Why Yelp Business is Not Working?

Yelp has become one of the top ways consumers find and review local businesses. With over 200 million monthly app users and more website visits, having a strong Yelp presence is crucial for local businesses hoping to drive new customers. However, creating and managing a Yelp business page takes work. You can’t just set it and forget it. Many factors go into making your Yelp page successful at driving new business.

After helping hundreds of local business owners improve their Yelp presence and turn Yelp into a powerful source of leads, I’ve seen the common pitfalls that cause Yelp to underperform. In this guide, I’ll share why Yelp’s business is not working and provide actionable tips to fix it.

Not Completing Your Business Page

Not Completing Your Business Page

The first step is actually creating and fully completing your Yelp business page. Shockingly, many local businesses don’t even have a Yelp page, or have an incomplete one. This makes you invisible to Yelp users searching for businesses like yours.

To get found, you need a complete page including:

  • Correct business name, address and phone number
  • Description of your business
  • Business hours
  • Photos
  • Categories that accurately describe your business
  • Attributes like whether you accept credit cards, have parking, offer delivery, etc.

Claiming your page gives you control to add all this info completely and accurately. If you don’t, you miss out on potential customers who don’t find your business or can’t tell what you do.

Not Responding to Reviews

Responding to Yelp reviews is crucial. Yet many businesses ignore them completely.

When you respond to reviews, it shows customers that you value feedback and care about providing a good experience. Studies show responding to reviews increases the chance of customers choosing you over the competition.

But it isn’t enough to just respond to negative reviews. You should reply to positive and average reviews too with a simple thank you.

Set a reminder to check for new Yelp reviews weekly and respond within 24-48 hours. Quick personalized responses that address any issues mentioned in negative reviews can help turn bad experiences into positive ones.

Not Getting Enough Reviews

Not Getting Enough Reviews

Most consumers read reviews and look at star ratings before choosing a business. More reviews generally mean a higher star rating. Yet many businesses don’t make getting reviews a priority.

After providing great service, ask happy customers to leave an honest review. Simply asking is the top way to get more reviews. I recommend asking customers in person, adding a request on receipts, inserting a card with a review link into packages, and posting review links on social media.

Incentivize reviews by offering a discount or free sample for customers who leave a review. Make submitting a review quick and easy by sending a review link via email or text.

Getting to at least 20-30 solid 5-star reviews gives potential customers the confidence to choose you.

Keyword Stuffing

Some businesses try to pack as many popular keywords into their Yelp page as possible. But this keyword stuffing can backfire.

Yelp’s algorithms look for natural use of relevant keywords customers would use to find your business. So keywords need to flow naturally in your content.

Write useful, detailed descriptions in your own voice. Sprinkle in keywords and synonyms that a customer would naturally use. Using forced repetitive keywords could get your page flagged, hiding it from searches.

Fake Reviews

Fake Reviews

While getting more reviews is great, fake or paid reviews are a big no-no. Yelp has strict rules on reviews, banning businesses caught manipulating reviews.

But some business owners take risky shortcuts like paying for reviews or reviewing themselves. This can work temporarily, but Yelp’s moderators get wise and remove the reviews.

Stick to legitimate ways to get real customer reviews. Fake or purchased reviews can ruin your page’s credibility and get you banned from Yelp promotions.

Poor Photos

Photos are one of the first things potential customers see on your Yelp page. But many businesses just use random stock photos or amateur photos snapped on a phone.

Invest in vivid, high-quality photos that showcase your business. Get pictures of happy customers, your storefront, products, and anything that makes your business stand out.

Upload photos in bright lighting from different angles. Refresh the pictures seasonally. Using eye-catching photos that align with your brand makes a stronger impression.

Incorrect Information

Outdated or incorrect info on your Yelp page can be confusing and cost you customers. Details like your hours, physical address, or phone number being wrong can ruin someone’s day if they show up and find you closed.

Regularly check all sections of your Yelp business page to ensure your information is current. Update anything that has changed like new hours, offerings or contact details.

Having the right info builds credibility and trust so customers feel confident choosing you.

Ignoring Suggestions

Yelp lets customers submit suggestions to improve your business. Some owners ignore these suggestions completely. But they provide valuable insights into making your business better.

