Yelp is a great way to climb search results quickly and build social proof for your local or franchise brand. But not every review counts, even if it’s stellar. You’re going to need an effective strategy or, same as with pay per click ads, you’ll waste your momentum. Here are the basics and some advanced Yelp tips, as well:
- 1 You want only AUTHENTIC reviews.
- 2 Get potential reviewers part way there.
- 3 Partner with nearby businesses for exponential results.
- 4 Promote yourself by promoting Yelp itself.
- 5 Promote Yelp reviews and reviewers and get more of each.
- 6 Flag fake reviews, address real ones.
- 7 Bring Yelp to your business along with influencers.
Don’t write your own or pay for them. Yelp, the web, and your client base are smarter than that, and you won’t recover easily from scamming them. Let your competitors be the foolish ones. If you want more reviews, fast, reach out to vendor partners. Vendors know your business and see the value you bring, so make them review partners. If you’ve posted faked reviews in the past, or paid for them, you’ve probably got some negative credibility. Delete them, where possible.
Get potential reviewers part way there.
Yelp tends to filter reviews by people with incomplete profiles.You can get people using Yelp by rewarding Yelp check-ins when clients arrive early, or by giving a free sample to customers who complete a Yelp profile (picture and bio) at your front counter. Don’t cross the line into paying for reviews, even with product or barter, though. The FTC requires you to disclose that; it’ll come back around and bite you. But if you have people in Yelp in the first place, the chances of a review go way up.
Partner with nearby businesses for exponential results.
Yelp often filters reviews when the reviewer has no other reviews. Get a natural partner, like a nearby coffee shop or cafe, to encourage Yelp reviews. If you get a review, and a nearby business gets one from the same customer, it’s more likely that review will count. Collaborating means both companies rank higher and grow together – it’s win-win.
Promote yourself by promoting Yelp itself.
You want reviews from people who are already in Yelp, using it, with full profiles and multiple reviews. Trumpet Yelp in person and in your site and social content venues. Hang a Yelp poster up in your business. Promote Yelp as a search tool for finding great restaurants and vacation spots, even if you’re neither of those. The idea is get it used by your clientele.
Promote Yelp reviews and reviewers and get more of each.
Take high-resolution screen captures of your Yelp reviews, then print full color on professional poster stock. Hang up reviews about your business on the premises of your business. Nothing is quite so convincing as your value showcased in the words of actual customers. Just as social proof helps support the sale and reduce buyer remorse online, it can do so in person. You can do this with any social comments that speak well of your company.
Flag fake reviews, address real ones.
Don’t flag legitimate negative reviews; fix those by revising your operations and reaching out in support. When competitors or ex-spouses write bad reviews, always flag. The fake reviews will ultimately get filtered or fall short of the criteria for dominance in your profile as you grow your review marketing. Over time, if you do the right stuff, fake reviews will likely get removed.
Bring Yelp to your business along with influencers.
Reach out to a Yelp Community Manager about an idea you have for a Yelp Elite Event at your business. The people that show up are major Yelp influencers. They trumpet great companies and blast bad ones. So, if you’ve got the stones for this kind of thing, it can be a great way to get your brand out there. Don’t host an event if you’ve got a boring agenda, boring venue, and boring idea. Events are for when you’ve got something really special to share, and your audience come prepared as treasured guests.
These aren’t the only way to get Yelp reviews, and get the coveted four and five star ones that dominate search results. Yelp is not the only important venue for review marketing; it’s one of the most important. You can grow faster with a fully fleshed out review marketing strategy. For that, contact MadPipe for a consultation. Take the first step in cranking up the juice for your business with social proof and online reviews.