Yelp. It’s an interesting business. It started in 2004 with the intention to “connect customers to awesome local businesses”. It’s concept is nice and it’s grown to be a very popular software that customers rely on to “discover” new businesses: places to eat, someone to file your taxes, and even where to get your next therapeutic massage.
Have you noticed that when you search for massage in the city you live in, you often find something Yelp related on the first page of your search results? Something that looks similar to this:
Yelp is really good at SEO. For this reason alone, I think it’s a smart idea to list your business on Yelp. You can list your Massage & Bodywork business for free and it can be an excellent source for getting new clients if your practice is ranked well in Yelp’s listings.
But before you jump on board, be wary of a couple things:
1.Yelp makes money from selling advertising to local businesses. If your business is listed on Yelp, it is highly likely they are going to call you and try to sell ads to you. Some practitioners I know have said that Yelp sales representatives called them every day for several days in a row.
This can get a bit annoying. So be aware of that. There are ways to manage the sales calls. You can block the number. You can answer their call and request they take you off their contact list. You can answer their call and tell them you are way to busy from all of your word of mouth referral clients (thanks Scott Lindquist).
Despite the complaints from practitioners about Yelp sales solicitations, listing your massage & bodywork business on Yelp is still worth it.
2. Yelp is also a business review site. This means that people can create Yelp profiles and then rate and review businesses on the Yelp platform. The rating and review system is intended to recommend the most helpful and reliable reviews for the Yelp community. So in other words, your review can have an impact on other people and whether or not they try a business you recommend.
Another aspect that makes Yelp’s business model “interesting” is that there isn’t a super solid way for Yelp to filter which reviews are real from which are fake. Yelp seems to publish any completed review, as long as the user has a Yelp account. (*Note* I haven’t fully confirmed this to be 100% right. Yelp does provide ways to report reviews. For example, anybody can report a review involving a conflict of interest, inappropriate material, or lack of consumer’s personal experience.)
However, if people do publish (and can possibly get away with it) fake reviews, that’s a bit concerning, right?
I’ve heard many stories from Therapeutic Massage practice owners who stated fake reviews were published about their business, they immediately reported the review to Yelp, but the review stayed published on their business page. Bummer. Sometimes this happens, and it can be frustrating because you don’t have control over what is stated (and visible) about your business. There’s a smart way to manage problems like that (but that is a topic for another article).
My point is, due to the lack of complete control over both real and fake reviews, your business could be jeopardized. This might sound scary and could cause you to think that listing your business on Yelp isn’t worth it…
But it is.
Hands down, Yelp will help you attract new clients. It’s better to list your Massage and Bodywork business on Yelp than it isn’t.
Yelp is powerful because the people who use it are looking for something specific. That’s very different from people who web surf. Yelp users 1) trust in the process of Yelp providing the best business for whatever they’re searching and 2) are likely to make a decision (contact you, visit your website, schedule online, etc.) once they find a listing that matches what they’re looking for.
Do you see the difference between using Yelp vs using something like advertising in the local newspaper? It’s the power of search. People who are searching have something specific in mind. Yelp is a platform that allows someone to search for something like Therapeutic Massage (or even Medical Massage) in your area.
So are you gonna do it? Are you going to list your business on Yelp? Before you do, know that there are valuable tips and tricks to listing your Massage & Bodywork business on Yelp that will maximize your exposure. I’m more than happy to show you exactly how to do that. I’m creating a course that shows you the necessary steps to increase your exposure on Yelp. If interested contact me so you can be notified once the course is available.