How and Why Your Restaurant Should Set-up/Claim Your FREE Yelp Business User Account

Here is a brief tutorial that will help you get up and running in no time to manage and administrate your Yelp business account/restaurant page. You will need it to thank all the great contributors although you it is all the annoying Yelpers expressing their feelings that will require you to sign-up.

If you are a restaurant owner, this brief tutorial will give you a step-by-step guide to setting up your Yelp business account.

Photo Description: a Yelp graphic of a small building which represents a business.

“Yelp on average has about 145 million monthly visitors with approximately 2.8 million claimed local businesses.”

Free Tools for Restaurant Owners on Yelp

Love it or hate it (it’s alright to despise aspects of Yelp, I do), it’s in your best interest to take advantage of Yelp as a tool. I say this because Yelp on average has about 145 million monthly visitors with approximately 2.8 million claimed local businesses. That makes Yelp a substantial player in making or breaking a small business, so I highly suggest you put Yelp to use with these free tools since they give everybody and anybody a huge soapbox to complain or say anything they want without discretion.

Photo Description: Daikokuya ramen screenshot on yelp.
Daikokuya Ramen in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles is one of the restaurants on Yelp with the most reviews (that only attracts more business).

You should also note that a Yelp business account is completely free. It is not a limited time free trial, and a credit card is not required to continue to use it. The base features are completely accessible; otherwise, I wouldn’t be writing this blog post because there’s nothing more aggravating than to sign-up for a service touted as “free,” but to be later asked to pay to use the service with some level of effectiveness. Of course, the paid features may be very useful, but I’ll get to that in a future post.

  1. Keep Your Restaurants information Updated
    • From the start, you’ll want to make sure your basic information such as business name, address, phone number, web address, the category, and hours of operation are correctly listed. I have been to businesses that didn’t keep up on updating this information which can be very frustrating since most companies don’t have or maintain their website or Facebook page.
  2. Respond to reviews
    • Reach out and acknowledge or thank people for great reviews while also chiming in on not so stellar reviews because there are always two sides. Just keep in mind, this is the part of your free account where you’ll want to be extremely careful on how you manage or respond.
  3. Track business analytics
    • This tool allows you to see how much traffic your Yelp page is getting, along with a general description of who your page visitors are such as “a woman in her 20’s from Norwalk, CA” to what they were doing on your page “clicked to call your business.”
  4. Upload photos
    • You can upload your imagery, but they just need to abide by their terms of service. Beyond that, you do have the option to pay an additional $25 a month, so that you’ll be able to prioritize your imagery or designate your featured image on your landing page.
  5. Create a Yelp Deal
    • Yelp deals are just that, “deals”. You can liken this to Groupon, but unlike Groupon which retains 50% of each discount sold, Yelp takes 30%. Some features make this a potentially attractive feature, but its effectiveness will vary from business to business.
      Create a Check-in Offer
  6. Create a Check-in Offer
    • A check-in offer is a reward for anybody who checks-in to your business with the Yelp mobile app. The reward can be a discount or a give-away which also helps you identify who the Yelp users are when they’re in your business. That can be beneficial because you’ll know how influential and the type of customers you’re getting through your Yelp referrals.
  7. Manage your Yelp presence from your phone
    • The mobile app for business owners give you the tools to respond to reviews, messages, and it keeps tabs on your page on the go like the desktop version does. All you’ll need to do to get the mobile app is to go to this link, enter your number, and they’ll send you to link to install the app.
Photo Description: daikokuya-ramen-yelp-gallery
Not all your customers can take pics/video, but the ones that can, sure do make up for the occasional bad ones (also, keep in mind, most contributors mean well).
Photo Description: a bowl of tonkotsu ramen

If you see somebody taking a pic of their food, it’ll most likely end up on Yelp, Instagram, a blog page, or Google places.

Getting Started

All you’ll need to do to claim your business is to provide your:

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Email Address
  • Password: try not to use “password” or “123456”, haha.

