In today’s digital world, having an online presence is essential for any business that wants to reach and engage with potential customers. However, having a website alone may not be enough to stand out from the competition and attract more leads and sales. You also need to leverage other platforms that can help you increase your visibility, credibility, and reputation online.
One of the most popular and effective platforms for local businesses are online directories and review sites, such as your Google Business Profile, Yelp, or Facebook. These sites allow you to create a business profile that showcases your basic information, such as your name, address, phone number, website, hours of operation, and services or products. They also allow you to collect and display customer reviews, ratings, photos, and feedback that can influence your online reputation and word-of-mouth referrals.
But which platform is more important for your business? Google My Business or Yelp? Or maybe both? Here are some factors to consider when deciding which platform to focus on:
- Audience size and reach: Google is the most widely used search engine in the world, with over 90% of the global market share. This means that most people who are looking for a local business online will use Google to find it. Google My Business allows you to appear on Google Search and Maps results when someone searches for your type of business in your area. Yelp, on the other hand, has a smaller but more loyal and engaged audience of over 200 million monthly users who rely on Yelp to find and review local businesses. Yelp also partners with other platforms, such as Bing, Yahoo, and Apple Maps, to display its reviews and ratings.
- User behavior and intent: Google users tend to have a higher purchase intent than Yelp users. This means that they are more likely to be ready to buy or contact a business when they search on Google. Yelp users tend to be more interested in browsing and comparing different options before making a decision. They also tend to be more influenced by reviews and ratings than Google users.
- Review quantity and quality: Google tends to have more reviews than Yelp for most businesses, as it is easier and more convenient for customers to leave a review on Google without creating an account or logging in. However, this also means that Google reviews may be less reliable or trustworthy than Yelp reviews, as they are more prone to spam or fake reviews. Yelp has a stricter review filter system that aims to weed out low-quality or fraudulent reviews. However, this also means that some legitimate reviews may get filtered out or hidden by Yelp.
- Features and functionality: Google offers more features and functionality than Yelp for both businesses and customers. For example, Google allows businesses to add posts, photos, videos, products, services, events, offers, Q&A, and messaging options to their profiles. It also allows customers to book appointments or reservations directly from the profile. Yelp has fewer features and functionality for businesses and customers. For example, Yelp does not allow businesses to add posts or events to their profiles. It also does not allow customers to book appointments or reservations directly from the profile.
Based on these factors, it seems that Google My Business is more important than Yelp for most businesses in terms of audience size and reach, user behavior and intent, review quantity and quality, and features and functionality. However, this does not mean that you should ignore Yelp completely. Yelp still has a significant role in local SEO and online reputation management for some industries and markets. For example, if you are in the restaurant or hospitality industry, you may benefit from having a strong presence on Yelp as well as your Google Business Profile.
Therefore, the best strategy is to use both platforms in conjunction with each other and optimize your profiles accordingly. Here are some tips on how to do that:
- Claim and verify your profiles on both platforms
- Complete your profiles with accurate and consistent information
- Add relevant keywords and categories to your profiles
- Add high-quality photos and videos to your profiles
- Encourage your customers to leave reviews on both platforms
- Respond to reviews promptly and professionally on both platforms
- Monitor your performance and analytics on both platforms
By following these tips, you can leverage both your Google Business Listing and Yelp to improve your online visibility, credibility, and reputation, and ultimately grow your business.