It pays—literally—for a business to have a positive reputation. If a customer has an exceptional…
Back in the day, Yelp was the place where disgruntled customers went to vent their anger on a product or service that didn’t meet their expectations. Fast forward to today and getting a positive Yelp review is akin to getting a customer’s stamp of approval.
Studies have shown that most people look up Yelp reviews before they make their mind on purchasing a product or service. Nearly 45% of consumers tend to visit Yelp before making a purchase. Compare that to the 64% of consumers that turn to Google and the answer is clear – if you own a restaurant or business, you simply can’t ignore Yelp and the reviews therein.
Yelp is Serious Business
While Yelp was once considered the go-to place for reviews that nobody read and was considered fluff, today, the review site enjoys an intimate exposure on both Android and Apple devices.
The former links a business’s Yelp location to their own Google Maps for easy navigation, and the latter uses serious Yelp integrations in iOS (Apple Infotainment and Apple Maps).
According to research, more than 178 million unique visitors visit Yelp every month across its mobile, desktop and app version.
To get an idea of Yelp’s popularity, its monthly traffic within the US alone was enough to propel the site to the 81st spot on Alexa. And in case you were wondering, Yelp users remained active during lockdown, contributing a whopping 214 million online reviews on local businesses in the second quarter of 2020 alone.
Don’t Let Positive Reviews Get Filtered Out
One area that is often overlooked when it comes to increasing the number of positive reviews of a business is moving positive reviews out of the filter. Every business should first go to the filter to find any positive reviews that are stuck there, which is holding back your overall Yelp score.
Since Yelp uses a highly advanced algorithm to hide those reviews that appear to be inauthentic, it is common for it to lump up legit positive reviews with these as well. You can access these filtered reviews at the bottom of the Yelp review page. This is a clever way to make sure you get the most positive reviews to bump up your Yelp rating.
You can make the reviews left by authentic customers visible in the filter by simply following those Yelpers. If all else fails, you can reach out to these Yelpers via the Yelp messaging board to let them know their reviews are appreciated and that they need to update their review so that it can get out of the filter and appear on your main page.
See also: How to optimize your Yelp Reviews
Ask, Don’t Demand
Yelp prefers people to leave positive reviews on their own and does not allow businesses to ask their customers for positive reviews. However, it’s okay to ask friends and family members (who will be your biggest fans) to leave positive reviews on Yelp. Better still, ask them to highlight some of the positive aspects of the product or service you have to offer, which will have more staying power.
While you’re at it, don’t forget to turn to your loyal customers. For instance, if you already have a following of loyal customers that have stuck with you for a while and who frequently leave positive reviews elsewhere, reach out and ask them to post a review on your Yelp page instead of just leaving them in the comments section of your social media posts.
Vendors are another great choice for harnessing those positive Yelp reviews. While vendors don’t exactly fall under the customer category, they are usually well-positioned and understand your business and how it works. This alone will allow the reviews that are left by your vendors to come across and more authentic and truthful. You don’t need to ask your customers, family and friends, or vendors to leave a review on your Yelp page; just make them aware that your Yelp business page exists, and let them do the rest.
Use Yelp Review Widgets
Not everyone who is interested in your service is going to go to Yelp to read a bunch of reviews. Sometimes, the consumer just wants to read some positive reviews for reassurance on your website itself. You can make that easy by including a review widget on your website that will allow your customers to view Yelp reviews on your website without having to go to your Yelp page. Not only does using Yelp badges make it easy for consumers to read positive reviews on your website, but it will also help build your business’s credibility and will help drive more customers to your website.
Build Rapport with Yelpers
Yelpers leave reviews to be heard (or read) not just by other consumers but the businesses as well. By responding to reviews that are on your Yelp page (both positive and negative) will let consumers know that you’re paying attention, and more importantly, that you respect their opinions. While this is going to leave a positive impression on your existing customers, it could help win over your critics or customers who had a less than stellar experience with your brand in the past.
Replying to Yelpers is a subtle way to encourage more Yelpers to leave reviews for your business on the platform. That’s because people are more likely to leave reviews on businesses that are responsive.
