Category Archives: Making Things Better

Keeping Up with Smartphone Statistics


Smartphones quickly penetrated the mobile phone market and made the lives of users comfortable online and offline. Many people now declare they can’t live without their smartphones and prefer to bring it with them wherever they go. They use this device to connect to the Internet, browse content, log on to social networks, play games, and send email. According to the study published by the Online Publishers’ Association (OPA), smartphone users regularly do the following activities on their phones:

This presents the opportunity for businesses to step up their mobile advertising efforts. Browsing the Internet through computers and laptops may still be dominant, but smartphone and tablet web browsing are on a continuous rise. There may come a time when these two products will be more popular than computers.

A smartphone user may access only 14% business-related content, but this share still stands in the middle of the list of content types bought and paid for.

When Prosper Mobile Insights carried out a survey on how smartphone users view content, they found out that majority of the browsing history concerned ‘browsing or looking for products.’ This shows how much a business can generate leads if they show their pictures of their products online. It is also necessary to show hours of operation, interactive maps, and testimonials to help customers find your business online.

It also pays to ask for the mobile phone numbers of your customers so you can send them special offers through text messages. This will increase your sales leads, because at least 54% wants to receive notifications on sales and discounts through SMS.

Businesses should also pay attention to creating mobile ads to show on their mobile-enabled websites. There are 29% of smartphone content buyers who like to look at ‘eye-catching’ ads, while 39% are driven to action upon seeing mobile adverts. This makes it important for entrepreneurs to create ads that can be shown on any brand of smartphone and be accessed through any mobile web browser. It should still be viewable on any platform to ensure the ads are exposed to the highest number of smartphone users.

Smartphone users are the next big market waiting to happen. Mary Meeker, an Internet expert, has declared mobile technology as one of the fastest rising trends. Consider the addition of mobile campaigns to your online marketing strategy. Investigate the feasibility of such a campaign to ensure you engage as many customers as possible.



You’ve Got Mail: Reaching Customers through the Long Arm of Email

What to Do to Make Email Marketing Effective for Your Business

Email marketing is the second most effective advertising technique in improving search results, next to search engine optimization. Easy and inexpensive, this method is effective for your online marketing needs when you do it properly. You can engage customers with something as simple as an email, provided the message is correctly worded and well done.

The first step you must take to succeed in email marketing is to study your target customers. What emails do they want to see on their inbox? What content do they want to receive? Do they have email addresses and how often do they log on? Study first to see whether sending emails to your customers will work for you. There are some people who prefer to keep their inboxes private. Conduct a survey and ask your current customers to learn whether they would like to hear from you through email. This would be better instead of going straight to email marketing and being labeled as a spammer.

Ask your customers about what they want to hear from you. Are they interested in industry updates, technical data, product information or special offers? Data gathered from these questions help you customize the emails you send to every user. Customer 1 might like getting product how-to information while Customer 2 wants to receive updates on technology developments. These preferences will help you send more emails that will encourage customers to open your message, click, link, and engage.

Another way to learn customer preferences is to monitor their activity on your website. This will help you find out which parts of the site they’re most interested in. Relying only on this data, however, can be detrimental as the content will all be the same every time you send an email. According to Greg Fant, Vice President of the North America Marketing Group in eBay, it would be better to add some popularity-based links in your email. This will catch attention from customers, as popular articles or products tend to match with the general public’s preferences.

It also pays to study email metrics to measure the progress of your campaigns. Lowell Miller of Qwest Communications advises email campaign managers to watch out for:

  • Open rate – determines whether subscribers receive and open your emails;
  • Click-through rate – tests the relevance of the content and its value to customers;
  • Conversion rate – calculates if the right message  was sent at the right time to the right person; and,
  • Cost-per-acquisition rate –examines the effectiveness of the email method.

Analyzing statistics from these metrics will allow you to see whether to continue email marketing or not. This will also show you which parts of the campaigns are failing to fetch the percentages optimal for your marketing efforts. If your rates are going down, try experimenting with the subject lines, content and the overall look and tone of your email. The right combination might help you gain higher open and click-through rates.

