Picture this: You’re about to use your hard-earned money to purchase a product or book a service. You ask the business how they will guarantee your satisfaction, and they say to you “don’t worry, just take our word for it!”
The truth is, that would never happen because, luckily, we have online review sites to back up our purchasing decisions. Your audience is no longer blindly selecting your business. Thanks to online review sites like Yelp, you can let your customers do the talking for you. Today, we’ll explain how by providing answers to questions like:
- How do you get reviews on Yelp?
- How can you respond to reviews on Yelp?
- How can Yelp help my business?
By the end of this post, your business will be ready to rake in raving reviews!
Why your business needs reviews on Yelp
Not only that, but there’s a strong correlation between visits to a business’s Yelp page and purchases. So much so that 97% of consumers make a purchase after visiting Yelp.
If you want to capture the attention of these high-intent searchers, you need a strong presence on Yelp. It’s all about getting reviews. The more positive reviews you have on Yelp, the more likely consumers are to view your business as trustworthy.
If you’re new to the Yelp game, that’s okay! It’s never too late to begin thinking about how to get reviews and respond on Yelp. Next, we’ll dig into a handy-dandy guide to taking your local marketing to the next level with Yelp.
How to get Yelp reviews: 6 tips
There are a few tactics to grow the number of reviews you receive on the platform for a top-tier Yelp listing:
1. Claim your Yelp page
Before you begin trying to get more reviews, you need to plant your flag on your little corner of the Yelp universe. If your business has been around a while, it’s possible it already has Yelp reviews on an unclaimed page. If you’re just starting out, you might be absent from Yelp altogether.
Either way, your first step is to claim your business profile on Yelp. To do so, head over to Yelp for Business. When you search for your business’s name, you’ll have the opportunity to claim an existing profile or establish one, if none exists.
If your business has already accrued some reviews, Yelp will verify that you’re truly the business owner before they hand over the profile. If you’re just starting out, they will similarly ensure you’re legitimately in charge of the business before allowing you to create a Yelp account.
Once your business’s Yelp profile is set up, take some time to trick it out!
2. Make it easy for people to leave reviews on your Yelp page
The next step is to make it simple for customers to find your Yelp page. A great online presence stitches together all of your multi-channel marketing assets so consumers can seamlessly travel from one to the next.
If you’ve linked up all of your social media platforms, local listings, and website properly, a prospect should be able to find their way from your Yelp page to your website to your Instagram (or vice versa) with no friction.
When you’re claiming your Yelp profile, add your contact information—including website, address, phone number, and social handles—to your profile.
Once your Yelp profile is officially claimed, link out to it from your website, include it in your email signature, and remind social media followers they can find you on Yelp.
3. Try in-person promotions
If you have a brick-and-mortar business, you should announce your Yelp presence in the real world. Yelp makes official stickers and window clings for businesses to display in their stores. Be sure to order some for your location.
Advertising your presence on Yelp in your store has a few benefits. When a Yelp sign hangs in your front window, it encourages passersby to look you up online and see what previous customers have said about your business.
Additionally, it’s a subtle reminder to those who just made a purchase to share their experience online.
4. Remind your customers to review your business on Yelp
Once someone has made a purchase with you, it’s time to do some targeted outreach to get Yelp reviews. You can plant the seed right after the purchase is made.
For example, you could include a link to your Yelp page in an e-receipt or mention that you’re on Yelp on a physical receipt.
5. Ask for Yelp reviews over email
You could also reach out to your customers via email a few days later and ask them to review you on Yelp. Try incentives like offering a coupon to encourage them to leave reviews.
However, when employing your outreach avoid them to write a nice review. Consumers rely on Yelp being unbiased, and any communication that comes across as an attempt to sway customers’ statements about your business online will reflect poorly on you.
Aside from simply growing your business’s Yelp presence, sending an email asking for feedback can also catch people who are upset before they write a negative review. Often, people post negative online reviews because they don’t feel heard by a company. They’ve had an issue that’s gone ignored, and they feel that griping publicly is the only way to get the business’s attention.
However, if you take the time to reach out via email shortly after purchase, you give these people a chance to privately share their concerns rather than blasting you on the internet.
Related: Get free email templates to simplify asking for reviews.
6. Follow up to get even more Yelp reviews
If you don’t hear from your new customer right away, that’s alright. People are busy, emails get lost in the shuffle—don’t take it personally or get discouraged, but do follow up.
Send a couple of well-spaced reminders to those who haven’t reviewed after your initial email. Set up an email drip campaign so you don’t have to remember to follow up individually with each person. Be sure to set the campaign to omit folks who do click through to Yelp so you don’t follow up a second time with those who’ve already reviewed.
Since it’s not necessary to get responses from every single person, and you don’t want new customers to feel like you’re harassing them, two follow-ups are more than enough.
How to respond to Yelp reviews
You should respond to every review you get on Yelp, from the glowing to the glowering.
A good rule of thumb for responding to reviews is that anything posted in the past month or so, plus all reviews going forward, warrant a comment.
Responding to negative Yelp reviews
Business owners often hate the idea of responding to negative reviews. The biggest tip here is to take a deep breath and search for constructive criticism in the review before responding. Often there’s a legitimate concern behind the review, even if it’s the spicy language that catches your eye and spikes your blood pressure.
Responding to positive Yelp reviews
Don’t get so caught up in thinking about bad reviews that you ignore the great ones! These happy customers need your time and attention, too. If someone has taken the time to say something nice about you online, that deserves a thank you. Your kind, simple, sincere expression of gratitude goes a long way to cementing the positive feelings they already had about your business.
Respond to reviews publicly first, then move to a private conversation
The last thing to keep in mind is that you should keep your responses to reviews public. Luckily, Yelp gives business owners the opportunity to directly message reviewers. But, before you respond privately, post a response that others will see.
This is especially important for negative reviews. If handled properly, your measured and thoughtful response to a bad review can actually turn that customer’s negative opinion into a positive for your business.
When you respond publicly, other consumers considering your brand see you responding with integrity and kindness. That can sway them to do business with you despite the original reviewer’s negative experience.
Once you’ve responded publicly, it may be appropriate to take things offline. For example, if you’re following up on a negative review with a coupon code for the future or to share the process for refunding them their original purchase, that is something to send one-on-one. Just be sure to mention in the public post that you’ll be following up offline with specifics, so others don’t think you left your unhappy customer hanging.
Use Yelp to promote your business
Yelp reviews remain a powerful source of social proof for small businesses. Claiming your business on Yelp is a relatively painless process, but it has tremendous upside. Take the time to establish yourself, get reviews, and respond on Yelp. With a little bit of effort, you can build out a robust online presence that wins trust and drives sales.