Address the Concerns of Your Customers
While it can be tempting to send out cookie-cutter responses to consumer’s reviews on Yelp, it pays to actively address the concerns of each disgruntled Yelper who leaves a negative review on Yelp or points out a flaw in your business model. While it is okay to respond to positive five-star reviews on Yelp, it is important to address the points of concern that a customer might have that’s pointed out in their review.
Actively Track Yelp Reviews
Yelp offers business owners a few options for tracking Yelp reviews. These options are available on both mobile and desktop versions of Yelp that makes it easier for busy business owners to effectively track all Yelp reviews. By keeping an eye on unsolicited feedback, business owners are able to reply immediately to both positive and negative comments that are left on Yelp and resolve any issues of disgruntled customers.
Harness the Power of a Review Management Platform
It is not uncommon for business owners to turn to online review management platforms to get actionable data and deeper insights into the kind of reviews they are getting. Some review management platforms even make it easier for business owners to ask for reviews via SMS and email. Other features, such as sentiment analysis and natural language processing, highlight certain parts of a Yelp review that could point out certain customer pain points.
The Yelp for Business Owners Dashboard
To add more credibility to your Yelp business page, you can access free Yelp signage and stickers via Yelps Business Owners dashboard. But, this feature is only available to users that are listed on Yelp. These Yelp stickers and signage are used by businesses to attract shopper confidence along with gaining street cred by allowing your customers to know others review your business as well.
Some of the stickers and signage that Yelp offers are the ‘Find us on Yelp’ sticker the ‘People love us on Yelp’ window cling, as well as other Yelp branding that you can use at the Yelp print shop, where business owners can personalize their signage, business cards, and other collateral that businesses can use to let their customers know they are on Yelp.
Share the Positivity on Social Media
Just because Yelp doesn’t allow businesses to ask for positive reviews, it doesn’t mean you can’t share the positive Yelp reviews of your product or services on your business website. Don’t forget to share these positive reviews on your business’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter page. Sharing a positive review on an authority site such as Yelp on social media will be far more powerful than other promotional content.
Taking this simple step could also encourage your following on various social media platforms – people who do not frequent Yelp or leave reviews. Businesses that give a special shout-out to those who leave positive reviews on social media will encourage others to follow suit, giving you an unending stream of positive reviews for your company.
Yelp Call to Action Buttons
While business owners are already familiar with calls to action or CTAs, these are not only used on websites but on Yelp as well. Yelp call to action buttons allows business owners to encourage the desired transaction straight from their business page. This could be, buying a ticket, scheduling an appointment or printing out a coupon. The Yelp call to action buttons have been designed to be welcoming and attract those who are already interested in your brand.
Yelp Deals and Gift Certificates
Yelp Deals and Yelp Gift Certificates are a great way to attract Yelpers to take action. These are discounted vouchers that the customer can use to make a purchase from your business. Yelp Gift Certificates are non-discounted vouchers that those who are interested can purchase for varying amounts. These deals and gift certificates encourage your audience on Yelp to take action and turn from reviewers to paying customers in an instant.
While you’re at it, don’t forget to take advantage of Yelp Check-in Offers as well. This is another great way of rewarding your customers who leave a positive review on Yelp with a special offer when they check in to your business via Yelp. By checking in using Yelp, these customers basically broadcast that they are at your business location to other Yelpers. Using Yelp Check-in Offers is a great way to spread word of mouth and attract new customers to your business.
Ending Note on Yelp Reviews
It is no secret that getting more positive reviews and a favorable score on Yelp can easily give your business a free advertising boost. If you want to get more positive reviews on Yelp, don’t ask for or try to influence the customer’s reviews (both of which are frowned upon by Yelp).
Instead, provide quality service and ensure that you leave a positive impression on every customer. Only then will your customers give you their honest impression of your business that will reflect in their Yelp reviews.
Another tip to roll off with is to never pay for fake Yelp reviews. First off, Yelp punishes those who buy fake reviews. Additionally, Yelp uses a powerful algorithm that weeds out fake or paid reviews. Besides, Yelp and its loyal community can easily tell when a review is fake or unauthentic, so why bother.
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