Several years ago, a five-star rating on Yelp was roughly equivalent to at least a thousand Michelin stars. A solid Yelp rating was equivocal with a steady flow of new business, especially if your local market was oversaturated by your specific business type or if your area had a steady flow of out-of-towners at different times of the year. On the flip side, a lower Yelp rating signaled almost certain demise for businesses who were often already struggling.
Here we are at the end of 2020 and heading into 2021 and keeping your business’ presence strong is now more important than ever, but how much stock should you put into your Yelp rating? Our answer is: Don’t put more energy into your Yelp rating than you put into your Google My Business profile.
Google My Business has been around for a while now and is a useful tool for businesses of all sizes to get information out to customers while they are either looking for you or potentially even looking up your competitors.
The main objectives for your Google My Business strategy should be:
- To make the “three-pack” for a search query related to your business
- To keep your local listing updated with the most recent information about your business:
- To put your business “on the map” – on Google Maps.
Although as a business owner, you should not completely ignore any website that lists or reviews your business, it is always going to be in your best interest to invest more energy into your Google My Business listing that it would be to put hours into responding to every Yelp review and here’s why:
- Yelp isn’t as popular as it once was. There. We said it. Although there once was a time when businesses would slap a “5-stars on Yelp” decal on their front door, that era has (thankfully) passed. That being said, Yelp does still have a few collections of faithful fans and if your business is within these industries:
- Home and local services
- Other businesses
- Beauty and fitness
You should check in periodically and see if your business is collecting reviews and what they are saying. Yelp has an average monthly traffic of around 270 million unique users, which is still pretty large but pales in comparison to Google’s nearly 4 billion active users.
- A properly updated Google My Business listing directly impacts your search traffic and improves your SEO ranking. That, by itself, is a huge reason to invest time in keeping your Google My Business information up to date.
- Your Google My Business profile shows up directly on a Google Search. When a customer searches for your business or for a string of related keywords, your business listing will pop up right on top, whether you have filled it out or not. And for every hour you aren’t spending writing a weekly post or sending out a new offer for services, you’d better believe your competitors are. That may not seem like a big deal until you realize that almost 80% of internet users search using a Google profile.
- Google My Business provides free Google advertising. Far from being another directory, your Google My Business listing is essentially free advertising on Google, and for anyone who had paid for advertising on Google, you know how expensive that can be. Not only will customers be able to see your pertinent business information, but you can specifically tailor offers directly to incoming search traffic and bolster your Google presence at the same time. While Yelp also offers paid advertising and does provide a place for your business to be listed, if your potential customer base is not using Yelp, that traffic doesn’t matter at all.
While this list is by no means exhaustive, the team at Search Pros would be happy to take a personalized look at your local search traffic and make a plan for how they can help you improve your KPIs through properly optimized local search traffic and Google My Business.
Contact us for a free digital growth plan today.