Non-marketing content can also increase customer engagement. Send some articles about new product features, company updates, funny articles and more. Emailing a mixture of promotional, popular and personalized articles will increase customer interest in your emails. Customers who just bought a product also appreciate messages asking about how they like using the product. You can include service information, how-to advice, and other information about their purchase. This shows you’re a responsible entrepreneur who wants to ensure that the product provided is satisfactory.

Responding to email inquiries is important as well. Nobody likes to have their inquiry ignored or unanswered for a long time. Make sure that every email is answered, so customers are reassured their interaction is essential to you. If subscriber data don’t show any activity, strive to re-engage and maintain contact with present subscribers. Reach out with attractive deals to encourage a customer to open your email and click the links.

Email marketing can be successful if you adopt the right techniques that work for your line of business. Success may be hard to reach the first time, but you’ll be able to engage with your customers once you find the right content formula. Try marketing through email and see whether it’s a fit for your business.



Landing Pages that Rock


How to convert visitors to customers using your landing pages

Designing a landing page that makes visitors pay attention can take a lot of time and effort. More so with pages that encourages browsers to fill out the form. These pages must look well and easy enough to understand at first glance. Pages that are too technical have a small chance of persuading visitors to perform the desired action. This is because visitors, especially those with little procedural knowledge, won’t be inclined to sign up for something they barely understand. Before you set up your page live on your website or social media page, see these tips first. Following these bits of advice from Dainis Graveris may help you create pages that turn out more revenue:

1. Important content must be placed above the fold.

The above-fold position is the part of web page immediately visible to you. The lower part you have to scroll down to is called ‘below the fold.’ Important content must, therefore, be located above the fold to ensure visitors will read them. They concentrate on this part more because it’s the part they first see when the page loads. Anything below the fold is scanned more often than not. Make sure to prioritize which content goes above the fold to ensure that the relevant content will be understood.

2. Make the form simple and easy to understand.

Questionnaires with many required fields turn off many visitors so make your forms short and straightforward. The less information you’re asking, the more chances your conversion rate will increase. Additional subscriber information can be filled out in the future once you’ve gotten your subscribers engaged in your marketing campaigns. Additionally, shorter landing page content will make your readers focus only on the most important parts they need to know. This will make your content clearer and easier to comprehend.

3. Use only one call to action.

When you’re making a landing page, it is important to make sure you’re asking visitors to do ONE action only. For example, if you want email newsletter subscribers and webinar registrations, plan two pages instead of combining both into one page. Persuading customers to do both actions in one page will just backfire. They will get confused and will likely avoid filling out your form altogether. Before you start creating landing pages, think of your goals first. List them down, so it will be easier to frame the primary and secondary headlines and the supporting content.

4. Organize your landing page to get rid of clutter.

When it comes to web page creation, clutter means unnecessary details, extra links, and additional images that turn attention away from the form to be filled out. Clean up your page to minimize distractions that will sidetrack your visitors and make their attention wander to that curiously hypnotic GIF image on the corner. Hiding the navigation menu will also increase your conversions by 100%, as visitors will be more focused on the content rather than on the box of links located at the top-center of the page. 5. Apply SEO techniques to your landing page.

Optimize your landing page with keywords and metatags to make it more visible on search engine results. Appearing on the first page of the search results will bring more traffic to your landing page and expose it to visitors looking for what you’re offering. This will lead to increased traffic, more engagement, and more leads.

6. Prioritize loading time.

Speed is one of the key considerations in making a landing page work. If your page is slow to load, you’ll lose prospective customers. Strike a balance between building a creative page and loading speed to ensure visitors will continue flocking to your landing page and sign up.

7. Pin social networking share buttons on your landing page.

Utilize social media buttons to enable visitors to share your page on the news feed. This will allow their friends see which page they signed up for. Other people will be intrigued on what their friend has shared and check out your page themselves.

8. Use heat maps.

When you use heat maps, you’ll see ‘unclickable’ sections which visitors like to click. This will help you understand how visitors see your landing page and what difficulties they encounter when they fill out their information details. Organizing your landing page according to the data from heat maps will make your page more user-friendly and easier to understand.

