What You Need to Know About Generating Yelp Reviews for Your Business
Why do Yelp Reviews Matter?
Online reviews are left on relevant sites like Facebook, Google, and TripAdvisor, with Yelp being one of the highly coveted review sites for local businesses.
It’s no shock that online consumers rank Yelp at the top for online review sites when it comes to finding local businesses. Yelp encourages users to leave reviews on its site, thus making it easier for other consumers to find local businesses when they search for them on sites like Google. Also, consumers have come to treat Yelp just like another social media platform, where “Yelpers”, can create a user ID, and then build a profile that reflects their personality, and even include their pictures.
In doing so, Yelp encourages its users to not only share their experiences and feedback with others, but also to connect with friends, make public check-ins at restaurants and even comment on other reviews that have been left.
Should You Ask Your Customers for Yelp Reviews?
This is where Yelp is different from other review sites, where the businesses can solicit customer reviews. Yelp has taken a different direction regarding how reviews can be shared on its site. It is widely known that, unlike other review sites, Yelp does not post all of the reviews that a business receives. Rather, the platform uses an algorithm that programmatically decides which reviews that have been left for a business are shown to consumers on the site, and in what order. This depends on a few factors, such as, who are the reviewers. Yelp will normally favor those users who have contributed multiple reviews on local businesses, have shared photos, and have friends amongst other fellow “Yelpers.”
According to Yelp, businesses are not allowed to ask customers for reviews, which can be a deterrent from even using Yelp for many small businesses that are trying to compete with other similar businesses. There are ways that small businesses can build up their online presence using Yelp.
- Include a Yelp badge on your business website, letting your customers know that you have a Yelp profile if they want to click it and leave a review.
- Add a Yelp review badge to your email signature, this will be visible to everyone that you communicate with via email and they can visit Yelp to leave a review for your business.
- Don’t ask customers or mailing list subscribers to leave a review on Yelp.
- Don’t run any kind of survey asking customers to leave a review on Yelp.
- Don’t offer discounts or any freebies in exchange for a review on Yelp.
While Yelp’s policy on user reviews can be a challenge for many small businesses who are just trying to be found, it is worth the effort. Since most consumers see Yelp as a review site, Yelp only allows those customer reviews that meet their criteria to be shared with consumers, and as previously mentioned, that decision is made programmatically by their algorithm. Yelp advises all business owners to provide a memorable and amazing user experience that will encourage positive reviews, rather than soliciting reviews from customers.
Provide Your Customers With Options
There will be customers who take the time to leave a review on your website, there will be others who will prefer to share their experience regarding your services on review sites such as Yelp, or maybe will even want to share it with friends on social media sites.
This is why it’s important for businesses to provide customers with multiple options when it comes to leaving reviews online. This way, your customers will be able to leave a review on your product or service using the means they are most comfortable with. Since the user demographic of Yelp is spread across age groups, it is important to provide your customers with multiple outlets for them to leave a review on your business.
Also, having more than one listing for reviews on the search engine page means your business will take up more space on the SERPs, and that’s good for your online visibility.
For a business, there’s no need to be afraid of online reviews, just because of the fear of receiving negative reviews.
While it’s true that all customer reviews that you receive on Yelp are not going to be positive, setting up a strategy to answer negative reviews will ensure that even the negative reviews left on Yelp do not have a negative impact on your business. In today’s competitive business environment, a business is able to grow quicker by getting happy customers to leave positive reviews all over the internet, rather than depending on the old strategy of making customers happy and then hoping that happy customer will leave a positive review online or spread the word of mouth.
The responsible business owner does not only generate ways of getting positive reviews on review sites such as Yelp, but also has their finger on the pulse when it comes to what is being said about their business online, on review sites and social media forums, and then addressing any negative reviews before it is too late. Respond publicly rather than via private chat, and be honest.