If you’re a local business looking to attract new customers, market yourself, and build your online reputation, it’s time to head on over to Yelp.com and start collecting Yelp business reviews!
Yelp is one of the best review platforms for local businesses to leverage. With an average of 28 million unique monthly visitors as of this year, Yelp provides a world of opportunity for local businesses looking to boost their online marketing and local SEO through online reviews.
If customers are looking for a plumber or electrician near them, chances are they won’t stop at Google. They’ll also reference the reviews your business has grown on reputable review sites like Yelp. As many as 45% of your customers are likely to check out Yelp’s business reviews before engaging with you.
Why should you be excited about this statistic? Because it provides a vast online marketing opportunity to spread the word about your business and take advantage of positive customer feedback.
Keep reading to learn more about Yelp reviews and what you can do to grow your customer following through Yelp.
What Are Yelp Business Reviews?
Yelp is an excellent platform to host reviews for local businesses. Customer reviews on Yelp work the same way as other platforms: they act as an opportunity for customers that have engaged with your business to post an online, honest opinion about the quality of the product or service you offer.
Once you have created a business account and claimed your business listing, you can provide details about your business on Yelp. This includes:
The nature of the product or services you sell
A link to your main website
Contact number and email
An opportunity for customers to request quotes from you
But the most prominent section that most Yelp users will look at before choosing to do business with you is the reviews section.
Customers can sort reviews according to their preference (by review age, review rating, or the automatic Yelp sort). Still, if your business is verified and has several reviews, Yelp tends to prioritize those that have gained the most traction or deemed the most helpful by other Yelpers in the community.
Reviews on Yelp also follow the star-rating system. A business amassing many 5-star ratings and positive reviews can benefit greatly and attract more potential customers.
Why Are Yelp Business Reviews Important?
As a business, how you represent yourself and engage with your customers online is a great indicator of the importance you give to customer service offline.
As you grow your Yelp reviews, make sure that you’re putting your best foot forward. Yelp for business owners is like a free advertising service. To use Yelp and respond to reviews on yet another platform may seem time-consuming, but it’s well worth the efforts.
Yelp Can Grow Your Customer Base
You can redirect traffic back to your site and gain new customers by securing positive reviews on Yelp. Yelp also has a huge community of reviewers. The previously mentioned 28 million monthly visitors pose an excellent opportunity to build your business’s exposure locally and edge into new markets.
Promoting your business on Yelp can open up new doors to customers you may not have otherwise reached.
Reviews Build Trust
Some customers may be expecting to find your business on Yelp, which is hugely popular for local searches in the US. If you don’t appear on Yelp, they may be less likely to contact your business.
Furthermore, once you’re on Yelp, the platform filters out the “recommended” reviews for verified businesses. Yelp accounts for the possibility of fake and fraudulent 1-star reviews, sometimes taking action to remove them or obscuring them from visibility to Yelpers.
This ensures that the reviews and Yelp ratings that are on your profile are perceived as more trustworthy and credible. You wouldn’t want to lose out on potential customers to competitors just because they secured a Yelp listing, and you didn’t.
Stay ahead of the game by setting up that business profile.
Yelp provides businesses with the option to provide their contact information via email and phone numbers. This makes you instantly accessible to Yelpers who are checking out your business.
Yelp’s layout is also very user-friendly and allows potential customers to view all the essential information about your business at the click of a button. For customers that aren’t interested in exploring your website, this is a great alternative.
What Can You Do to Earn Yelp Reviews?
The next question you may have is how to get those good reviews on Yelp. The answer is simple: by providing excellent service to your customers and gently nudging them to review you.
You never want to solicit reviews from customers in an unethical manner.
By incentivizing reviews or hiring agencies to post fake reviews, you’re violating Yelp’s content guidelines. Avoiding bad reviews is acceptable in some scenarios, but encouraging scam reviews from Yelp users is problematic.
There are still other great ways for you to go about growing your legitimate reviews. Here are a few strategies to get you started.
Set Up Your Yelp Business Profile
This is the first crucial step you must take to grow your reputation on Yelp.
Setting up your Yelp business profile will allow you to interact with potential Yelpers. The process is incredibly easy and can be started on the Yelp for Business Owners page.
Yelp takes some time to process new submissions, and you may have to wait up to one or two days to hear from them. Once you hear that your business profile has been set up, you’re good to go!
Ask Happy and Loyal Customers
The best way to grow your reviews is naturally through positive and organic feedback from those happy customers who go out of their way to post a review online.
However, sometimes giving your customers a little nudge can help. As long as you’re not pushy about it, kindly asking customers who you know are pleased with your business for a review is entirely alright.
Another great way to do this is by reaching out to customers who may have already reviewed you on other platforms, like Google and Facebook. Let them know that you’re on Yelp now, and that you would appreciate it if they could provide a good word there, too!
Spread the News
Some customers may find you directly on Yelp through a search of their own, but you should also be proactive about your Yelp profile, especially if you’ve just set it up.
You can leverage a Yelp banner on your social media sites and shoot out an email to your mailing list, providing them with a link to your Yelp business page. Some businesses even use decals in their windows with “Find Us On Yelp!” written on them.
This is a great way to encourage customers to visit your Yelp page while you’re conducting your day-to-day business.
Manage Your Yelp Page and Reviews
Yelp, like other review platforms, can attract a significant number of reviews once you’ve established an audience. With time, the growing reviews can be a lot to handle for a small business.
Signpost’s review management platform can help optimize business owners’ processes by growing your 5-star reviews, responding to negative reviews, and tracking customer engagement.
As you get started on your Yelp page, equip yourself with the best resources to manage your business’s online reviews, and you will succeed in boosting your online reputation.