9. Make your privacy policy visible.

Visitors are naturally wary of placing their contact details on online forms. Reassure them and increase their trust with a visible privacy policy link. Place this link on fields requiring them to encode their email addresses and phone numbers. Knowing that you’ll have a privacy policy in place will make them feel you care about their online protection as much as they do.

10. Set up thank you pages.

Thank you pages are great for advertising relevant products and services your visitors might be interested in. Give access to limited trials, free downloads, and other email subscriptions with this page. You can also place social networking share buttons here, if there’s no room on the landing page.


Improving the layout of your landing pages can help you start getting leads for your marketing goals. Go for gold with a well-designed and optimized landing page!



Photo Credit:

For More Personal Facebook Networking Experience

Enabling Subscriptions to Make Social Media Personal for Followers

When it comes to marketing, it’s more important to connect to your followers than to further think of ways to make them like your product and earn more profit. Connections are far more essential, as people are trusted more when they engage with their Facebook friends. But how should you use your personal Facebook account to connect with fellow professionals who want see you in a more personal light online? Wouldn’t it be a bit dangerous to confirm their friend request? Other than that, wouldn’t they be turned off with that picture of you gulping down a mug of beer?

The best way to connect to your followers on Facebook is to allow subscriptions. With subscriptions, you can allow your public posts to appear on your followers’ News Feed. Building connections, of course, means no selling. Post only helpful tips and share links from trustworthy online resources for blogging, content marketing and other social marketing topics. Make sure the pictures you share are relevant to your profession, but make the caption more personal. Be creative in posting funny and engaging posts, and use ‘I,’ ‘we,’ and ‘us’ often. These words signal personal engagement and encourage followers to ‘like,’ ‘comment’ and ‘share’ your content.

Allowing public subscriptions is still a bit risky. This makes it necessary to learn about Facebook privacy settings. Make sure your personal status updates, photos, and links are safely hidden. Limit the number of people who can see your private posts. Tweak the privacy button of your previously published photo albums, videos, and more. This will protect them from public view and let you share only those pieces of content which are socially acceptable for online acquaintances.

“It only takes four Likes and four comments to rise to the top of the newsfeed.” – Penny Sansevieri, marketing specialist at

Update your posts with original write-ups about your area of expertise. Share your professional take on social media matters and provide information about different topics related to your line of work. You can also spice up the content with humorous comic strips, thoughtful quotes and other content you can safely make public. This will endear you to your followers and encourage them to keep up with your updates. Just remember not to sell, and only post content that engages the interest of your colleagues, customers, and other followers.


Booting Up Your Business


5 Digital Tools to Advance Your Brand in 2013

Bringing your business online is just the first step in establishing your brand among online audiences. Other than creating a visually pleasing, easily navigable and user-friendly website, you’ll need a blog or podcast, as well as a few social media pages. There are also other tools you need to make your online marketing campaigns a success. Here are some tools recommended by, which you can use to fully realize the potential of your campaigns and earn more customers:

1. Social Bookmarking

Social bookmarking allows users to save bookmarks on a public site and tag them with keywords. These keywords will allow you to easily find bookmarks you have saved. You’ll need to register on a social bookmarking site so you can store bookmarks, which you can designate for public or private use. Visitors on these sites can search for resources using keywords, persons or popularity to see the public bookmarks registered users made.

Popular social bookmarking sites include Twitter, Pinterest, Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit, and more. Brands can use these sites to save their finds and share them with their followers. This will encourage engagement as followers will be exposed to your products and services, resources, and other marketing content. You can also post interesting pictures and links that will engage your followers’ attention and make them more interested in what you’re posting. One business who gained success in using a social bookmarking site is Whole Foods.

Whole Foods used Pinterest to show boards, which interest their customers. From plants to recipes to kitchen decorations, this business has engaged followers until they grew to have more than 60,000 followers.

2. F-Commerce

Facebook is the largest social media site today with more than 800,000,000 users. With this site, you can create ecommerce opportunities to boost your sales. This especially works for businesses which are popular on Facebook. Show your appreciation for their continued engagement with exclusive product offers. Encourage them to share the limited offer to their friends. According to research, “users are four times as likely to conduct a transaction inside Facebook if it is referred to them by a trusted friend.”

