Yelp business reviews have proven instrumental in helping shoppers make informed decisions when finding the best products, services and restaurants. We don’t doubt you’ve read Yelp reviews yourself and benefitted from them.
Ranking number 1 worldwide, Yelp is the most visited Public Records and Directories website this year (Similarweb). In 2021, it gained 132.91 million visits from the U.S. (Semrush) and had a cumulative review of 224 million. For business owners not on Yelp, especially business-to-consumer (B2C) businesses, these stats alone highlight the importance of online reviews and why you should get Yelp reviews now.
In this guide, we give you an overview of Yelp as a powerful online review platform and how to maximize your presence on the site for optimal results.
Yelp: Connecting People With Businesses
Think yellow pages – that’s essentially what Yelp reviews for business is, except fully virtual and packed with more information. CEO Jeremy Stoppelman discussed the origin of Yelp, particularly its name, in an interview. As we all know, the word “yelp” means a cry for help. While he was initially turned off when someone had brought up the name idea, he eventually came around and decided the name was perfectly tied to what they were all about: yellow pages plus help equals Yelp.
And on its website, it says: “Yelp connects people with great local businesses.” And that couldn’t be any truer. Yelp is a premier online ratings and reviews site overflowing with user-generated content (UGC) – a powerful way to lead potential customers to businesses. It’s where you can market your business effectively with you doing little to no marketing.
How To Create a Page on Yelp
Before you start raking in some of the best Yelp reviews you can get, you first need to create a page.
(View of www.biz.yelp.com/claim)
- Go to biz.yelp.com/claim: Search for your business name. If you don’t find your business, just click “Add to Yelp for free” and provide your business information.
- Create a business user account for free: Enter an email address and password. Yelp will send you notifications for any page updates, so use an email address you regularly check.
- Verify your account: Enter the verification code you will receive either by the email address you provided or the number listed on your page.
Follow the prompts you will receive in your account to complete your page. Next, wait for verification – this can take a couple of business days, so double-check your information to avoid going back and forth.
If you haven’t opened your business but are looking to get Yelp reviews Page early on, you can list your business as long as you provide verifiable information. Let users know when your opening date is through the section “From the Business,” or add an “Opening Soon” to your business name; for example, “Kate’s Kozy Kafe – Opening Soon.” However, Yelp may not show your page in their search results if your business is not scheduled to open in a month.
Before we get into more details, we understand how business owners like you have no time to create a Yelp reviews for business page, let alone handle one. So you should know you can jump into working with reputation management consultants as early as now to get the ball rolling.
How To Optimize Your Yelp Business Page
A good business page is complete with helpful information and customer reviews; in this case, your Yelp business reviews. Optimizing your page doesn’t just involve generating the best Yelp reviews from your satisfied clients, but also giving users the most accurate, up-to-date details about your business.
Here are ways you can maximize your presence on Yelp:
• Choose the right category
• Double-check your category so you appear on search results properly
• Customize your online storefront
• Add high-quality photos and caption them accordingly
• List accurate information
• Operating hours (Regular and holidays)
• Add your menu and update your pricing as needed
• Utilize the section “From The Business”
• Highlight your history, specialties and team
(Screenshots from: https://www.yelp.com/biz/girl-and-the-goat-chicago)
Here’s an example of a Yelp business page with a 4.5/5 rating out of 9,096 reviews. This page has photos (indoor, outdoor and food) from the owner. You can also see a notice saying they updated their store hours two months ago, showing they make sure their information is accurate.
They provided necessary information – address, hours of operation and amenities.
And here, you find them active in posting updates and priced dishes on their menu. They have also linked their website.
Whether your business is a restaurant like the example or not, you can always check in with an expert offering reputation management services to guide and guarantee your page is highly optimized. On top of doing all the optimization, an expert will also assure your business is following the Yelp review guidelines.
Yelp is aware that creating and optimizing business pages can be a lot of work for most business owners. That’s why it allows you to share your account with up to 15 users or more if you’re affiliated with a larger enterprise. This makes managing easier if you choose to work with experts from one of the best online reputation management companies.
How Can My Business Get Yelp Reviews?
Optimizing your page is only one of the many ways you can help your business generate reviews. But first, know that you’re not encouraged to simply ask for reviews, according to the Yelp review guidelines. Navigating this tricky space is where working with online reputation management companies proves beneficial.
If you’re wondering if you can use a review generation tool on your own, you can. However, if you’re not familiar with the Yelp review removal policy and guidelines, your reviews might end up not being recommended by Yelp because it aims to highlight genuine, unsolicited experiences.
That’s why partnering with specialists and using the best review generation tool are recommended. This way, you’re gaining the best Yelp reviews while adhering to Yelp review guidelines.
Aside from the optimization steps, here’s how you can generate more ratings and reviews:
- If you have a website, put a Yelp badge on it.
- On your physical store’s front door or counter, put up a Yelp sign; Yelp offers paid branded materials.
- On your social media page like Facebook, share your reviews as they come.
- From your Yelp page, create check-in offers.
- Respond to customers who have given you ratings and reviews.
Before learning how to respond to Yelp reviews, you must note that the ultimate intention behind these steps is to let your customers and prospects know you are on Yelp. This will pique their curiosity and lead them to check your Yelp business reviews page.
If, for example, you have a restaurant for a business, you’ll likely get a review once a customer sees your Yelp page. But if a prospect sees your page and they read Yelp reviews for your business, you’ll most likely get a visit first. It’s a win-win situation!
How To Respond to Yelp Reviews
Let’s get this out first: Positive or negative, every review deserves a response. If you’re currently handling your reputation management in-house, remember to stay aligned with the Yelp review removal policy, so you’re prepared to take different courses of action.
For general reviews, here are tips:
- Address a user by their name: A user’s name is visible to you, so use that to connect with them.
- Express your gratitude: If they included photos, thank them for it.
Here’s an example of a positive review: Notice how the representative called the customer by name and complimented their photos.
Do take note that knowing how to respond to Yelp reviews, in general, is different from handling negative reviews.
How To Respond to a Negative Review
Rize Reviews’s Senior Reputation Manager, Tim Clarke, provided three simple steps you can follow:
- Ask for more information.
- Be polite always.
- Take the conversation offline if needed.
Asking for further details will give people the impression that you are keen on addressing their concerns while being polite will show that you are level-headed, which will likely help you have a fast and positive turnaround.
Most users tend to read Yelp reviews with responses, so if you sense the conversation is escalating, Clarke also points out that taking the situation offline is an option. Provide your contact information where your customer can contact you to discuss the situation further.
In this example, you will notice how the representative tried connecting with the customer by addressing them by name and empathizing by apologizing and then providing a resolution. They also gave their contact information if the customer wanted to talk further.
If you dread dealing with disgruntled clients, working with reputation management consultants who know how to respond to a negative review will take the burden off your shoulders. These experts will also know the ropes of the Yelp review removal policy and can effectively handle false or defamatory reviews.
Now that we’ve talked about the importance of online reviews and shared actionable steps to help you start, optimize and manage a Yelp business page, you might be wondering if you can do all the work on your own. For a business owner like yourself, time and capacity would be an issue, but that isn’t a reason to ditch Yelp altogether.
A company like Rize Reviews exists to help you. We offer reputation management services that help businesses like you generate positive reviews and attract more customers. Best of all, we empower you to make the most of the world’s top review platforms like Yelp and Google for the best results in your campaigns. Talk to a reputation management consultant for free today to get started.