When consumers are looking for information about a company, where do they usually turn? Google! A quick online search can uncover reviews and product information, helping customers to make better decisions with their purchases.
Reviews have become an integral part of the buying process. Many consumers choose to read reviews before they make their decision to buy. The internet has created an environment where reviews are always available with the touch of the button. Good reviews can send more business to your company. At the same time, bad reviews could result in fewer customers for business.
What do your customers see when they look online for information about your company? It is essential that you are proactive to build your brand in a positive way. One of the foundational steps is to increase the number of positive reviews for your business.
Yelp Review Solicitation Policy
There are popular online directories that consumers use to check for reviews. Yelp is one of the leading sources for reviews… but it’s also one of the most restrictive sites as well. According to policy guidelines, it is forbidden to “ask” customers to leave a review for your company!
This policy was created because Yelp wants to avoid the artificial element that occurs when companies only ask happy customers to leave a review. Over time, the biased reviews create mistrust for the consumers who are reading the reviews. Yelp wants to keep customers coming back for trusted information, so they implemented the policy to protect the best interests of the website users.
Just because you shouldn’t ask for Yelp reviews, doesn’t mean that you can’t be proactive to encourage customers to visit your Yelp listing. Here are a few things that you can do that may help to increase Yelp reviews without breaking the policy:
- Notify Customers via Email or Text: Instead of asking customers to leave a review, simply notify them to look up your company on Yelp. A simple card or text message could say “Check us out on Yelp.” It’s ok to point people to your Yelp page, as long as you aren’t soliciting reviews. When a customer visits your Yelp page, it could naturally turn into a review for your company.
- Place a Sign in Your Workplace: Yelp has certain logos that are approved for posting in your business area. Make a “Find us on Yelp” sign to hang up near the cash register or on the doors.
- Put a Yelp Link in Your Email Signature: An email signature can be a great way to share information with the customers that are talking with you via email. Use your email signature as a subtle way to encourage people to leave a Yelp review. You can use the notification shared in the first tip, and place one line in the email signature: “Check us out on Yelp.”
- Post on Social Media Websites: Does your company have a Twitter or Facebook account? Share a link to your Yelp listing, along with a few reviews for people to read.
- Share Reviews in Marketing Efforts: Even though you can’t solicit reviews, you can share the positive reviews in your marketing materials. Use the recommended reviews on your Yelp listing, and make sure to share attribution to the reviewer.
- Yelp Stickers: As you gain good reviews over time, Yelp will send out “People Love Us on Yelp” Stickers to your company. These stickers are mailed twice a year, and they can be posted within your business space. You must meet certain qualifications to receive this sticker, based on ratings and history on Yelp.
Yelp reviews can go a long way to boost your business success. These reviews might not make or break your business. But, they can be the extra visibility that you need to take your company to higher levels of success. It has been found that a one-star increase can boost revenue by as much as 5 – 9%!
Make sure to follow the Yelp guidelines: never directly ask for a customer to leave a review. Instead, implement these steps to boost your Yelp visibility to get natural, organic growth online. You will see the positive impact that it has on your business.