Promote your exclusive offers on weekends when users are likely to be online. As they spend more or less 25% of their web browsing time on Facebook, there’s ample opportunity for your business to garner attention and incur sales.

Giving exclusive offers like what Oscar de la Renta did can bring more likes to your Facebook page and make it easier to reach a wider audience.

3. Digital Deals

Coupons are the way to a savvy shopper’s heart. Catch the attention of bargain-hunting users with discount offers on your page. This has the added benefit of increasing engagement on your page and attracting more people to browse your content. Coupons also have a way of getting new customers inside your store. This gives you a chance to widen your client base, so ensure you make those deals enticing. Strive to perform stellar customer service to make them come back and become regular visitors.

Any business can use deals to make more people come to their shop. Inquire with deal sites to promote your business using coupons.

4. Mobile Photo Sharing

Most of us have a fascination with pictures, as these can serve as records of memorable times. This spurred the development of Instagram and other picture editing and sharing applications. Businesses can use this tool to take pictures of their own products and services in beautiful and creative ways. Milysan Troche used Instagram to post images of her fashionable outfits. She quickly gained popularity with her tasteful style until followers inquired whether she can post and help them sell their slightly used luxury merchandise. Troche’s consignment business grew rapidly until her Instagram cannot handle the demand as fast as it used to. This made Troche launch where multiple items are sold on the same day they are posted.

Other businesses can also succeed on Instagram. One thing to keep in mind about posting on this application is to ensure you publish only the most beautiful images you have of your merchandise. Poorly taken pictures will not succeed, so make sure to take good pictures or hire a professional to help you out.

5. Gamification

Gamification employs gaming mechanics to encourage users to behave as desired and through the use of a point and reward system. Badges, levels, challenges and the possibility to level up increase the users’ motivation and make them engage more.

One example of this method is Foursquare, an app used to save and share the places you’ve visited. When users record where they have been, they earn points, challenge friends, earn badges, and become ‘Mayors’ of places they visited.

The Bottom Line

These tools can help businesses earn success for their marketing campaigns. Using these tools helps you learn which method will work best for your trade. Consider each one to supplement the traffic coming to your website and social networking pages.


References: Instagram for Business Gamification

Kissmetrics Blog

Photo Credits:

When Social Media Tactics Go Wrong


What Potential Pitfalls to Avoid on Social Media Marketing

Social media can change the trend of a business’ growth online. Using the wrong methods, however, can make your movement fall and go down. How do you avoid those mistakes and make your start-up fare well on social marketing?

There are many social networks to choose from when planning your advertising campaign. Don’t get excited and try them all at the same time, as not all social networks are the same. This is true even if they have similar features such as the ever-present ‘Like’ and ‘Comment.’ Each one targets different audiences and works with specific types of content.

Google+, for example, isthe social site for ‘techie’ experts, engineers, web designers, software developers, and students. It caters more to males with visitors counting up to 69.62%, according to the infograph from Zintro. Pinterest, on the other hand, is the opposite. Its visitor demographics are 80% women and 20% men, 50% of whom have children. It is therefore likely for a mom with children living on the Midwest to have a Pinterest account.

The data above illustrates how distinct each social network can be with each other. It is more important to focus your campaign on one or two social media sites ONLY so you can reach your target audience. If you went wild to join all social networks, you’ll just end up unable to do anything to make your strategy succeed. The adage, “Don’t bite off more than you can chew,” works well for this situation. Multitasking is no use because 1) you have to update your social media sites, and 2) you have to engage your customers in a meaningful manner.

Choosing the best social network for your business is the right strategy to take. Where are your target consumers located online? Are they active in social networking? Which sites do they frequent? Direct your strategies here and make sure your regular customers know they can reach you online and interact with you on the company page.

Hoping that your audience will engage with your content is not advisable, too. There should be an effort on your part to make your audience engage with your content and share it to others. How do you get them to do this? First,write your content short and your message sweet. That doesn’t mean that your blog articles or podcast sessions can be incomplete and haphazardly done. Make your message concise and creative. Phrase your points in a direct manner. Most importantly, write as if you’re talking to them. This makes communication with easier. It also helps when you concentrate on topics that are interesting to them.

