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Articles | Marketing

Make Yelp work for your field service business

GorillaDesk Staff

Yelp for Pest Control Marketing

If you’re a local business that’s just starting out, the competition can sometimes feel — especially among field service companies. Most pest control, lawn care, and pool cleaning businesses have their regular circuit of clients already set, and they guard that client base fiercely. It ain’t easy to break into the market — let alone establish trust and recruit clients as a new local business. 

You aren’t alone if you’re struggling to get the word out. It’s a frustrating situation that many field service business owners face early on, and it’s all too common in today’s oversaturated market. 

But don’t lose hope. With a strong Yelp presence, you can start generating buzz for your business. 

Along with other avenues for building a prominent online presence, including local SEO, paid ads, and social media, Yelp is essential for enhancing your business reputation. As the go-to business review platform, businesses lean on Yelp to generate that all-important social proof your customers are looking for.

With other business listing platforms like Apple Business Connect sourcing client reviews directly from Yelp, building and maintaining a glowing Yelp profile is even more critical.

With 97% of customers reading reviews for local businesses, it pays to use Yelp to grow your business.

Jump into our guide on Yelp and Apple Business Connect to start building momentum for your field service business.

Why should you care about Apple Business Connect?

What exactly is Apple Business Connect and why is it relevant to your field service business? Let’s get into it.

What is Apple Business Connect?

Like Google Business Profile, Apple Business Connect is Apple’s free web-based portal that helps you easily manage, measure, and grow your business. It allows you to set up your business through a visual “place card” (read: “profile”) so customers can find it across Apple’s ecosystem of apps and services. 

Why should you care?

The power of Apple Business Connect lies in its local business directory plugged into the Apple Maps app. Think of how Google Business Profile is linked to Google Maps. It makes it easier for local customers to pinpoint nearby businesses and quickly pull up their details to vet a company for their needs. 

When Apple relaunched its Business Connect platform in January 2023, it unveiled a series of significant updates with the goal of giving local businesses a fresh avenue for generating leads. Rumor has it they’re angling to compete with Google Business Profile.

Though Apple Business Connect hasn’t surpassed Google’s platform in popularity so far, it’s still in its nascent stage with little competition — presenting an ideal prospect for your field service business to establish a presence and secure a first-mover advantage.

How Yelp Impacts Apple Business Connect

Like with Google Business Profile, customer reviews are instrumental to the success of businesses on Apple Business Connect. But unlike Google, Apple Business Connect has no review collection system so far. Instead, it relies on Yelp reviews and ratings to determine the rankings of local businesses on the platform.

This means that if your field service business receives poor reviews on Yelp, it likely won’t perform well on Apple Business Connect either. But if your business is well-optimized for Yelp, it’s more likely to advance its profile on Apple Business Connect, too. So why not build out your Yelp presence and kill two birds with one stone? 

The importance of Yelp reviews for Apple Business Connect

Yelp reviews can influence your rankings and performance on Apple’s platform — for better or worse. And positive Yelp reviews go a long way toward enhancing your visibility on Apple Business Connect. Let’s review the specific factors in your Yelp reviews that can impact your standing.

Quantity and quality of reviews:

The number and quality of reviews on Yelp are the primary factors that affect a business’s visibility on Apple Business Connect. A business with many positive reviews is more likely to rank higher on Apple Business Connect, making it more visible to potential customers. This makes it critical for your field service business to get more positive reviews on Yelp and thus improve your visibility on Apple’s platform.

Let’s look at Natural Resources Pest Control’s Yelp page. The business has 32 reviews on its Yelp listing. This number may not seem particularly high, but if you compare it to other pest control businesses on Yelp, it’s actually a solid number — as the majority of pest control companies have around 30 reviews or less.

But the biggest highlight here is the company’s average rating. All 32 reviews left for Natural Resources Pest Control are 5-star ratings—an outstanding achievement. So many rave reviews mean every single customer who left a review was extremely satisfied with the service they received. 

Having such a high average rating and positive reviews goes a long way in elevating your company’s profile both on Yelp and Apple Business Connect.

Relevance and accuracy of reviews:

Apple Business Connect considers the relevance and accuracy of reviews when ranking businesses. Reviews that are relevant to a user’s search query, accurate, and trustworthy are more likely to be considered by Apple Business Connect when ranking businesses. So, make sure to encourage customers to leave honest and accurate reviews on Yelp to help improve your visibility on Apple Business Connect.

