GUEST BLOG POST
By: Darnell Holloway - Yelp’s Senior Manager of Local Business Outreach
A recent Boston Consulting Group study of 4,800 businesses indicated that local businesses with a free Yelp account saw an average of $8,000 in annual revenue from Yelp, and that for advertisers, this figure was more than $23,000 on average (March 2013). Interestingly enough, Yelp advertisers in the automotive category saw even higher returns by generating annual revenues of $39,000 from Yelp.
A separate Nielsen study (June 2013), found that virtually all Yelp users (99%) have made a purchase at a business they found on Yelp, with 89% of them doing so within a week! With that in mind, here are some best practices for using both Yelp’s free tools for business owners and paid solutions to drive more customers to your dealership this holiday season.
Start by unlocking your free business account at biz.yelp.com and follow the steps below to optimize the business listing for your dealership:
Complete Your Profile:
- Tell your unique story: explain what services your dealership provides and what sets you apart from your competitors.
- Update hours and add a link to your website.
- Upload an unlimited number of appealing photos to make your page more attractive to potential customers.
Create Exciting Promos:
- Generate buzz with Yelp Deals & Gift Certificates. Click here for an example of a Lexus dealership effectively using this feature.
Respond to Reviews:
- Connect with customers by posting a public comment or sending a private message.
- Remember to respond diplomatically, thank the reviewer for their feedback and state your policy where appropriate.
- This may sound counterintuitive to auto dealers, but we recommend that you don’t ask for reviews. Yelp is all about authenticity, so focus on providing great customer service and let your online reputation develop organically.
Track Customer Leads and Estimate Revenue:
- Use the graphs in your business account to help you monitor the customer leads that Yelp drives to your business and calculate the estimated revenue these leads can bring to you.
Once you’ve built out your dealership’s page, you’ll want to drive more traffic to your business listing. Yelp Ads offer targeted advertising to increase your exposure when consumers on Yelp are searching for auto dealers. Here’s what you get with the Yelp Ads program:
Targeted Local Advertising:
- Yelp Ads are placed on search result pages, so that users searching in your area will see your business above Yelp's natural search results.
- Ads are placed on pages of your competitors and other related businesses.
Profile Enhancements Include:
- Call to Action Button: Drive customers to the action you value most such as: "Schedule Appointment," "Get Quote," or "Print Coupon"
- Photo Slideshow
- Customized 60 second video