The technique above may work for B2B companies. For B2C companies, pictures and videos work better. Starbucks certainly got the formula for success as evidenced by the customer and fan engagement on its Facebook page:

Pictures and videos are indeed drivers of customer engagement. Studies show that people click on them more, rather than links and text posts. The numbers prove that this conclusion is correct, as the fourth picture got more than 30,000 likes. The inimitable frappuccino by itself fetches a large number of likes because it is delicious. The half-price promo contributed to the popularity factor, though. It perked up interest, made people talk about it, and share the news to their own friends.

Showing a human face to your followers is also another strategy to take note of. The first picture on the top left demonstrated how effective this is. Although it’s not a picture, it still generated a lot of engagement. This is because the link encouraged fans to participate in a cause that Starbucks has sponsored. Engagement increased as a result, and caused many to participate.

This effect is also shown on the photo album, Starbucks Global Month of Service. It engaged people because it shows that Starbucks gives back to the community and strives to “create a positive change in their local neighborhoods.” Your business can adopt this strategy as your own, even if you don’t have charity projects. The target here is to make your customers feel a bond with your business. What you can do is to take pictures of your staff doing their best to perform their tasks. Show followers how your staff creates the products you sell or take pictures of them smiling as they give the order to customers.

Combine promos with pictures, videos and other content. This encourages people to take notice, click your content, and rush to your store.

Getting customers to engage when they don’t know you is difficult. Before you provide them content, introduce yourself first with effective online advertising. Get yourself promoted with the help of influencers or the big people on the social networks. These influencers have thousands of followers. If you manage to convince an influencer with a thousand followers to promote you, there’s a chance you’ll get more followers on your own page. You can get by even if only a hundred or even fifty people ‘like’ your content and engage with your content, as long as they’re genuinely interested.

Another way you can promote yourself is to encourage positive word of mouth. This works best if you have many happy customers satisfied with your work. When customers are satisfied with your business, they refer other people to go to you. This makes it important that you serve high-quality products and combine it with professional and personable customer service. Once you get glowing reviews, offer them your business card that has your contact details and the links to your social networking pages. They’ll look for you online, and since they know you already, you’ll attract them with your creative and well thought-out content.



Social Media Today

On Promoting a Product


Who do you believe? Promotion Influencers or Brand Advocates?

Entrepreneurs want word to get out about the fine quality of their products. They rely on ads and reviews to reach their target market, but new customers are not forthcoming. Searching for ways to stimulate interest, entrepreneurs try to persuade bloggers, promoters, and other people who have huge social clout to drive the hype. Special offers and gifts are offered to make these ‘influencers’ post about the businesses. Do you think this will be an effective way to make people notice and go to the shops being promoted?

In a way, yes. Influencers can persuade their followers to check out the brands they sponsor. Many followers would indeed follow suit and retweet or share the promotional post from their idol. This has the potential to become viral, especially if the influencer is very popular among your business’ target audience.

How many people would actually buy the product, though? Only the truly interested ones. The first group involve people who want to try out everything their idol tells them about; the second group would be composed of people who needs that product. This might get returns for your business, but the results of an influencer’s promotion cannot be easily measured. This can only be done if you conduct a survey among your customers and ask them how they found out about your product. You can also ask them why they decided to buy from you, instead of going to other stores.

What does an influencer really do? An influencer drives more awareness instead of actual engagement.  Once an influencer posts about something, followers immediately take notice. As a result, information is spread to everyone who sees the post. How is this different from the persuasive power of a brand advocate? A brand advocate is someone who’s passionate about a certain product or service. This person serves to convince many people of the effectiveness of the merchandise they’ve tried.

The usual influencer is a pundit (or subject expert), a blogger or a celebrity. When authorities on a specific field endorse product claims, people usually believe what they say because these experts are knowledgeable and likely to be right. A dentist, for example, promotes a toothpaste brand to be more efficient in getting rid of bacteria, plaque, and tartar. Patients who believe in everything the dentist says will go to the nearest store and buy the brand the dentist endorsed. They may go back to their original toothpaste brand if they find out the promoted brand is ineffective or expensive.

