How to Improve Your Presence on Yelp
If you’re on the business-end, Yelp is filled with duality – it’s poison and medicine, it’s bad and it’s good, it’s a thorn in your side and a friend by your side. Simply, it can hurt your profits or boost them.
So, how do you assure it does the latter? While you can’t control everything on the Internet (you’re not Mark Zuckerberg, after all), there are several ways to make Yelp help! And these include:
Focus on your positive reviews
It’s important to showcase positive reviews and allow them to have as much impact as possible. To do this, make sure none of your strong reviews are lingering in posting purgatory – check the filter for any reviews that are stuck. Yelp hides reviews that they deem valueless (even if they’re not) or inauthentic (again, even if they’re not). You can’t convince the algorithm to show them, but you can ask the reviewer to add a picture. That might be enough to show Yelp that the review is legit.
Rely on loyal customers
One of the easiest ways to get reviews is the most direct: ask for them. If you’ve got certain people you’ve worked with for years (including vendors) encourage them to write reviews. Odds are, the reviews will be positive – these people are loyal for a reason.
Address negative reviews
Negative reviews are part of the World Wide Web. The Internet? It’s used for cat videos and tattling. This doesn’t mean you should ignore everything negative. Some people have legitimate concerns and your company isn’t always perfect. Address these concerns as tactfully and promptly as possible. You may even want to offer an olive branch (e.g. gift card to use on their next visit) to get the customer back in for a second shot. Your reply to the review may carry more weight than the review itself.
But it’s not only negative views that you should address; respond to positive ones, as well. Responding to people who are happy with your service perpetuates their satisfaction and helps you build upon that relationship.
Don’t sweat the one-stars
While you should address the negative, that doesn’t mean you need to lose sleep over every one-star post. Negative reviews are inevitable, whether they’re warranted or not. If you see a theme in the review, consider changing something about your company. But the rare review that deems you an abomination? It’s always possible that the reviewer just needs a hug.
Yelp will always be a bit of a wild card – you can’t control it completely, because you can’t control people. But making sure your positive reviews are visible, encouraging comments from loyal customers, and addressing legitimate concerns without getting defensive all go a long way in recommending your business to the masses.
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