Let’s examine the above review to understand its relevance and accuracy. The review clearly states the type of pest, the severity of the issue, and how the pest control company went above and beyond to eliminate the issue. Taking cues from this, Apple Business Connect will most likely prioritize this business in rankings whenever someone searches for a flea control service in the same city.

The recency of reviews:

Timing matters. The recency of reviews is another essential factor that can impact a business’s visibility on Apple Business Connect. A business with recent reviews on Yelp is more likely to rank higher on Apple Business Connect than one that hasn’t received any new reviews in a while. This makes it important to encourage customers to leave reviews on Yelp regularly, which can help improve your visibility on Apple Business Connect.

The timestamp accompanying the review in the above example shows its recency. When someone searches for a rodent service provider in the same city, Apple Business Connect will likely prefer this business over one that hasn’t received a review in a while. To Apple Business Connect, a review that was posted recently indicates that a business is still active.

Engagement with reviews:

Don’t just sit back on your laurels and read the Yelp reviews that come in. Businesses that engage with their customers by responding to reviews, thanking them for positive reviews, and addressing any negative feedback are more likely to be seen as customer-focused and trustworthy. This engagement can help improve your visibility on both Apple Business Connect and Yelp.

For example, the owner of Thrasher Termite and Pest Control in San Diego has a process in place for addressing negative Yelp reviews. Garret Thrasher’s team takes the time to investigate every negative review. “If we can resolve it, then we may provide a service for free or something that the customer feels (addresses their concerns).” But even when they can’t resolve it, they make sure to draft a detailed response to the review to show that they care and explain the situation.

“It is very easy to be angry, but a carefully crafted reply to a one-star review can be more powerful than a five-star review,” said Garrett.

Replying to or engaging with reviews on your Yelp page is one of the most effective yet underused tactics for maintaining a robust profile. The above review is a great example of engaging and replying to a review. The business representative thanks the customer for the review and takes this opportunity to highlight their other pest services, the service area, and a special offer.

Tips for field service businesses to optimize Yelp listings

As the owner of a field service business, maximizing the benefits of Yelp is critical for building a positive online reputation and attracting new customers. The ROI is clear with up to 97% of Yelp visitors making a purchase after visiting the platform.

Continue to build and enhance your Yelp presence using these strategies:

Claim your business profile

Yelp is a free local business directory, which means you can claim your business profile at no cost. By claiming your business on the platform, you’ll be able to manage your business information, respond to customer reviews, and add photos of your services. Follow these steps:

  1. Search for your business: Visit Yelp’s website for businesses and search to see if your business is already listed. If it’s not listed, you’ll need to add it.
  2. Add or claim your listing: If your business shows up in the search results, you’ll see an option to claim it. If it’s not listed, then select “Add Your Business to Yelp” and fill in the required information about your business, including your business name, address, website, and phone number.
  3. Verify your business: Once you claim or add your business, Yelp requires you to verify ownership. You can usually do this over the phone; Yelp will call you on your business number and ask you to confirm a verification code.
  4. Complete your business profile: After you get verified, finish completing your business profile by adding detailed information like business hours, photos, and services offered. Detailed information about your field service business helps potential customers know more about what you offer and improves your visibility in search results. Try to provide as many answers to common questions about your business, which will help prospective clients self-qualify before they even call you up.

Encourage customers to leave reviews

You’ve built a robust Yelp profile for your business, and now you’re ready for the fun part: gathering reviews. Building a strong ranking and presence on Yelp revolves around positive reviews. 

Here are a few ways to encourage customers to leave a Yelp review:

  • Publicize your Yelp presence: Place visible signage that mentions Yelp at your office and on service vehicles. Also, be sure to mention Yelp on your business cards and company email signatures. You can display a “Find Us on Yelp” sticker on service trucks to subtly encourage reviews. 
  • Insider tip: The “People Love Us On Yelp” sticker is awarded to businesses that perform well on the platform and is sent to qualifying companies twice a year. This is even more incentive to build a stellar Yelp profile!
  • Engage customers after service delivery: It’s best to request a review after a customer has had at least 2-3 service appointments. Follow up with customers over email or text after their latest service has been completed to make sure they were satisfied and remind them of how much you value feedback. Include a link to your Yelp page to make leaving a review as easy as possible.
  • Insider tip: Use personalized messages over generic ones to make customers feel valued and increase the likelihood of them leaving a review. Consider running a review campaign twice a year where you reach out to loyal customers and encourage them to leave you a review.
    • Comply with Yelp policies: Keep in mind that Yelp does not allow businesses to offer compensation or incentives in exchange for reviews. Doing so is considered an attempt to manipulate your company’s ratings and reviews on the platform. Make sure to comply with these policies, as Yelp has various practices in place to prevent violations of their policies.

