals. 
  • Share a Yelp badge on your website and email signatures. It brings credibility and trust.
  • Reviews are worth their weight in gold on Yelp. Track reviews and respond to all of them with professionalism and respect.
  • Choose the right category when you build your profile.
  • Get more footfalls and online traffic by offering rewards and yelp deals for mobile apps and web check-ins.
  • Sign up for Yelp Ads to gain further visibility and target a specific audience or location. 

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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