How can Yelp help your practice?

How can Yelp help your practice?

By: Diego Aguilar

I think I can speak for a majority of people in LA when I say that Yelp has dramatically improved the way we discover new restaurants, cafes, and even doctors.  I’ve always associated Yelp with food because the company started as a website to find rated places to eat in my area.  I recently discovered that Yelp has evolved to any practice that provides a service to consumers.  Yelp has helped me find a good place to repair my phone, get quality framing for my painting and even find a good plumber.  Who would have thought that the Yelp users (Yelpers) were going to help the website and now app, turn into something so powerful?  This article should help you get more patients through Yelp by following a few key steps.

What is a Yelp business page exactly?

Yelp launched in 2014, and it continues to be a go-to resource for millions of visitors looking for information about local businesses.  The platform is a powerful force when it comes to social reviews and it is currently being used by over 60 million people nationwide.  Yelp allows business profile pages to be created in order to provide a user as much information as possible about that business.

Why does Yelp matter?

Yelp profiles and queries are being served on both Google and Yahoo’s first page of their search engine results.  This means that Google and Yahoo typically show results associated with Yelp which then takes a user to the Yelp page listing businesses associated with that search.  Being ranked in the first page of Google can be a timely and costly task, but Yelp can get your business there faster!

Things you can do to improve your Yelp listing:

  1. Complete your Yelp profile: Chances are that your medical practice is already listed on Yelp.  If it is, then take a moment to claim your business. Yelp will require you to verify ownership of your practice and create a free Yelp account which is an easy process. After this, you should navigate to the “Business Information” section of your business account.  Your profile can be a rich source of information for your consumers such as the category of your business, address, phone number, description, hours of operation, etc.  Take advantage of the different information fields to educate your potential consumers as much as possible.
  2. Create a strong photo gallery: Photos can add interest to your page and most Yelp business pages only display a few poorly shot photos.  Take advantage of the photo gallery and showcase your medical practice as much as you can. If you are a restaurant, then post photos of your favorite dishes.  According to studies, people searching Yelp for local businesses spend 2.5 times more time on a Yelp listing with photos, which is yet another good reason to post them.
  3. Respond to Yelp reviews (even the negative ones): Yelp allows businesses to respond to consumer reviews publicly.  This is a feature not used by many businesses, but it can be a powerful way to appreciate a customer or address negativity in a calm and respectful way.  Studies show that 33% of negative reviews turn positive when you respond to them, so your social reputation is within your control.  Your visibility as a doctor will do a lot to set you apart from your competition, especially because not a lot of others are doing it!

Yelp also offers businesses the opportunity to advertise through their platform.  The way way advertising works is typically through display ads and ranking your business listing in a better spot.  There are several ways a business can benefit from advertising on Yelp but my favorite is not allowing any of your competitors to be displayed on your business page.  This allows a user to focus and read only about your business instead of being wooed by a close competitor.

The steps shown above should help you get ahead of your competitors.  There are several other variables that are a little more advanced and depending on the time and commitment you can provide, Yelp can turn into the main referral source for your business by ranking higher than any other business in your category and in your area.


Casel, B (2013). 7 ways to use Yelp to improve your business. Social Examiner.  Retrieved from

LV (2015). How to promote your business using Yelp. Local Vox. Retrieved by

Chaney, P (2014). How to use Yelp for local marketing. Fit small business. Retrieved by

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