    Respond to reviews

    Responding to both positive and negative customer reviews shows that you value customer feedback and are committed to providing excellent service. For negative reviews, demonstrating how you’ve worked to resolve any customer complaints can help foster trust with potential customers. Keep your engagement with reviews consistent and effective by:

    • Responding as quickly as possible: A prompt response shows that your business is attentive and responsive to customer needs and feedback. To accomplish this, set up Yelp notifications for new reviews and designate a team member to monitor these alerts and respond appropriately.
    • Personalizing your responses: Tailor each response to the specific details the customer mentions in their review. Make sure to use the reviewer’s name and reference specific points from their review to make your response personal and relevant.
    • Acknowledging positive feedback: Thank customers for their positive reviews with a heartfelt thank you. This demonstrates your attention to customer care and encourages continued advocacy.
    • Addressing negative reviews constructively: Approach negative feedback as an opportunity to improve. Respond to the reviewer’s concerns with understanding and offer to resolve the issue offline if needed. If you’re able to investigate their claims before responding, this will help you provide more detailed and accurate information in your response. Include your contact information for them to reach you directly.

    Use photos

    Adding photos of different aspects of your field service business can help prospective customers better understand your offerings and build trust in your brand. Consider adding photos that:

    • Showcase your work: Upload high-quality images of before-and-after work, detailed shots of processes or techniques, and the end results. Make sure to regularly update your photo gallery to reflect your current projects and offerings.
    • Highlight your team: Post photos of your team in action. Choose images that show their professionalism and engagement during service calls or while interacting with customers. You can even include pictures from training sessions or team meetings to reflect a positive work culture.
    • Feature your equipment and tools: Display your tools, vehicles, safety equipment, and technology. By highlighting high-quality, well-maintained equipment, you can reassure customers about the level of service they can expect.
    • Use customer testimonials: If customers are willing, share photos of them with your team, preferably with the completed project in the background. If possible, pair these images with customer testimonials in the captions.
    • Demonstrate your service process: Create a photo series that outlines a typical service call from start to finish. This can demystify the process for prospective customers and set clear expectations. Make sure to include captions that describe each step.
    • Show off your unique selling points: If your company has specific differentiating points, like eco-friendly materials or specialized techniques, highlight these in your photos.

    Offer Yelp Deals

    Yelp Deals are special offers or discounts exclusively available to Yelp users. Offering a Yelp Deal can help you attract new customers and build loyalty among existing customers.

    Here is how you can set up a Yelp deal:

    Here is where you can see all your active and past deals:

    Insights and analytics

    Yelp provides businesses with valuable insights and analytics about their performance on the platform. By monitoring your Yelp profile’s performance, you can identify areas for improvement, track customer sentiment, and adjust your marketing strategies accordingly.

    Let’s look at Natural Resources Pest Control’s Yelp page performance in the past 12 months (with minimal effort). The business received nearly 44,000 impressions, which equates to over 3,600 impressions per month.

    Regarding the leads, Natural Resources Pest Control received almost 300 leads in the last 12 months. That’s ~25 per month.

    All of these are without any paid promotion or spending on Yelp advertising. 

    Now, let’s look at some dos and don’ts for managing your business’s Yelp presence:

    DOS:

    • Monitor your Yelp page regularly: Keep an eye on your Yelp page to stay informed of customer feedback and respond to reviews promptly.
    • Respond to all reviews: Responding to both positive and negative reviews shows that you value customer feedback and are committed to providing excellent service.
    • Engage with customers: Engage with customers by answering questions and addressing concerns to build trust and loyalty.
    • Update your business information: Keep your business information up-to-date, including your hours of operation, address, and contact information.
    • Upload photos regularly: Photos of your services, team members, and equipment can help prospective customers better understand your offer. Make sure to update photos frequently.

