Yelp, the online directory that “connects people with local businesses” features over 135 million reviews which 90% of the site users say influence their purchases.
It’s important for a business to be on Yelp because according to a survey of 2000 respondents, at least 93% of consumers search for reviews before making their purchase decisions. Yelp is the 4th ranking review site after Google, Amazon and Facebook.
There’s no doubt that business reviews are now important for a business to attract new customers. A business with a lot of reviews gives the impression that it has many customers and is doing well. So, here are some suggested ways to get more reviews on Yelp:
How to get more reviews on Yelp
In trying to get more reviews, always keep in mind that you have to do it in accordance with Yelp’s rules and guidelines which does not allow “asking customers, mailing list subscribers, friends, family, or anyone else to review your business.”
Also, don’t offer incentives in exchange for reviews. Yelp has filters to identify fake and paid reviews. Yelp will post for 90 days a Consumer Alert banner on the page of any business caught paying for their reviews. The visitors on the business’s page will know of the violation committed.
So, here are the recommended ways to get more reviews:
1. Invite customers to visit your Yelp page
Ask consumers to “Check Us Out on Yelp’ through signs on the business place, on flyers, on business cards and verbally when closing sales.
The invitation only asks the customer to visit the business page instead of directly asking for a review. There is no guarantee that the customer will leave a review. The invitation is just a reminder with the hope that there will be a review.
2. Post a Yelp badge on your website and place of business
The Yelp stickers in your business and website will inform customers and visitors respectively that you’re on Yelp and they can write reviews if they want to.
On your business place, consider putting the Yelp badge on the signage, on the entry/ exit way or near the cash register. Hopefully, the badge will remind them to write a review when they get home.
Use the Yelp badge to call attention to the Yelp reviews on your website. If you have a WordPress website, there are WordPress plugins to display Yelp reviews on your website. The reviews on your website may make the visitors think that you appreciate reviews from them.
3. Use the best Yelp reviews on social media and in marketing campaigns
With the reviewer’s permission, choose some reviews that you want to share on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter as well as in your marketing campaigns.
Consumers now consider reviews as social proof about the quality of a product or service. What the review says would have more influence or impact on the consumers than company advertisements.
Seeing reviews on social media could also encourage your customers to write their reviews on Yelp.
4. Use Yelp Check-In Offers
The Yelp Check-in Offer allows business owners to reward customers with a coupon or incentive for checking in at their location using the Yelp app. The customer who checks in will not be asked to leave a review.
However, the next time the customer logs onto their Yelp account, they will see a Yelp prompt, shown below that they review the businesses they checked in to.
5. Include “Check Us Out on Yelp’ on your email signature, business cards, brochures, etc.
Adding ‘Check Us Out on Yelp’ that links to the Yelp review site to the email signature is a subtle and simple way to inform the recipient that your business is on Yelp.
Do the same to business cards, brochures and other printed sales materials.
6. Offer Yelp deals to customers
Yelp Deals are discounted vouchers and gift certificates that businesses can purchase from Yelp and offer to loyal customers. Since the offers are from Yelp, there’s a good chance that they will leave a review on Yelp after visiting your business.
7. Respond quickly to all Yelp Reviews
Responding quickly to both positive and negative reviews helps in improving a company’s reputation on Yelp.
The positive reviewers will appreciate your response and will be encouraged to write another review next time.
It is the company’s chance to correct a bad situation whether the complaint is valid or not. The way negative reviews are handled show customers how responsible a business is. Neglecting a negative review would create a more negative impression of the company.
Reviews are now important sources of information and major influencers for most consumers. The more reviews businesses have, the better. However, follow the above recommended ways to get more reviews without violating Yelp guidelines.
To help you make the most of Yelp, this handbook may help.