Highly satisfied customers, on the other hand, are brand advocates who have tried out products or services and became delighted with the results. As a result, they go around saying ‘wonderful’ things about the product. They may go online, post positive reviews and give your store four to five out of five stars. If they’re part of social network, they’ll look for your brand online and visit your page often. They post pictures of themselves using your merchandise, saying how happy they are with the outcome. This influences their own friends to try your product for themselves. If they liked your product as much as the first one did, a series of positive reactions will follow and new customers will line up in front of your store to get your goods.

When customers are satisfied, they give glowing reviews. A happy customer’s recommendation is more heartfelt and genuine than an influencer’s backing. This is because an influencer may be offered incentives to advertise a product. Freebies and other gifts may be provided to urge someone to promote something. Brand advocates do not endorse a product because they get something out of it. They’ll give good reviews as long as they appreciate the merchandise from your store. Their liking for a product lasts, unlike influencers who stop after a few posts.

Let’s look at some posts from happy customers. The first picture shows a post from a girl who loves Fibisco Chocolate Chip Cookies, while the one on the right are chocolate macaroons with the filling made from Mars Chocolate. These two posts show how satisfied customers declare their love for a product. They just want to tell people how pleased they are, which causes other people to take notice and try the product for themselves to find out what’s so great about it.

So, who wins the standoff between influencers and brand advocates?

Brand advocates have far more reach than influencers have, because people trust recommendations that come from those whom they know personally. They hardly believe in someone who may have been paid to endorse a product. As a matter of fact, it is speculated whether influencers really believe in the authenticity of the merchandise they’re promoting. Are they really sure the product they promote is really better than other goods in the market?



Photo Credit:

Tumblr Picture of Fibisco

Under Yelp’s Influence


How Positive Reviews can Boost a Restaurant’s Reputation by 19%

According to a study conducted by the University of California Berkeley, a slight half-star improvement in ratings can pull up a restaurant’s ratings by 19%.

This statement definitely has merit. People on the go looking for new restaurants to dine in search the Internet using their work computers or smartphones. They browse and look for restaurants with at least 3.5 stars. Once they see how many positive ratings your restaurant has, they’ll invite their friends or colleagues out to lunch or for dinner.

The above scenario demonstrates why businesses should take seriously. Entrepreneurs should keep an eye out for negative reviews, as those can pull down the ratings faster than gravity. You should also encourage customers who are delighted with your products and services to post their reviews on the site. This will strengthen customer relationships and bring new people to your restaurant.

How do you spruce up your page?

The first thing you should do is to complete your profile. Include all the relevant details and post pictures of your restaurants to make it immediately recognizable, especially on the local level. A business page complete with all the details is more attractive to look at and generates a positive image even before customers see the reviews. This makes visitors think that this business takes reviews seriously. Good presentation poses good advertising effects for your online marketing efforts.

Addressing comments and complaints is also very important. Pay equal attention to both as these can spell success or failure for your business. Thank customers who made positive reviews and immediately attend to complaints in a diplomatic manner. Doing so will improve your standing in the eyes of your customers. This makes you appear concerned enough to make things right between you and the irate client. Pandering to complaints, however, can backfire. If you don’t think the complaint is reasonable, then you can ignore the comment, especially when it concerns ‘that expensive price on a dish.’ Criticisms about bad service and product defects should be quickly seen to. These can cast a bad light on your business and damage your reputation.

Take your online presence on Yelp seriously. This website gets more or less 78 million unique visitors per quarter.


References: Link 1

Mashable Link 2

Getting the Scoop on Yelp


Managing Your Business Online Presence in One of the Largest Review Sites

Yelp is an online database of business reviews written by customers for other people who might be interested in going to a local store. This website helps people find good places to shop, eat, drink or loosen up after a whole day’s work. Yelp is a site where you can find both nice and unpleasant evaluations of different businesses.

Many people use Yelp – reviewers who want to share their experience, vacationers who want to know more about the place they’ve visited and other people who want to know more about a certain business. This makes it necessary for entrepreneurs to pay more attention to this site which now has more than 20 million reviews on its record. These reviewshave the ability to make or break businesses, depending on what was written.