    DON’TS:

    • Don’t ignore negative reviews: Ignoring negative reviews can damage your online reputation and turn potential customers away.
    • Don’t offer incentives for reviews: Yelp prohibits businesses from offering incentives for reviews, so avoid this practice to comply with their guidelines.
    • Don’t be defensive: Respond to negative reviews professionally and without becoming defensive or confrontational.
    • Don’t violate Yelp’s content guidelines: Avoid posting fake reviews, using profanity or hate speech, or engaging in other behaviors that violate Yelp’s content guidelines.

    Embrace your Yelp presence and thrive

    The biggest benefit of Yelp is that it offers a level playing field for all businesses where you can showcase your services, engage with customers, and boost your visibility — on their platform as well as on Apple Business Connect. If you stick with your efforts to build your Yelp presence and stay consistent, you’ll set up your field service business to thrive.

    As we saw in the examples, pest control businesses that have implemented effective Yelp strategies have reaped the rewards in terms of increased leads, positive reviews, and, ultimately, increased revenue.

    So, get out there and start putting Yelp to work for your business!

    Want to learn more about Apple Business Connect?

    How Yelp Impacts Apple Business Connect

    Similar to Google Business Profile, customer reviews play a crucial role in the success of a business on Apple Business Connect. However, unlike Google, Apple Business Connect has no review collection system yet. Instead, it relies on Yelp reviews and ratings to determine the rankings of local businesses on its platform.

    In essence, if your pest control business receives poor reviews on Yelp, it is unlikely to perform well on Apple Business Connect. Conversely, if your business is well-optimized for Yelp, it is likely to excel on Apple Business Connect as well. This presents an opportunity to “kill two birds with one stone.”

    The Importance of Yelp Reviews for Apple Business Connect

    The impact of Yelp reviews on a pest control business’s visibility on Apple Business Connect cannot be overstated. It is imperative for businesses to comprehend how Yelp reviews can influence their rankings and, ultimately, their performance on this platform. Here are some compelling reasons why businesses need to pay close attention to their Yelp reviews: they directly affect their standing on Apple Business Connect.

    Quantity and Quality of Reviews:

    The number and quality of reviews on Yelp are the primary factors that affect a business’s visibility on Apple Business Connect. A business with many positive reviews is more likely to rank higher on Apple Business Connect, making it more visible to potential customers. Thus, businesses should strive to get more positive reviews on Yelp to improve their visibility on Apple Business Connect.

    Let’s look at Natural Resources Pest Control’s Yelp page. The business has 32 reviews on its Yelp listing. While this number is not particularly high, it is also not too low compared to other pest control businesses on Yelp, as the majority of them have 30 or fewer reviews.

    However, the more important thing to note is the average rating. All 32 reviews left for Natural Resources Pest Control are 5-star ratings, which is an outstanding achievement. This means that every single customer who left a review was extremely satisfied with the service they received. Having such a high average rating and reviews is an excellent example of the quality and quantity of reviews.

    Relevance and Accuracy of Reviews:

    Apple Business Connect considers the relevance and accuracy of reviews when ranking businesses. Reviews relevant to a user’s search query and accurate and trustworthy are more likely to be considered by Apple Business Connect when ranking businesses. Hence, businesses should encourage customers to leave honest and accurate reviews on Yelp to help improve their visibility on Apple Business Connect.

    To understand relevance and accuracy, let’s look at the above review. The review clearly states the type of pest, the severity of the issue, and how the pest control company went above and beyond to eliminate the pest issue. Taking cues from this, Apple Business Connect will most likely prioritize this business in rankings whenever someone searches for a flea control service in the same city.

    The recency of Reviews:

    The recency of reviews is another essential factor that can impact a business’s visibility on Apple Business Connect. A business that has recently received reviews on Yelp is more likely to rank higher on Apple Business Connect than a business that has not received any new reviews in a while. Therefore, businesses should encourage their customers to leave reviews on Yelp regularly, which can help improve their visibility on Apple Business Connect.


    The timestamp accompanying the review in the above example indicates its recency. When someone searches for a rodent service provider in the same city, Apple Business Connect will likely prefer this business over one that hasn’t received a review in a while. To Apple Business Connect, a review’s recency indicates a business’s active status.

