Most businesses know that having reviews on Yelp will probably be helpful, even if they cringe at the thought of what might happen if their customers actually review them there. If you are a business owner looking to get more reviews to improve rankings, there are a few things you should know.
Yelp has a “bold yet delicate” policy regarding soliciting reviews. Over the years, Yelp has discouraged review solicitation, yet Yelp encourages businesses to “find” their business on Yelp with window stickers and HTML widgets.
In 2016, after working closely with the Yelp team on several businesses, I got the clarification I was looking for.
Despite that, the Yelp
Scare Tactics Guidelines specifically state:
I believe that Yelp has needed to be bold in their
Scare Tactics Policies because human nature supports a bias towards business owners only asking for reviews from their happy customers, whether in person or via email.
Quantity of online reviews is still a powerful ranking factor on Google. It’s also likely the strongest ranking factor for Yelp. Don’t be afraid to ask your customers for reviews! If your customers are Yelpers, they will naturally organically write reviews on Yelp.
If you are sending out review requests to your customers via bulk email or e-newsletter – You should just stop. It just doesn’t work anyway. There’s no need to request ALL of your customers to write a Yelp review. That won’t work either. What works is a relevant personal one-to-one email or verbal dialogue. Beyond that, having links on your website through a platform such as Get Five Stars works well.
Yelp Support Article: Don’t Ask for Reviews
Yelp Support Article: The Do’s and Don’ts of Yelp for Business Owners
For businesses that Yelpers actually do love, Yelp ships a window sign that says People Love us on Yelp!
There’s also new ways to embed Yelp reviews onto your website to encourage web visitors to check out your Yelp profile and perhaps write a review. **Be careful you don’t lose your hard earned website traffic to Yelp however.
I love Yelp for many reasons. Have you downloaded their mobile app and used it on your phone? It’s awesome! Have you reviewed other businesses? You should. Understand how Yelpers think and why they write reviews. Take a look around Yelp. The businesses you love will have mostly great Yelp reviews because they are awesome.
Do you love Yelp? Let us know in the comments.