Tips for Working with Yelp as a Business Owner

As a business owner, Yelp may seem like a foreign concept that only caters to customers reviewing business and organizations. Fortunately, this is not the case. There is a number of things business owners can do to integrate Yelp into their business, and ensure that the reviews positively reflect the nature of your company. Yelp is an impactful tool for businesses to utilize due to the fact that it is a database for prospective customers to visit and get a true-to-life evaluation of any business they are interested in working with. Despite the website’s influencing power, Yelp can have downsides as a business owner. A major shortcoming of Yelp revolves around false reviews that are sometimes not weeded out, which in turn can negatively impact your business. Despite the review website having its own flaws, such as inconsistent filtering software, there is no sense fighting the imperfections of Yelp, due to the simple fact it is a popular resource used by countless potential customers.

Claim Your Business’s Page ASAP

When utilizing Yelp for your business, the first action any business owner should take is to claim their business on the site. There is a possibility that your business has been reviewed on the site before, which means that it exists as its own entity within Yelp. You do not want a random person updating and editing your company’s Yelp page, so claiming the business as yours on Yelp’s listing is vital. After claiming the page as your businesses, update the page’s information, from phone number and contact information all the way to offerings. Building content on your Yelp page not only is more informative for customers, but also helps increase search engine optimization!

Let Customers Know About Your Page

In order to start receiving positive reviews on Yelp… customers simply have to love your business! This statement is concrete and thoroughly holds true, but there a a few things business owners can do to encourage reviews in general. A simple and efficient way to drive customers to your page is to place your Yelp page link on the bottom of emails, on your website itself, and on social media. It is as simple as spreading brand awareness and engagement.

How to Respond to a Negative Review

What should a business owner do when receiving a negative review, you ask? Respond! Attempt to solve the problem the customer had to the best of your ability. Yelp allows you to respond either publicly or privately, both of which can be very effective. Responding privately benefits the customer by forming goodwill with them in your resolution of their problem. Responding publicly allows other customers on Yelp to view your resolution to the negative review, which in turn reveals to them your business actively builds relationships with customers and puts significant emphasis on customer relations.

Yelp’s Review Filtering

Earlier, the deficiencies of Yelp were briefly touched upon, so please allow me expand. The filtering of reviews is a flawed process, that much is true about Yelp. Some reviews on Yelp are removed and categorized as “not recommended”. Yelp uses their software to determine if a review is biased, and pushes it to the bottom of the review page only to be accessed by a very small link. Unfortunately, there is nothing a business owner can do to adjust the reviews on their page that are flagged as biased and not, which only adds to the annoyances of Yelp for business owners. Tidbits of information on how Yelp categorizes “not recommended” reviews are reviews with little activity, reviews that come from the same computer, and reviews that are too extreme in their assessment, good or bad.

Battling Bad Reviews

When dealing with reviews on Yelp it is important to keep in mind that oftentimes flagging a false comment does in fact work if you are persistent enough. If you feel a review is either misaligned or just plain fake, business owner’s can report the review using this link: Additionally, there is the possibility to receive a “re-review” which may be rare for Yelp’s standards but can be done.

In between claiming your page off the listing, and getting into the brass tax of all that is Yelp, it is important to plan out a strategic Yelp plan. Creatively brainstorm how you can better customer’s experience with your business, which will lead to a steady flow of 5 star reviews over time. Use the Yelp improvement calculator to determine how many positive reviews you need to reach your milestones and goals.