Yelp is very much like Google in one way: it’s always best to be at or near the top when people are searching for keywords related to your brand. As with traditional SEO, there’s a conscious effort you have to make to give your Yelp business listing a fighting chance to display at the top of the search results. If you pass on that and instead decide to put your Yelp marketing on autopilot, you can expect that you won’t be very successful.
Here are a few steps you can take to ensure that you rank at the top of Yelp. 1. Choose the Right Service Category This should be a no-brainer, but entrepreneurs frequently make the mistake of improperly classifying their business category. Not just on Yelp, but on other platforms as well. Double-check your entry to ensure that it’s listed under the category appropriate to your industry. If it’s not, then it won’t matter if you have all the right keywords sprinkled throughout your listing. You’re going to face an uphill battle when it comes to attracting new business. 2. Make a List of Keywords You Want to Rank For Once you’re certain that you’ve got your business listed under the right category, it’s time to step away from the computer and brainstorm with a few of your associates. Specifically: you want to come up with a list of keywords that you want to rank for in Yelp. For example: if you’re running an SEO business, you might want to rank not just for “SEO” (a very competitive keyword), but “SEO business,” “SEO help,” “SEO company,” etc. Grab yourself a whole portfolio of keywords from your brainstorming session and then prioritize the ones that you think will give you the best chance of reeling in new customers. Be sure to keep the other ones handy in case you want to use them at some point in the future. Pro-tip: Be sure to include one or more longtail keywords. They can turn into gold on Yelp.
3. Update Your Listing With Those Keywords Now that you’ve got your list of keywords, it’s time to use them throughout your listing. Specifically, focus on including the keywords in your Specialties section. The Yelp search engine seems to pay particularly close attention to that section. It’s in your best interest to make sure that as many of your keywords as possible are placed there. For example, if you’re running a local restaurant, you should use the Specialties section to list all the types of food that you serve at your restaurant. That way, if somebody searches for a particular cuisine, it’s much more likely that you’ll appear near the top.