I was talking with a client lately about Yelp reviews. We were discussing why one of the reviews that did not pass muster with Yelp. It made me think about how many other small business owners were maybe not using Yelp properly. So, in this post I want to discuss a few tips. First, however, take a look at a short video done by Yelp that explains in their own words how they deem reviews to be quality.
Yelp Reviews Explained
So, what exactly are good reviews on Yelp? Well that is something only the Yelp team can full explain (which they will not). Here is my interpretation of an interpretation of a wild guess that is based on educated facts and experience. Huh? What does that mean? What I tell you is valid, and may change at any time. (Ma always said I should have become a lawyer!)
1. Yelp reviewers must have an account. Yelp actually positions themselves as a valid site, because anyone who reviews the site must have a name and therefore be a real person. Yelp is constantly fighting to remove fraudulent accounts.
2.Are you established on Yelp. While that definition is part of the ethereal mysteries of the universe, what it means is that you are sufficiently qualified to list reviews on Yelp. This also means that someone who gets a review from an established Yelper means more than from a newbie on the site with no reviews. Think of this similar to Google saying backlinks from PR 10 sites are worth more than PR 2 sites. There is a value in everybody’s review.
3. Yelp discourages business owners from actually asking for reviews. Part of the way that Yelp looks to encourage honest reviews is to remove the business owner. The old, “hey, can you give me a positive review on Yelp” discussion is waylaid. This stops the fake 25 reviews from clients coming in saying that Bobo’s Bottleneck Plant was awesome campaign is no longer in effect.
With Bobo’s campaign gone then how do you actually get reviews. Well, one technique is to just keep talking about Yelp the entire time. While you are not supposed to ask about reviews on Yelp, there is nothing wrong with subliminal messages about the greatness of Yelp in your business and for other businesses around you. This goes double if the client found you off Yelp.
Finally, provide quality service and have your Yelp profile on your business card, so when you ask people if they could refer you they also see your Yelp profile page as well.
In the end, Yelp reviews are a bit of an art to get correctly. Use this art long enough and you will profit from this art tremendously.