Finally, we’ve made it. We’re on the last post in this series on increasing your online reviews. I hope you have learned a few tips and tricks along the way and I hope your business is better off for it. We have already covered TripAdvisor, Google, Facebook. For the last post in the series, we’re going to finish off with the largest food industry review site, Yelp.
If you’re the owner of a restaurant, coffee shop, or bar, chances are you’ve heard of Yelp. Yelp started in 2004 and it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere anytime soon.
One of the major issues for business owners who are trying to increase their online review presence on Yelp, is that Yelp has a very unique review filter. They actually have a guideline that states you cannot directly ask customers to leave you a review on Yelp. And they actually say it’s in your best interest to NOT ask in the first place! (As we saw last week with Facebook, there are ways around it)
So what can we do? Well, I found a very helpful article over on Reputation Stacker to help us with this very problem.
Your Yelp Business Page Matters
One big takeaway from the article is the importance of your business page on Yelp. If you haven’t already, get started by claiming your business. From there you can update your page just like you can on your Facebook business page. Verify your business address and phone number, add your menu, and don’t forget – PHOTOS! Yelp themselves have stated that, on average, customers spend 2.5 more time on a business page with photos than one without. Let’s make sure that’s you! Add photos of your seating area, your food, your drinks, your servers, your kitchen… Show how proud you are of your establishment.
It’s also important to interact with the reviews that are already there. Whether good or bad, you can show how much you care about your customers by commenting and interacting with them. You have the opportunity to encourage and thank good reviewers as well as learn from and thank bad reviewers. (or potentially defend what may or may not have happened…)
Encourage Yelp Interaction
Other than making sure your business’ Yelp page is in good order, there are other ways to encourage reviews. Even though you aren’t allowed to ask anyone to leave you a review, you ARE allowed to encourage customers and potential customers to look for your business on Yelp. Hopefully once they see how good your page is on the site, they will feel more inclined to leave a review. You can have the “Find us on Yelp” stickers placed on the doors and checkout areas and even on your own website or Facebook page.
At the end of the day, remember: it’s not good to focus on any one review site. Yes, reviews are important and do play a role in the success of your business. But what matters most, is that you provide a great customer experience with quality service and amazing products. That’s probably why you started this business to begin with – so keep the main thing the main thing. Good luck!