How to get more yelp reviews

How to Get More Yelp Reviews

Yelp is among the most popular review sites alongside others such as Google My Business and Facebook reviews. Maintaining a positive review profile on Yelp can help build trust which ultimately turns a reader into a customer. The lasting impact of a positive review profile can also mean more customers for your business.

What was originally founded by two ex-paypal employees, Russel Simmons and Jeremy Stoppelman, has fast become the go to place for business reviews and ratings. With over 8 million reviews Yelp is often the go-to place for customers looking to leave business feedback behind Google and Facebook.

Some Yelp Stats:

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Why do you need to get more Yelp reviews?

With more than 170 million monthly users it’s super difficult to ignore Yelp reviews. As reluctant as some businesses are to claim their profile, it is increasingly difficult to ignore the amount of potential customers being left on the table.

Similarly online reviews in general are now a bigger deal than they have been before. It’s estimated that 84 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. More and more consumers are turning to reviews to verify purchase decisions and Yelp is a big place they turn to.

Avoiding the Yelp Algorithm

Many small businesses are not the biggest fans of Yelp given some fairly random review removals. Yelp usually puts removals down to its own ‘algorithm’ that tries to detect fake or solicited reviews. They often get this wrong and the hate is at times warranted. Yelps own fact sheet previously showed that a whopping 22% of all reviews were impacted by its filter. To make matters worse for businesses, 33% were positive so negative reviews are filtered out less often.

As annoying as it seems, the best way out of this situation is to simply go back and try to get more positive reviews. Unless you are receiving a huge amount of reviews in one go the chances are that Yelp won’t flag all of them.  

It is worth keeping in mind you can do tricks to avoid dreaded Yelp filter. You might want to ask a customer if they already have a Yelp account. ‘by the way are you on Yelp?‘ If they do – chances are it is seen as more trusted than a customer who has to setup a new profile.  

Can you ask customers for Yelp reviews?

The obvious answer would be to do what the standard approach is; ask each customer to leave you a review after purchasing. Unfortunately it is not that simple and Yelp has a rather odd policy. Yelp guidelines specifically state that you should not ask for Yelp reviews from your customers. It is a really strange policy when you think about it, since you are relying on your customers to leave reviews on Yelp and not another platform. Yelp officially states that by asking for reviews you’re interrupting the ‘natural flow’. 

To make matters more confusing Yelp states that it is perfectly fine to tell customers ‘You can find us on Yelp‘. Apparently by stating this you are not being overly solicitous. Realistically Yelp does not know whether you have asked or not. Unless you somehow have a Yelp employee standing right next to you. Our recommendation if you do ask is to not ask for too many requests all in one go. Repuzen’s ‘Get Reviews’ takes this approach for all review profiles to try and avoid businesses becoming flagged by review sites. If Yelp suddenly sees a huge rise in reviews they are more likely to be flagged and that means bad things for your profile. Penalties can include;

  • Yelp rating decrease
  • A ‘consumer alert’ featured on your profile
  • Losing profile visibility

What legitimate ways can you get Yelp reviews?

Offer a great customer experience: 
 
The really obvious way to get more Yelp reviews is to offer a great customer experience every time. If you think a customer is particularly happy you could drop the line ‘You can find us on Yelp‘. If you want to sound less like a robot and more like a human you could just be honest and tell them you would appreciate a review. 
 Use your review profile link: 
 
Leaving a link to your Yelp business profile is going to make it easier for your customers to find. If it is easier to find then you are much more likely to receive a review. It sounds really obvious but if you look at many local business websites they simply don’t feature it, even if they do have a profile. 
 

Yelp actually offers review badges to ‘show off’ your Yelp rating to customers. These badges are automatically updated so you do not have to manually update them every time you get a review. They also have the added bonus of linking to your profile.

Yelp Review Badge

Get sticky

Have you ever noticed those ‘Find us on Yelp’ stickers in business shop windows? Well if you have claimed your profile then you can get them for free. They might not always work but it is an obvious way to show customers you have a profile. Although we would totally understand if you don’t want Yelp stickers over your premises.

Yelp sticker
 Share great reviews on social: 
 
With 84 percent of consumers trusting online reviews as much as a personal recommendation it makes sense to share your best reviews. What better place to do this than right on your social media profiles? Copy / paste the text or grab a screenshot and share it on the big networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instragram. Don’t forget to hashtag your local area for maximum exposure. 
 
Frequently running Facebook or Google ads? You can take this strategy a step further by featuring your Yelp rating in advertising campaigns. The extra exposure gives your profile an extra boost and a potential customer will be more likely to remember that you have one after purchasing.

Follow up with customers: 

A lot of customers won’t remember to leave you a review. It is normal after all and many just won’t have the time to provide feedback. Although you may not feel comfortable asking for a review directly you can still remind them by asking how they found the experience. Not only do you get valuable feedback but it also increases the chances of getting a new Yelp review. 

Be sure to add your business profile link in your email signature too. Every time you have customer correspondence it will be front and center for all to see.  It is worth noting that depending on your view this may also be a bad thing if you are often dealing with negative customers. Hopefully that is not the case. 

Offer an incentive: 

Leaving a review takes time, and that is what many of us are short of. Offering some kind of incentive to customers might just make it more worthwhile for them. You could try offering discounts like 10% off their next order or a upgrade of some kind (think a large coffee for the price of a small). If you are thinking about this tactic for Yelp reviews be careful as it is going against Yelp’s policy of asking for reviews. Just keep it to an in person conversation and chances are you will be fine. 

Keep your profile up to date: 
 
It made sound obvious but make sure you remember to keep all your Yelp business profile information up to date. If you offer a specific service be sure to mention that on your profile. It could mean an extra customer to your door who also happens to be a Yelp user. They are far more likely to leave you a review than your regular joe. 
 
Another big part of keeping an up to date profile is to ensure you are responding to each review. Yelp data shows that users are far more likely to upgrade reviews if you respond within a twenty four hour period. This could be the difference between a three star or a four star review and that is a big deal to potential customers. Even if you do end up with a negative review try to keep a level head and keep the reply professional. It will make you come across better and new visitors to your profile will be more likely to trust your business.

A job worth doing

It might not seem like getting more Yelp reviews is not a particularly fun task to do. As a business owner you have a bunch of stuff on your plate so why should this take priority? We can assure you that it is worthwhile. Having a positive review profile can leave a lasting impact for your online reputation among other benefits. Yelp of course is not the only review site though, if you are more focused on Google or Facebook why not take a look at Repuzen? Many argue that Google reviews now take higher importance since they show up in the ‘local pack’ on search results for your area. 

What are your thoughts on Yelp reviews? Do you find it difficult or easy to get more for your own business? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. 

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