As a laundry owner, your time is limited.
You only have so much time to spend on each component of your business — and quick answers are always a relief.
So to help cut down on the time you might spend worrying about online reviews, we’re going to dive quickly into a question you may be wondering about:
Which is better, Yelp or Google My Business?
While both sites can be helpful for growing your business, this article will walk you through the strengths and weaknesses of each, and help you make a decision on which might be the best site for you to spend time and energy.
A Closer Look: Yelp
Yelp is one of the largest local business review sites and has many active users. In fact, in March 2019, Yelp bolstered more than 180 million reviews and more than 35 million active monthly users.
It’s audience and comprehensiveness are probably the two biggest benefits of Yelp. Yelp is also easy to use for businesses. The platform strives to help businesses produce ads, respond to reviews, and share important business information with ease.
You’ve likely used it before. You insert your location and the kind of business you’re looking for:
And it gives you a listing of results, including summaries, a map view, and a snapshot of customer reviews:
From there, you can also drill down and see specifics about the business (like NAP info, Name, Address, and Phone number) — including specific elements that make your business unique.
All in all, it’s a powerful platform for businesses to share themselves on.
However, one of the negative aspects of Yelp is that it tends to be one of the first places an angry or dissatisfied customer will go to review your business. This means that it is usually much easier for a business to garner negative reviews than positive ones.
Some small businesses have also reported negative reviews showing more prominently than positive ones unless that business was also spending money on advertising through Yelp. In fact, Yelp was the defendant in class action lawsuits around aggressive advertising practices, but those have been dismissed.
So what’s the verdict for your business?
The negatives may seem to outweigh the positives for Yelp, but customers can review your business whether you set up a profile or not – and with so many individuals on the platform, chances are that someone will review you sooner or later. Therefore, it is critical to go ahead and set your profile up so that you can monitor any feedback from customers and respond proactively.
If you’re not sure how to set up your Yelp profile, we’ll give you a quick run-through:
To claim your business, visit biz.yelp.com and select “Manage My Free Listing.”
Chances are you’ll already have a listing, so you’ll need to find it and claim it.
Then you’ll need to verify that you are the owner of the business by allowing Yelp to call the number listed on your business page and entering a verification code.
After claiming your business, you’ll be able to update any business information like your hours, add photos, add a link to your website, respond to reviews, track any leads Yelp is helping to generate for your business, and start running ads for your business.
Pros of Yelp for Businesses
- Yelp has a large audience of active members.
- Yelp is easy for businesses to use.
- Setting up ads is easy in Yelp.
Cons of Yelp for Businesses
- Yelp is more known for negative reviews than positive ones.
- Business owners may feel pressured to advertise due to review displays or from pushy salespeople.
A Closer Look: Google My Business
If you’re comparing the platforms solely on intent, Google My Business wins over Yelp, hands down. When someone is googling your business, or your type of business (i.e. “laundromat near me”), chances are – they want to go to a business like yours in their area. They’ll also see results like this, which is collectively called the “Map Pack”:
So when you register your business with Google My Business, you increase the likelihood that your business will show up on Google Maps as well as search engine results – which means that just by having this listing, you could be drawing in more customers.
Like Yelp, people can leave feedback and information about your business whether you claim it on Google My Business or not. This means that it is pretty important to claim your business to monitor that feedback – as well as get your laundry business displaying in local search results.
Claiming your business is fairly straightforward, much like Yelp. You’ll visit business.google.com and sign in or create a new account for your business.
On the “Manage Locations” page, you’ll “Add location.” Google will prompt you to enter the name of your business, and if it populates, you’ll select the business that shows up.
If your business does not show up (maybe it is brand new, or no one has reviewed it yet) then you will click the top of the list where it says “Create a business with this name.” After you enter your business details, you’ll need to verify your business.
Verifying your Google My Business profile is a little trickier than it is through Yelp. Most businesses will need to be verified via mail. The verification code is mailed to your business in one to two weeks, and once you enter the code, you’ll be able to update and manage your listing. If you miss the code or someone throws it away? It will be another two weeks before you can verify your business. Some businesses do have the ability to verify via email or phone, but these options are not generally available.
But once your business is verified, you can get very specific on the types of information you include on your listing. I’ve blurred out a bit of it in this image, but you can see it includes contact info, address, questions and answers, popular times, photos, and much more:
Google My Business exceeds Yelp in the sheer amount of detail you can include, but this can also make it tricky for new users to learn and manage, or update in the future, if needed.
Pros of Google My Business:
- Audience intent is generally more favorable for businesses.
- Listings can be highly customized.
- No pushy salespeople or shady review-display practices.
Cons of Google My Business:
- Advertising is not readily available.
- The number of options can be overwhelming.
- Verifying your business can be a challenge – and you can’t edit your listing until it has been verified.
Which Is Better for Your Business?
After reading through each, you may still be wondering which is better for your business. The truth is, we highly recommend that all laundry owners register for both Yelp and Google My Business. This helps you keep a pulse on what customers are saying about you regardless of which platform they prefer.
Having both listings also helps boost your local SEO and helps customers find you more easily – which can only serve to help you grow your laundry business.