Yelp vs Google Reviews
The competition is high in today’s digital environment; this is true even for small and local businesses. Business owners today have a lot more to worry about than local advertisements and spreading word-of-mouth.
Online reviews are just as important to look into and prioritize.
In fact, 9 out of 10 customers read online reviews before ever deciding to make a purchase. These negative and positive reviews can drive a significant impact on a small business owner’s bottom line.
Two platforms that help businesses generate online reviews and improve their reputation are Google My Business and Yelp.
In this article, we’ll break down the different features of these review platforms and what you can do to make the best of them both!
If you need review management software for your business without the headache, Signpost is a cost-effective solution. Start a demo today.
Yelp in Review
What is Yelp? How powerful is it?
Consider Yelp the “Facebook” of review sites. Yelp is considered one of the most popular review sites for service-based businesses like plumbers, electricians, and contractors. (This Yelp report shows that local home service businesses are tied for the most reviewed category on the platform!)
Yelp has a hyper-focus on local businesses, allowing nearby customers to find and patronize businesses.
Its community users, called “Yelpers”, can post good reviews, photos, ratings, and engage with other potential customers to help them find a suitable business for their needs.
How does Yelp work?
Yelp is fairly straightforward to navigate and use. As a business, you can set up a profile on Yelp for free and start engaging with new and existing customers.
You can display your business information on the platform, including details of your services, hours of operation, contact information, and where you are on the map! Customers that are interested in your business or have already engaged with it can then contact you directly for questions, rates, and provide business reviews of your services.
Don’t forget to claim your business listing on Yelp if you haven’t already!
Ad potential and costs
On Yelp, you also have the chance to boost your online reputation and awareness by buying Yelp ads. You can display your business more prominently on the site by choosing an ad package with the review company.
Yelp ads start anywhere from $150/month and can get up to $1,200/month, depending on your business’s needs. Yelp reports a reach potential for 3x more customers when your business spends $200 to $1,200 a month.
To make the best of a Yelp ad campaign and really nail your audience targeting, some users report spending a higher budget.
Removing and managing reviews
If you feel that your business has received fake reviews that are damaging your business’s reputation, you can flag them for removal by clicking on the flag icon at the bottom of the review.
Select the reason for removal and submit your request.
If valid, Yelp moderators will accept your removal request! It’s that simple.
Yelp Pros and Cons
Thinking of getting those five-star reviews on Yelp? Here are the pros and cons:
Pro: Yelp is #1 platform customers use to view reviews
Today, reviews are practically synonymous with Yelp. Yelp is the go-to platform for customers seeking reviews, boasting over 224 million reviews on the platform!
Pro: Customers can order services directly on the platform
Customers can directly get in touch with your business through the Yelp platform, driving more sales engagement. Customers can schedule appointments directly on the platform or even view your business’s certifications and licenses.
Con: Paid presence on Yelp is a long-term commitment
To make the best of your Yelp ads, you have to be willing to invest more time and money in your ad campaigns.
Con: Businesses can collect negative reviews without ever being claimed on Yelp
The review algorithm tends to be unpredictable and may display fake and negative reviews at the top of your business’s page. Even if your business page isn’t claimed, it may still gain negative reviews from Yelp users, making it more challenging for your overall reputation management.
All About Google Reviews
What are Google Reviews? How powerful are they?
As the world’s most powerful search engine, it’s no surprise that Google dominates not just in the effectiveness of its Google search and optimization features, but also in its review platform for businesses.
Google is one of the top review sites for businesses of all types, attracting monthly traffic of nearly 160 million users per month.
If you want to make the best of your digital marketing efforts, creating a Google My Business profile is essential.
How do Google Reviews work?
Once you create your Google My Business profile, create your business listing. This process includes connecting your business with Google Maps in order to make your services more accessible to potential customers in your community.
Through both Google searches and Google Maps results, both existing and new customers can view your business’s reviews, read feedback left by customers, and even view related pictures and comments.
If you wish to respond and interact directly with these reviews, it’s necessary to claim your listing and have your business verified on the GMB platform.
Ad potential and costs
With Google, you get a lot more variety and choice for your ads. You can choose from many ad formats, including text and video ads, responsive ads, app promotion, and more! Yelp has less variety in comparison, but may be more effective with regard to user intent and targeting.
This comparison is driven by Yelp users who already represent a specific demographic that may be more relevant to local businesses. Google, on the other hand, is a universal and global platform.
Google ads, however, are more affordable. Its ad campaigns are designed so that your business pays the lowest cost per click by adopting a smart pricing system. If a click/ad is less likely to convert a customer for you, it’s priced lower.
The average CPC you can expect to pay is $2.69 for searches and $0.63 for display ads.
Removing and managing reviews
Similar to Yelp, businesses have the option to request the removal of Google reviews they feel are fake, aggressive, or malicious. You can request removal by flagging the review through your GMB account.
It’s important that you only flag reviews that violate Google’s policies and not simply ones that you disagree with (for example, containing negative but authentic feedback).
Google Reviews Pros and Cons
Before you get started with Google reviews, here are the benefits and disadvantages to know!
Pro: Advantageous for local SEO/Google Maps integration
A search engine and review platform in one, you can drive more value from your GMB profile. Two birds with one stone!
Pro: Google exposure and high traffic
Google targets a global customer base and has high volumes of traffic due to its prominence as the top search engine. This can provide your business comparatively more exposure.
Con: Users don’t have to leave any comments with their star rating
Users aren’t required to provide text-based comments or feedback on their reviews. This can lead to misleading reviews or ratings without any context, altering customer perceptions more easily.
Con: Reports of difficult/challenging user interface (difficult to edit business profiles)
It’s not as easy for both customers and businesses to navigate through reviews. It can also be more difficult for customers to find your business listing on Google, as compared to Yelp. This is especially true if you have more than one business location.
Signpost is used by thousands of small service businesses to build a trusted reputation online with reviews. Let us show you how our review software works.
Our Final Verdict
The debate of Google vs. Yelp reviews rages on. Our opinion?
As a local business, you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket (or in this case, a review platform). Your local customers may be looking to connect with you across a multitude of platforms. Remaining accessible to them across these can drive customer engagement and maximize your chances of landing a new customer.
It’s time to embrace review sites and claim your listings, grow your 5-star reviews, and engage with your customers head-on!
If this sounds challenging to you, don’t worry. We’ve got your back.
Work with Signpost and leverage our trusted review management service. We’re here to help you take your business reputation to the next level. By working with us, you can better track your reviews, reply to them on a timely basis, and grow your online presence by leaps and bounds.
Book a demo with us today!