    Engagement with Reviews:

    Engagement with reviews on Yelp is another important factor impacting a business’s visibility on Apple Business Connect. Businesses that engage with their customers by responding to reviews, thanking them for positive reviews, and addressing any negative feedback are more likely to be seen as customer-focused and trustworthy. This can help improve their visibility on Apple Business Connect, as well as on Yelp.

    Replying to or engaging with reviews on your Yelp page is one of the most effective yet underutilized hacks. The above review is a great example of engaging and replying to a review. The business representative is thanking the customer for the review and taking this opportunity to highlight other pest services, the service area, and a special offer.

    Tips for Pest Control Businesses to Optimize Yelp Listing

    As a pest control business owner, maximizing the benefits of Yelp is critical for building a positive online reputation and attracting new customers. Here are some strategies to consider:

    Claim your business profile: The first step to maximizing the benefits of Yelp is to claim your business profile. This will allow you to manage your business information, respond to customer reviews, and add photos of your services.

    Learn the step-by-step process of claiming your Yelp listing

    Encourage customers to leave reviews: Positive reviews are essential for building a strong online reputation on Yelp. Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews by including a Yelp link in your email signature and on your website.

    Respond to reviews: Responding to positive and negative customer reviews shows that you value customer feedback and are committed to providing excellent service. Be sure to respond promptly and professionally to all reviews, thanking customers for their positive feedback and addressing any concerns or complaints.

    Use photos: Adding photos of your pest control services, equipment, and team members can help prospective customers better understand your offer and build trust in your brand.

    Offer Yelp Deals: Yelp Deals are special offers or discounts exclusively available to users. Offering a Yelp Deal can help you attract new customers and build loyalty among existing customers.

    Here is how you can set up a Yelp deal:


    Here is where you can see all your active and past deals.

    Insights and analytics: Yelp provides businesses with valuable insights and analytics about their performance on the platform. By monitoring your Yelp profile’s performance, you can identify areas for improvement, track customer sentiment, and adjust your marketing strategies accordingly.

    Let’s look at Natural Resources Pest Control’s Yelp page performance in the past 12 months (with minimal effort). The business received nearly 44,000 impressions, which equates to over 3,600 impressions per month.

    Regarding the leads, Natural Resources Pest Control received almost 300 leads in the last 12 months. That’s ~25 per month.

    All of these are without any paid promotion or spending on Yelp advertising. 

    Now, let’s look at some dos and don’ts for managing your business’s Yelp presence:

    Dos:

    • Monitor your Yelp page regularly: Keep an eye on your Yelp page to stay informed of customer feedback and respond to reviews promptly.
    • Respond to all reviews: Responding to both positive and negative reviews shows that you value customer feedback and are committed to providing excellent service.
    • Engage with customers: Engage with customers by answering questions and addressing concerns to build trust and loyalty.
    • Update your business information: Keep your business information up-to-date, including your hours of operation, address, and contact information.
    • Use photos: Adding photos of your services, team members, and equipment can help prospective customers better understand your offer.

    Don’t:

    • Don’t ignore negative reviews: Ignoring negative reviews can damage your online reputation and turn potential customers away.
    • Don’t offer incentives for reviews: Yelp prohibits businesses from offering incentives for reviews, so avoid this practice to comply with their guidelines.
    • Don’t be defensive: Respond to negative reviews professionally and without becoming defensive or confrontational.
    • Don’t violate Yelp’s content guidelines: Avoid posting fake reviews, using profanity or hate speech, or engaging in other behaviors that violate Yelp’s content guidelines.

    Wrapping It Up

    There is no denying the immense power and impact that Yelp can have on field service businesses, especially pest control. Yelp provides a level playing field for all businesses, allowing them to showcase their services, engage with customers, and boost their visibility, not just on Yelp but also on Apple Business Connect.

    The benefits of Yelp are numerous, and with the right strategies and practices, businesses can leverage this platform to their advantage. As we have seen from the discussed examples, pest control businesses that have implemented effective Yelp strategies have reaped rewards in terms of increased leads, positive reviews, and, ultimately, increased revenue.

    So if you are a pest control business looking to grow and succeed in 2023 & beyond, do not underestimate Yelp. Embrace this platform, put these tips into practice, and watch as your business thrives and becomes a force to be reckoned with. The possibilities are endless, and the rewards are yours for the taking. The time to act is now!

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