Read through suggestion regularly. Take constructive suggestions seriously. Does feedback indicate changes customers want like accepting credit cards, offering delivery or staying open later?

Even far-fetched suggestions show what customers are thinking. Reach out to get more details and see if any reasonable improvements make sense for your business.

Not Promoting Your Page

Not Promoting Your Page

Once your page looks great, you need to promote it so more potential customers find you. But many businesses create a Yelp page then never mention it again.

Add a Yelp link, follow button and review sticker to your website and emails. List your Yelp page on all printed marketing materials. Promote new reviews and milestones like 50 reviews on social media.

The more places you promote your updated Yelp page, the more traffic you’ll drive to it. Install the Yelp app and claim your page to track visits and leads.

Ignoring Check-Ins

Yelp check-ins allow customers to share that they are at your location on the Yelp app. Businesses can offer deals to attract more check-ins.

But many local businesses don’t utilize check-ins or promote them. This misses out on potential customers announcing to their Yelp networks that they are at your location.

Offer check-in deals like discounts or free items to incentivize more check-ins. Ask satisfied customers at checkout to check in right then. Check-ins support word-of-mouth marketing.

Sticking With Free Tools

Yelp provides many great free tools but for power users, paid advertising and features may better support business goals. Avoid limiting yourself to just free options.

Consider Yelp Ads to promote your page and offer the above search results. Paying for premium analytics can provide more customer insights.

Upgrading for features like customized badges and the highlight option helps your page stand out. Review paid features to see if any could be worth the investment.

Ignoring Negative Reviews

No business is immune to the occasional negative review, but owners often try to ignore them, hoping they’ll just go away.

Don’t bury your head in the sand regarding negative reviews. A professional public response can mend relationships with dissatisfied customers.

Thank the customer for the feedback, apologize for their poor experience, and offer to make it right. Be sure to follow up offline as well. Handled properly, negative reviews show you care.


What are the first steps to claim and complete my Yelp business page?

Visit and search for your business name. If it exists, click “Claim this Business” and verify ownership to take control of your page. If not, you can create a new page from scratch.

Add key details like your address, phone, website, hours, photos, categories, attributes that apply to your business, and a robust description to get your page fully fleshed out.

What does a good response to a negative Yelp review look like?

Thank the reviewer for their feedback. Acknowledge the issues they raised and apologize for their poor experience. Express your desire to improve and do better next time. Offer to make it right by providing refunds, free services, coupons, etc. Be sure to follow up offline as well.

How often should I ask customers to leave Yelp reviews?

You can never ask too often. The best times to request reviews from satisfied customers are right after a positive interaction in your store, in follow-up emails, on receipts, and on your website.

The key is making it easy to leave a review using direct review links and motivators like reviewer discounts.

What are the benefits of Yelp check-ins I can promote to customers?

When customers check in on Yelp, they share with their networks that they are at your business location. This spreads word-of-mouth exposure.

You can incentivize check-ins by offering free items, discounts, or other perks when customers check-in. It raises visibility and engagement.

Is paying for Yelp Ads worth the cost?

Potentially, as Yelp advertising puts your business in front of interested consumers ready to purchase right when they are searching on Yelp, paying to promote your page and offer the above search results can deliver a nice return on investment in the form of leads and sales.

Consider starting with a small daily budget to test performance and tweaking your ads and keywords to maximize results. The pay-per-click model allows flexibility.


Yelp provides a huge opportunity for local businesses to reach targeted, ready-to-buy customers. But simply having any old Yelp page is no guarantee of success.

Integrating QR codes seamlessly into your event promotions, along with creating a compelling page, managing reviews properly, refreshing content, and promoting your listing, can transform your event into a seamlessly integrated lead-generation machine, leveraging the power of technology and strategic marketing on platforms like Yelp.

Following best practices for managing and optimizing your Yelp business page eliminates the common pitfalls that cause Yelp to underperform. Enhancing your Yelp presence fuels growth by earning more 5-star reviews, traffic, and conversions.

Aaliyah Dana

She enjoys writing about the lifestyle and all things related to the world. She is also an avid gamer who enjoys playing games on his PS4. Aaliyah has been writing for over 5 years and has had articles published on such sites as Forbes, The Huffington Post, Mashable, and more.

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