Yelp is traditionally seen as an important online marketing tool for B2C companies – we’re all used to seeing retailers, small businesses, local businesses and restaurants on the platform. However, B2B companies can also use Yelp to build their brand’s positive reputation online and increase organic SEO, not to mention bring in new clients.

Consider the following statistics about Yelp for business:
Yelp for Business Facts

  • 79% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
  • 44% of customers base their decision after reading a review
  • 66% of reviews are 4 or 5 stars
  • 62% of Yelp searches are on a mobile device
  • Only 20% of businesses on Yelp are restaurants (people are searching for reviews on everything)

No matter who you are serving, from specialized law and accounting firms to technology start-ups and design firms, or how you categorize your business (B2C or B2B), Yelp can help you grow.

Keep reading for more about how different types of businesses leverage Yelp.

How a B2B company can use Yelp for business

Marketing and advertising agencies help many different types of businesses develop, refine and execute strategies that will help them reach goals — and the perfect example of how a B2B company can use Yelp.

While there are many different ways to reach a goal, most marketers at agencies will start by stressing the importance of social media in developing new and existing customer relationships — and Yelp is an ideal network to start on. Providing potential customers with social proof is one of the most-effective ways that a business can build trust.

Agencies advising clients about the importance of social proof should take their own advice and start using Yelp to bring new clients through the door. After all, practicing what you preach is a good strategy to both convert new clients and demonstrate the effectiveness of your services.

Yelp alternatives

There is no shortage of review sites on the web and many big social media players (Facebook and Google+) as well as directories (Citysearch, Yahoo! Local Listings, etc.) have jumped on the review-bandwagon and now incorporate them into existing pages.

If you haven’t already optimized your directories, claiming and fixing them should be one of your first steps. If you aren’t sure how you are listed (or which directories you are listed in), you can run a free report here.

Here are a few of the review sites you should keep an eye on:

  • Consumer Reports: provides expert editorially-written reviews on consumer products, such as cars, appliances and electronics. While you can’t influence the reviews on Consumer Reports, if a product you sell gets a positive review from them, it would be worthwhile to promote that fact.
  • Better Business Bureau (BBB): this nonprofit is a council that acts as an intermediary between customers and businesses. The BBB is one of the most-visited websites and provides free reviews for 4 million businesses in the U.S. and Canada. By being BBB accredited, the 400,000 members pay dues and comply with the organization’s pledge of building trust.
  • Glassdoor: allows current and former employees to provide feedback about their time working for your business, share their salary and thoughts on management. In addition, people you interview can post about the process and whether or not they accepted an offer. If you are wondering why employee reviews are important, consider this: prospective employees interviewing at your company will (most-likely) do their research before interviewing — and these reviews will come up in any basic search.

Our experience with Yelp for business

Vivial is an online marketing company — not the typical business you expect to see on Yelp. However, we do have an active Yelp page for a few reasons:

  • Yelp reviews help us learn more about what is and isn’t (hey, nobody is perfect!) working, providing us with free (and easy) advice.
  • Our customers are on the network, making it easy for them to find our information and content.
  • It helps us build our organic SEO. When someone searches “Vivial” on Google our Yelp page is the third result. Yelp is powerful in terms of boosting your SEO (if you can’t beat them, join them).

Yelp for Business

Vivial is in the business of providing local business with online marketing products and services — and review sites are very important to them. In order to provide the best service possible, we practice what we preach on Yelp (nobody likes a hypocrite).

Some of the questions our clients ask us are:

  • How can I get more positive reviews?
  • Can I quickly rank in search queries?
  • Now that I have optimized my directories, where is the best place to post my business’s information and get more customers?

And the answer is a definitive “Yelp!”

A Yelp presence doesn’t take a lot of time or effort to manage. In fact, your social media manager can easily build it into their schedule. If you don’t have a social media manager, there are tools available that can help you keep track of all your social pages and review sites.

How you manage the day-to-day elements of review sites is up to you, but it is crucial that your business has a strategy and active presence on key review sites (like Yelp).

Don’t have a Yelp business page? Create one now!