Create a Strong Presence on Yelp

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A Nielsen survey found that 78 percent of consumers turn to review sites to find local businesses — and most of these consumers use Yelp as their review site of choice. In fact, a recent study by Software Advice revealed that people who found an attorney through a review site used Yelp more often and rated Yelp more trustworthy than other review sites like Super Lawyers, Martindale-Hubbell and Avvo.

Searching for legal services on Yelp isn’t a casual online activity. A potential client who is searching on Yelp for an attorney is generally someone who has never needed representation before, is new to the area, or is unhappy with their previous legal aid. This is a great opportunity for you to get your firm in front of them and highlight why they should have you represent them.

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Every business owner has the ability to claim their free Yelp For Business Owners account to start attracting new clients. Between taking care of your firm, appointments with your clients, your caseload and building your brand, there’s not a lot of time left! Here are five tips for making the most of your free Yelp tools.

Tip 1 — Complete Your Listing.

Once you claim your Yelp For Business Owners account at biz.yelp.com, walk through the steps to verify your firm’s hours, website, address and phone number. Then, add a specialties section that describes the specific services you offer and what sets your law practice apart from the rest.

Pro tip: All Yelp users search differently. Some may search “lawyer,” while others search for “DUI attorney.” Make sure to include details about your services and special offerings so you’re easy to find! Visuals also help to communicate what potential customers can expect from you and your business. You can upload an unlimited number of photos, so don’t hold back. Images of your business, your staff and happy customers are always a great start.

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Tip 2 — Check-In Offers and Yelp Deals.

You can setup a Check-In Offer or Yelp Deal through your Yelp For Business Account in a few quick clicks. Check-In Offers engage Yelp’s mobile users. These users are searching on-the-go and tend to take action faster (i.e., calling your business or mapping directions from the Yelp app). Check-In Offers can be anything from a free item, a percentage off the appointment, or even a free consultation to hear about the client’s needs, which you may already offer. The best thing about Check- In Offers? Consumers are prompted to leave you a review the next time they log in to Yelp after checking in at your business. It helps grow your brand across social platforms like Facebook and Twitter and engages customers beyond leaving a review.

Setting up Yelp Deals is another great way to grab a customer for the first time. You select the value of your Yelp Deal through your account and you can turn it on or off whenever you choose.

Tip 3 — Respond to Reviews.

You can respond to reviews publicly or privately through Yelp For Business Owners. Remember, when responding to your reviews, it is important to remain professional. Thank the reviewer for their feedback and share any updates you’ve made to your firm based on their concerns. Consumers view a response to a negative review as the business valuing the client’s experience and wanting to engage with consumers on a personal level. Sending short private messages to positive reviewers also shows those happy clients you appreciate their business!

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Tip 4 — Download the Mobile App For Business Owners.

The first step to keeping all the Yelp tools right in your pocket is to visit the iTunes or Google Play store and download the free Yelp For Business Owners app. Remember, it’s blue, not red! Once you log in to your account, you will stay logged in on your device. This is great for quick and easy access. You will notice multiple features available to you, including the ability to check your activity, respond to reviews and upload photos.

Tip 5 — Spread the Word.

When you have a great review, you want people to see it! You can now log in to Yelp For Business Owners and share your reviews on other platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter or via email. We’ve even seen businesses print their reviews and hang them on the walls! Beyond that, you can also make your Yelp star rating visible in your office or on your website. You can also always request a “Find Us On Yelp” sticker. Visit Yelp.com/ brand to see all of the approved stickers, signage and hyperlinks to include Yelp in your email signature or on your website.

Don’t take my word for it! There are business owners all around the world growing their businesses through Yelp. If you have questions about any of the resources mentioned or available to you on Yelp, you can always visit the support center for business owners. Emily Washcovick

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