STEP 1: Keep in mind, there are two types of user accounts (this tutorial is for business users) although I’m going to go over the two kinds:

Type 1: PERSONAL YELP ACCOUNT ( This is for anybody wanting to interact with the Yelp community by writing super happy 5-star reviews to 1-star reviews complaining about how the server didn’t maintain a constant smile throughout dinner service.

Photo Description: yelp-personal

Type  2: YELP FOR BUSINESS OWNERS ( The second is the one that you’re going to have to get to know which is the Yelp for business. The “Yelp for business” is your opportunity to take some power back into the hands of your business. The landing screen is here, so make sure you’re on this page:

Photo Description: yelp-biz

STEP 2: Claim your business.

  • SEARCH FOR YOU BUSINESS BY NAME AND LOCATION. If your business does not come up, it may not be in the listings. You can add your business, but before you do that, be sure to do a thorough search because there are occasions where listings are incorrectly listed (remember it’s Yelp users who are adding your information to Yelp, and there are some mangled entries).
  • Enter your Business Name along with the Location and click “Get Started”
    The results page will look something like the one below. Especially if you coincidentally named your business “Japanese” and you are located in “Los Angeles” (haha).
Photo Description: yelp-claim-results
Justa a few of the Japanese restaurants located in the Los Angeles area (like a Gurunavi).

If your business is already listed on Yelp, it’ll show up in the results.If you’ve searched for your business, but it doesn’t show up, you may not be listed. You can add your business here.

  • TO CLAIM YOUR RESTAURANT/BUSINESS. All you have to do is provide your First Name, Last Name, Email Address, and to come up with a secure password.
Photo Description: yelp-sign-up

STEP 2A: RECLAIMING YOUR ACCOUNT. If the account has already been claimed by someone you’re not aware of, you’ll have to track (“hunt”) that person down to get your login credentials. Just be mindful of the fact that Yelp won’t, unfortunately, be able to help you with the identity of this individual due to privacy concerns, so you’re on your own locating this person.

  • If you can’t find that person, you’ll just have to reclaim it. In the search results, you’ll want to click-on “Already claimed”. A message box will pop-up with “If this is your business and you do not have access, you can reclaim it.” Click-on “reclaim it”.
  • You will have to be near and have access to the phone number associated with the business because they’ll call you when you designate them to do that. The automated call is how Yelp confirms that you are authorized to the claim the business account.

STEP 3: Logging in

  • EMAIL ADDRESS AND PASSWORD. Hopefully, you’ve been able to follow along, and everything has gone smoothly. We’ll know that if you’re able to log-in. If not, you may need to repeat the steps till you get it right (6th time is the charm).
Photo Description: yelp-biz-login

STEP 4: You’re finished and ready to go!

If you’re at the end of this tutorial, and you’re still having problems you can also turn to the Yelp support center.

One last bit: we are not affiliated in any way with Yelp or being paid by Yelp to write this. This tutorial is meant for you because we’ve all had to learn something new. If it weren’t for the others who have written a blog or produced a video tutorial to get us up’n’running quicker, I for one wouldn’t have been able to rewire my phone jack because the telephone company wanted to charge $100+ to do it. So I wanted to return the favor because I always have to learn something new.

Aside from Yelp, You Will Also Want to Utilize Google Places for Business

Photo Description: google-places-daikokuya-little-tokyo
Google your restaurant/business to see what comes up.

Unlike Yelp, it seems as though that Google Places for Businesses gets reviewers who are lot more balanced/positive, but don’t hold me to that. That is just my unscientific observation because I will typically see businesses reviewed more favorably on Google versus on Yelp. For example on Google Places, Daikokuya has 1,300+ reviews with a 4.5 stars. On Yelp, upwards of 8k+ reviews and 4.0 stars.

Not everybody uses Yelp, but a lot of people use Google, so when you Google a business, the Google Places results will show up on the right-hand side of the results page which has almost all the features that Yelp offers (minus having to have an app to fully use the service).

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