Yelp SEO Ranking Factors and Profile Optimization Guide

For business owners getting the best ratings on sites like Yelp is important for getting the most customers. While the system they use to rate your listing may seem challenging to understand, with the helpful list we have below, you will find out how they determine your rankings, as well as what you can do to improve your rating.

So, what are the major Yelp SEO Ranking Factors?

Yelp SEO ranking factors

The Major Ranking Factors of Yelp


Existence of Reviews

Having some customer reviews is essential for your business to be seen on Yelp. If your company doesn’t have any reviews for it yet, it won’t be rated well unless you are in a very small region or you don’t have a lot of competition in your business category.

Keyword Relevance of Reviews

When a person does a review for your business, the language they use is important. If they mention your products or location or make direct comments about your services it will have a bigger impact on your rating.

Business Categories

Having the correct category listed for your company can be the difference between being found and never being seen. If you run a restaurant but its listed under factories you won’t be found.

Name of the Business

If you are creating a new business, your company’s name can mean a lot on Yelp. If your company has the city name or keywords that depict the service you offer, this can help your rankings online.

Quantity and Quality of Reviews

Both the quality and quantity of your reviews will have a positive impact on your Yelp rankings. While high-quality reviews will raise your 1 to 5 ranking within their system, the number of reviews will have a greater impact on your actual page ranking.

Reviews by “Elite” Members

Reviews by Elite members have a bigger impact than normal customer reviews for your business’ ratings.

Check-Ins Via Smart Phone

Having members check-in and say they were at your business is a great way to quickly raise your ratings and one of the easiest. It doesn’t require the customer to give a review, but just say they were there.

Profile Optimization Opportunities

Yelp Profile SEO optimization

Stake Your Claim

First off if you haven’t claimed your business on Yelp yet, it is vital that you do that now. Without doing this you have no control over your profile, and someone could maliciously claim the page and do harm to your business’ reputation.

Optimize Specialties Box Under Business Info.

After claiming your business, you are also to edit your profile and provide potential customers with your business’ specialties. Using robust language that is filled with natural keywords, optimize your profile and make your company stand out against the competition. Add as much information you can to make a complete profile. Remember one thing, be natural when writing your profile information, do not force keywords and keep a fare keyword density.

Specialities box

Add Your Business History to Your Company Page

In the same section where you claim your business and describe its specialties, you can also describe your business’ history. Adding your history especially if you are already an established business will remind your reviewers that you are a part of their local community, and add additional SEO optimized content to your profile.

History box

Be Mindful of WHO You Ask for a Review

While it may seem beneficial to ask your customers for positive reviews, it can also get your business in trouble. Yelp wants its users to only give reviews on their own accord, and will penalize businesses for asking for reviews on their platform. If you get caught asking for reviews they can block you on the site or give you a significantly lower ranking on the site.

Offer Coupons or Discounts

You can create and offer coupons or discounts to new customers when they check-in to your business. Not only does this get new customers in the door, but it also gets them checking in to your business and raising your ranking.


Add a Video to Engage Customers

Another straightforward way to optimize your page is by adding a video. You can do this by going to your business’ page and clicking the Photo or Video button to upload. Because many pages on Yelp don’t have videos, this will set your page apart. While you can add videos to your profile, these videos can only be uploaded or viewed on mobile devices.

Add New Photos Whenever Applicable

This works much the same way as adding videos to your page. Having high-quality pictures of your location, products or staff is a great way to get more visitors to your business.

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Let Yelp Help Your Business

Take some time to get familiar with the way that the rating system works and follow these tips and you’ll have better ratings in no time. Also, if you are new to SEO and want to better optimize your profile, check out our On-Site SEO checklist, this will be a great help for your Yelp profile optimization.


  • pvirravi1116 says:

    Awesome post!!! This article is really helpful if you want to promote your business in local market. Yelp is a really important website for local marketing, great tips to increase sales and conversions.

    • Amberd says:

      Thank you! Our main goal is to provide helpful content for our readers and I am glad this article was helpful for you!

  • Duke Vukadinovic says:

    It’s so sad that Google decided to remove Yelp reviews from their Knowledge Graph because that was, in my opinion, one of the best metrics to show a business trustworthiness.

  • Webmob says:

    Yes, quality and quantity review are the game changer for your yelp business ranking

  • Jessica Lee says:

    Great info here, you nailed it with some big points!

  • Jayaraj Chanku says:

    Excellent tips. Yelp is an excellent source of commercial communication. Thanks for sharing this valuable article.

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