Businesses need to make their mark on this site immediately. This is because your own business information can appear on Yelp without you knowing it. Third-party data providers gather basic business details and contact numbers from public sources. Search your business name on Yelp to see if it comes up on the site. You may need to correct the facts listed, such as address, phone numbers, and more.

If you want to benefit from the web traffic visiting Yelp every day, coordinate with the site to place ads that make your business visible online to more potential customers. Placing ads are not for free, though, so you need to plan how yto advertise your merchandise on this review site. Other than that, here are some things you need to know about this site:

1.  Yelp’s traffic comes from its home page.

Out of the 78 million people browsing on Yelp, 60% of the site traffic mainly comes from laptops and desktop computers, with smartphone traffic following after. The number of visitors using mobile phones to access Yelp is increasing, though, so entrepreneurs will do well to add their Yelp business information on their mobile campaigns.

2.  Retail stores have the biggest category.

Before September 2011, restaurants are the top search term customers use when they go to Yelp. Now, retail stores and other shopping centers make up the biggest group on the review site. This is because people look for more alternatives in their shopping trips due to the economic downturn that hit the country. Many businesses involved in retail have seen this opportunity and went to Yelp.

3.  Don’t ask customers to post reviews on Yelp.

According to Darnell Holloway, Yelp’s Local Business Outreach manager, businesses should not solicit reviews from their customers. This is because Yelp wants to focus on raising awareness rather than making businesses compete with each other with the number of reviews they have on their respective pages.This also runs the risk of making customers feel like promotional prizes that must be touted for everyone visiting Yelp.

4.  Earn Your ‘People Love Us on Yelp’ Stickers.

Companies with consistent high ratings get free ‘People Love Us on Yelp’ as proof of their perfect online reputation. Once a business earns this ‘badge of honor, customers familiar with Yelp will trust this business more and visit more frequently.

5.  You can ask reviews to be posted on Yelp through subtle ways.

Yelp recommends that entrepreneurs to add the URL of their Yelp business page onemail signatures and business cards to let customers they’re on the review site. This is a more understated way to request a customer to look at your Yelp page and write a review.

6.  Yelp used to pay for reviews.

When Yelp was just starting, they paid for reviews outside the San Francisco area to get more people to visit their site and pull up their search engine rankings. This strategy was abandoned, however, when Yelp started to grow and became more popular.

7.  Customer service has the greatest pull.

When people grade a business, they put more value on customer service than the quality of the merchandise they bought. This proves that engagement and service levelsare more important in terms of building good relationships with customers. Put more attention to the way you conduct customer service to make people more aware of your good qualities.This can persuade them to come back.

8.  For every star you earn, there’s a 5-9% increase in profit.People naturally want to go to stores, boutiques and other commercial establishments with high ratings. When your 3 1/2 star rating becomes 4 or 4 1/2, more customers will patronize your store. If they’re satisfied with your overall service, they’ll become part of your regular client base.

9.  Yelp is inclined to invite reviews for independent businesses rather than chains.

Independent businesses get more reviews than chains because their service tends to become more or less uniform. This is because chain businesses have an overall management committee who keeps tabs on the way things are run on each branch. Independent businesses, on the other hand, have varying reviews because they are managed by different people with different approaches to how they run a business.

10.  Entrepreneurs can approach Yelp about ‘inappropriate’ reviews.

When businesses receive malicious reviews, business owners can contact Yelp and dispute over the review. Entrepreneurs can communicate with the reviewers, if necessary.

11.  Yelp advises businesses not to sue over bad reviews.

Negative reviews, especially fake ones, can make tempers boil until the entrepreneur is forced to file a lawsuit against a reviewer. Before starting legal action, Yelp advises to let cooler heads prevail because undue attention will be given to the review in question. This will make customers stay away from your store more and bring your revenues down.

Businesses can earn more revenue with Yelp if there are more positive reviews than negative ones. What you can do to yieldpositive reviews is to continue providing reliable service and fine products for your customers.



Yelp FAQ