Yes, I admit it: I just recently signed up for a business account with Yelp. After seeing a colleague go through a really bad time dealing with a negative review from a disgruntled patient, I swore I wouldn’t sign up for it; however, I recently discovered that even if I don’t sign up for an account, someone else could sign up my business. That convinced me to take action.

Whatever your own thoughts are on Yelp, it appears it’s here to stay. Founded in San Francisco in July of 2004, Yelp has expanded to cities around the world. By the end of Q1 2014, Yelp reviewers had left more than 57 million reviews, and Yelp had a monthly average of 132 million unique visitors (with 61 million unique visitors via mobile devices).

These stats make it clear that you need to claim your Yelp page. Yelp can bring new business to your practice and prevent negative word-of-mouth reviews from driving away potential patients. Creating a business account involves filling out a few online forms and answering a quick automated phone call. (It will take you less than 5 minutes to do it all.) Click here to read a quick explanation of how to set up your business page.

Here are a few ways you can make your listing more successful:

  • Be sure to fill out all information as completely and correctly as possible. There’s nothing worse than having a potential client try to contact you only to find out that your address or phone number has changed.
  • Respond to customer reviews in a positive manner. When responding to a negative review, thank the reviewer for the feedback and briefly address the issue. You also can respond privately to the reviewer. Yelp provides some advice on responding here.
  • Share announcements and offers on Yelp. These will appear in an offer/announcements directory for your city (similar to Groupon or Living Social), thus exposing your business to potential new clients. This would be best for wellness services or cash-based programs, because offering discounts on therapy can be difficult. APTA has resources to address the issue of discounting payments here.
  • Display a Yelp badge on your website that potential clients can click to see your reviews.

Some business owners have criticized Yelp’s algorithmic filter, which combats review scams by weeding out comments from people whose personal profiles aren’t complete and who have left only a single review on the site. To prevent Yelp from flagging any comments your clients have written, encourage them to fill out their profiles as completely as possible and to review other businesses they’ve visited. Both efforts will increase the likelihood that Yelp will accept and display their reviews.

To make the most of Yelp’s ranking system, try to obtain regular reviews of your business. It is against Yelp's terms of service to pay reviewers or to engage in review trading scams, but you absolutely can ask clients to take a few moments to leave comments on your page. Most satisfied clients will be happy to leave a review for you.


Have you used Yelp for your business? What are some of the benefits you’ve seen?

Social Media for PTs: Is it Worth it? - Regular BannerSocial Media for PTs: Is it Worth it? - Small Banner
  • articleSep 28, 2012 | 4 min. read

    Modern Marketing: A Waste of Time or Time Well Spent?

    Today's blog post comes from Jack Sparacio , MSPT, COMT, CFMT, and owner of PT Marketing Consultants and Sparacio Physical Therapy . Like many of you, I am a private practice owner and the dedicated marketing director of my company.  Over the last few years, with the continuous evolution of social media and web development, companies are changing their approach to marketing. Modern digital strategies are replacing more traditional, “old school” marketing. Unless you have been living …

  • articleSep 27, 2011 | 4 min. read

    Social Media Marketing for PT Private Practices – Is It Worth the Time?

    When it comes to social media marketing (SMM) for physical therapy practices, many wonder if it is worth the time and effort.   When asked, how much business they have received from their social media efforts, the typical answer is, “I am not sure.”  Some go as far as saying that they don’t get any patients from it at all. One thing that is attractive about Internet marketing is the easy-to-access data from which you can make decisions.  …

  • Social Networking with Purpose: A Guide for OTs Image

    articleMar 10, 2017 | 4 min. read

    Social Networking with Purpose: A Guide for OTs

    1.86 billion Facebook users and myself agree: online networking platforms represent one of the best technological advances in recent years. If you aren’t leveraging the online sphere to grow your occupational therapy network, you may be missing out. However, we all know by now that the online world can be a rabbit hole of dead ends and misadventures. It is, therefore, critical to approach social networking with purpose.  Here are three steps to help you do just …

  • How to Manage Your Online Marketing Image

    articleMar 26, 2014 | 5 min. read

    How to Manage Your Online Marketing

    Today’s blog comes from E-rehab.com President David Straight, PT, DPT. With the current level of over-regulation and increasing pressure from competition, payers, and POPTS, running a physical therapy private practice can be a challenge. That’s why it’s more important than ever for owners and directors to efficiently manage their business operations—and that includes marketing. While many small practice owners often view online marketing as an afterthought, it should actually be a high priority. After all, record numbers …

  • The ROI of Social Media Image

    articleAug 19, 2014 | 3 min. read

    The ROI of Social Media

    As therapists, we’re taught that we must use objective measures to track our progress in the clinic with patients. We use range of motion measurements, manual muscle testing, and other methods to demonstrate patient progress toward therapeutic goals. How ironic, then, that most of us have no idea how to track our efforts in the realm of social media! We’re not alone in this, though. A recent article in  Mashable reported that 84% of those using social …

  • articleJan 29, 2013 | 5 min. read

    A PT’s Guide to Reputation Management

    Today’s blog comes from E-rehab.com President David Straight, PT, DPT, OCS. E-Rehab provides physical therapy websites, video, email newsletters, search, and social media for physical therapy-owned private practices. Contact David at 800.468.5161 or dave@e-rehab.com .   As Benjamin Franklin once said, “It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one negative one to lose it.” With this statement in mind—and 21 st century technology—let’s talk about reputation management in 2013. Here are a few questions …

  • articleOct 8, 2013 | 7 min. read

    How to Ensure You Stand Out Online

    Today's blog post comes from marketing whiz Alex Scioli. She's the director of community at Therapydia , an online community dedicated to physical therapy. Thanks, Alex! Social media and branding are topics we here at Therapydia are deeply passionate about. So, when WebPT asked us to contribute a post on the topic, we were excited. Whether you’re looking to promote yourself, your practice, or the physical therapy profession in general, there has never been a better time …

  • 6 Biggest Takeaways from PPS 2015 Image

    articleNov 16, 2015 | 10 min. read

    6 Biggest Takeaways from PPS 2015

    Last week, I joined hundreds of amazing physical therapy professionals, students, and vendors (including yours truly, WebPT) at this year's PPS Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida. Despite the uncomfortable combination of tropical heat and humidity outside—and near-freezing conference rooms inside—everyone was in high spirits. Though I never made it to Disney World, I still felt like I was in the most magical place on Earth, thanks to the inspiring and informative presentations I saw and the thought-provoking …

  • articleOct 17, 2013 | 4 min. read

    Writing Your Clinic's First Email Newsletter

    Matt is WebPT’s email marketing specialist. His monthly column covers all things email marketing and how it can help your clinic. Now that you’ve established that email marketing makes sense for your clinic , you’ve picked an email marketing service , and you have a stream of your patients’ email addresses coming in , it’s time to put together your first newsletter. But what should you include? In this month’s blog, I’m going to walk you through …

Achieve greatness in practice with the ultimate EMR for PTs, OTs, and SLPs.