One hot summer day, you find yourself scrolling aimlessly through your Facebook feed. You scroll and scroll when suddenly, something catches your eye. It’s a photo of your friend slurping a glass of milkshake.
And, just like that, you want one too. The only problem is, you’re not sure where to buy, considering that you’re new in town.
Your instinct tells you to look online, and so, you go straight to Google to type in the phrase “best milkshake near me.” You see a post from Yelp, “Best Milkshake in West Palm Beach, FL,” among the top results.
You click the link, which immediately redirects you to their website with an exhaustive list of dessert places, ice cream parlors, and diners nearby. Still unsure about where to buy, you check for the determining factors: Star rating, reviews, and images.
After almost an hour of exploring, you’ve finally arrived at a decision. It’s an ice cream parlor just a block away from you. Based on the reviews you read, the place isn’t only famous for its chocolate milkshake, but it’s also a crowd favorite.
If it weren’t for Yelp, you wouldn’t have stumbled upon that milkshake place. Or sure, you may hear about it five months or a year later.
More than 178 million people across America use Yelp to help them decide which businesses in their area are worth buying from and trying out.
According to a survey conducted by BrightLocal, 74% of consumers say that positive reviews convince them to trust a local business more. This shows that reviews play an important role in helping small and local businesses get new customers and make more sales.
In this article, we will discuss what Yelp is, why it’s vital for your business, and the different ways to get more reviews using your employees.
Yelp is an online platform that allows actual people to leave honest reviews and share their personal experiences with a local business. It aims to help individuals make informed decisions about restaurants, dentists, dry cleaners, hotels, auto repair shops, and more.
As a business owner, you know how effective a simple honest review from a customer is in encouraging others to buy from you or try out your services. This is where you take advantage of Yelp.
Yelp is one of the most trusted sources when it comes to reviews and ratings for local businesses across multiple industries. A study conducted by Nielsen found that 92% of consumers end up buying after reading reviews on Yelp. Indeed, Yelp has the power to influence consumer behavior and purchase decisions.
If you want to start getting more customers and make more sales this 2021, listing your business on Yelp is the first step.
You should know, however, that Yelp has a rule that prohibits businesses from asking for reviews as it may lead to biased content.
So, how do you go about asking your customers for a review on Yelp? Continue reading to find out!
The most straightforward way to get reviews on Yelp is to ask your customers for it. But because Yelp discourages this, you need to get creative. Here are tried-and-true ways to do it:
First, get more reviews by claiming your business listing on Yelp. Doing this allows you to access a set of free tools and metrics you can use to monitor visitor activity on your page, respond to reviews, take immediate action for any negative feedback, promote your business, and many more.
Once you’ve claimed your business on Yelp, it’s also important that you do the following:
Fill out all the necessary information on your Yelp page, like your business hours, contact information, and current business address.
It’s also a good idea to add high-quality curated photos of your business, as well as your products or services. People tend to stay 2.5 times longer looking at pages that contain photos than those without, and that’s according to Yelp. Adding photos is a great way to let people know you’re legit and entice them into trying your products or services.
To attract potential customers into clicking on your business listing, add other important details on your page, such as updated terms and services, and perhaps even COVID-19 updates.
You can also use the highlights section on your page, indicating what people should look forward to if they do business with you.
For example, you can point out that you offer free parking, or that your business is family-owned and established in 1998. Such attributes can attract the right customers.
The “About the Business” section is where your potential customers will get to know everything they need to know about you. That said, make an effort to sell yourself and explain why you stand out.
Including primary keywords in your description can also make a difference.
Adding links to your website or social media pages is a great way to drive traffic to your site and motivate users to get to know more about your business.
Claiming your business in Yelp, filling out all the important information, posting new content regularly, and updating your page when necessary give your prospects the reassurance that you’re 100% trustworthy.
But more than that, it also signals search engines that you’re active, which means you’re urging them to increase your ranking over your inactive competitors.
Nobody is in a more suitable position to ask your customers for a review than you and your employees. To start getting more reviews, train yourself and your staff to ask a few questions at the end of every transaction.
Questions like these can help you improve your business and establish rapport with your customers:
If they’re not happy with your service, it’s best to empathize with them by telling them you want to hear more about the problem. Doing this allows you to address the problem right away and prevent that customer from giving you a negative review.
While they may not be satisfied with your product or service initially, listening to their complaints and showing that you genuinely care about their needs can convince them to give you another chance and change their impression about your business.
On the other hand, encourage contented customers to write a review on Yelp. The best way to do it is to say it casually.
Say something like “We’re delighted you’re happy with our service. Don’t feel shy about letting others know about your experience with us on Yelp,” or “We’re glad you love our products, don’t forget to check us out on Yelp!”
Your employees are the ones who are with you day in and day out helping you run your business. They know your products and services, and they know what happens behind the scenes.
If anyone has the right to tell people what your business is like, it’s certainly your employees.
That’s why you’re going to turn them into Yelpers to help get more reviews!
However, you have to make sure that nobody violates any of Yelp’s rules, and that everyone should be able to get through its strict filter. Your employees should take note of these instructions:
Now that you know the rules, here are the steps you should take to get more reviews with the help of your employees:
Step 1: Ask your employees if they have a Yelp account, and for those who do, confirm whether they’re active users, or shall we say, Yelpers. Remind them of the guidelines, although some of them may already be aware.
For those without an account yet, ask them to make one after work. They shouldn’t use your company computer, WiFi, or their work emails when doing this.
If possible, have them connect their Yelp account to their Facebook account to legitimize their profile. Their Yelp account should be filled out so Yelp can verify they’re real.
Step 2: With everyone on your team becoming Yelp members now, it’s time to get them started. For the next 30 days, ask them to check in and write reviews for four to eight businesses they frequently go to.
Remember, they should not review the same places at once. These reviews need to be done separately.
They should also include a photo of what they bought or any documentation that they’ve been to the place.
Inform your employees that the ratings should be a mix of two to five stars, and that the reviews need to be hand typed since Yelp can read the speed at which a Yelper is typing. That’s right, its system is so high-tech that it can tell if a review is copy-pasted or fake.
Step 3: It’s time to get your reviews! But don’t get too excited just yet.
You need to spread them out and carefully curate them to help you rank for your primary keywords. Schedule your employees to leave a review. There should be an interval of eight to 12 days in between.
Another thing is, make sure the reviews include your primary keywords.
For example, if you own an ice cream shop, you’ll need to use the right phrases, such as ”best sundae in West Palm Beach” or “top ice cream shops near me.” Keywords like these will help you rank higher in search results.
Step 4: Ask them to continue Yelping. To establish their credibility and avoid Yelp’s algorithm from raising suspicions, your employees need to continue to review places, check in, and rate for the next couple of months.
Yelp plays a key role in helping small businesses and local establishments get new customers and make more sales.
This 2021, work on getting more reviews from your customers with the help of your employees. Put this plan to the test and see if it works!
If you feel like you need professional assistance in handling your online reputation, Digital Resource is your go-to digital marketing company. We can help you increase your brand image in the eyes of your target audience. Contact us to get started!