How to Improve Yelp Reviews

11 minute read

How to Improve Yelp Reviews

Yelp is one of the most well-known and most visited review sites with a massive audience of eager consumers. Yelp is so influential, in fact, that a study by Nielsen and Yelp showed that 92% of Yelp users make a purchase after visiting the platform.

With so much potential riding on one website, wouldn't you want to do everything in your power to make sure your business's Yelp page is in the best possible shape? 

So what does it take to create a successful Yelp for business listing? Well, time and money.

You need to:

  • Spend time creating a solid Yelp profile
  • Proactively respond to both positive and negative reviews
  • Prepare to pay for enhanced features and ads
In this article, we'll explore these tips in detail.

Do Yelp ratings matter in 2022?

Most people believe that every business that has a location needs a Google My Business profile but what about a Yelp page? Do people even check Yelp reviews in 2022? Yes

Despite the fact that it is more than two decades old, Yelp is still widely utilized around the world. The platform currently has an average of 92 million unique mobile users monthly on its website.

Yelp's advertising products, including hyperlocal search ads, are currently its main income drivers. According to its First Quarter 2022 income statement, net revenue increased by 19% year over year to $277 million. Co-founder and CEO Jeremy Stoppelman said, "our strong start to the year was driven by the continued execution of our long-term strategy and the strong demand for Yelp’s advertising products."

Even though the platform has a lot of work to do to attract younger buyers, it still is very relevant for many businesses.

Why are some Yelp reviews filtered?

In order to help people find the most reliable businesses, Yelp sifts through over 45 million reviews daily. That's a tall order, but Yelp has developed automated algorithms to make this possible. The purpose of the filter is to remove fake or illegitimate reviews. Based on a few different criteria discussed below, a review might be marked not recommended on Yelp. The "other reviews that are not currently recommended" section at the bottom of a Yelp profile collects and filters out suspected reviews i.e fraudulent or unauthorized reviews.

Filtered yelp reviews

Listed below are some of the major reasons why some Yelp reviews are filtered out: 

  • The review is written by a first-time user with no information about themselves. Users with no profile information on Yelp aren't trusted.
  • The review is either excessively positive or excessively negative. 
  • The review is far too short to be of any use to other readers. Reviews that are too short and not useful to other readers get filtered. 
  • The review was found to be in violation of Yelp's Content Guidelines.
  • The IP address is incorrect. Yelp uses IP addresses to determine whether or not a review is genuine. So, if a reviewer visits your business while on vacation but does not review it until they return home, that review is likely to be screened.

How does Yelp handle fake reviews?

Yelp’s internal review system is its strongest defense against fake reviews, as it combs through each and every review to differentiate valid reviews from phony reviews. The company indicates that the system screens for phony reviews by looking at repeated reviews from the same computer or whether the wording of the review appears to be biased.

This system also looks for solicited reviews because they’re considered to be a breach of Yelp’s guidelines. The general guideline for Yelp reviews is that they should be the outcome of a genuine positive or negative experience. This means you shouldn't explicitly ask customers to post a Yelp review.

On the platform, listings containing fraudulent or solicited reviews will have a search ranking penalty. If the situation persists, Yelp will issue a "Consumer Alert" warning in the review section of that listing, alerting consumers that the business is utilizing fraudulent or solicited reviews to stand out. The search ranking penalties aren't indefinite. After 90 days, Yelp will remove both penalties from a listing if the review system finds no new issues with any recent reviews.

To avoid your reviews getting flagged by Yelp: 

  • Don't ask customers to write Yelp reviews while they are at your business. Yelp tracks your business's location and notices when your customer writes you a review from that location.
  • Ask customers to search for your business on Yelp whenever they want to write you a review instead of sending them a direct link to your page.
  • Ensure your business isn't getting too many reviews on the same day.

Is Yelp's business account free?

Yelp for Business owners starts out free, but premium options are available if you want additional features.

Yelp business advertising costs

Yelp charges based on the cost per click (CPC). It is possible to begin advertising for as little as $150 per month, and you have complete control over how you spend your monthly budget. The cost of each click varies greatly, with some advertisers, such as restaurants, charging as little as $0.30 per click. In some competitive industries, such as law, Yelp charges up to $40 a click.

Plan your Yelp review management strategy

It's imperative to develop a Yelp review management strategy regardless of your industry. Whether it's a lending business, real estate, hotels, schools, restaurants, or other local business, you can reap the benefits of Yelp for business with the following steps to optimize Yelp listings and reviews.

Claim your business

In order to start using Yelp for business owners, you’ll have to claim your business listing. Your business may already be listed on Yelp, and all you have to do now is claim it. It's important to do this, especially when your company already exists, otherwise your page will be taken over by someone else.

In order to claim your business, it must first be listed on the platform, and to do this you’ll need to follow these procedures:

  • Go to the Yelp for Business login page
  • Then look for your business on the Yelp for Business website or try the Yelp for Business app
  • If your business isn't listed, select "add your business" at the bottom of the screen
  • Enter your business details, email address and telephone number for confirmation
  • Select "add business"
  • Once your business has been listed, visit the Yelp "claim your business" Page
  • Select “claim my business”
  • Search for your company and once you've found it select "claim this business"

Verify your business listing

Once your business is listed and claimed, the next step is to verify your local business listing. If you don't already have an account, you'll be prompted to create one. Then you authenticate by phone. You do this by selecting “Call me now" and entering the pin code sent to your phone. 

Update your page

Once your account is set up, you can start reaping the rewards of having a Yelp page. Start by including images, hours of operation, and vital details such as promotions and contact information on your page. 

Be sure to update your business description, office hours, address, and phone number on your Yelp listing for optimum results.

Encourage reviews

Your reviews should come in naturally. If you offer customers incentives to submit a positive Yelp review, this implies that they were forced into it or even bribed.

However, getting up-to-date reviews on any platform without asking for them is tough. If you never ask for a Yelp review, it could take years before you get one. There are, however, ways to encourage your clients without explicitly telling them to post a positive review for you. You can:

  • Ask about key points in their experience with your business
  • Ask your customers for ways to improve your service
  • Utilize social media to ask for feedback
  • Engage with every review on your Yelp page
  • Make it easy for customers to leave a review on your Yelp page

Spread awareness about your listing

Promoting your business helps you spread awareness so that people think about your business first when they're deciding where to go for their next purchase. It encourages repeat purchases and generates more interest in your business. 

Being proactive with marketing your listing via social media and other platforms will improve the customer experience for current customers while also converting potential customers into loyal clients.

Request a "Find Us On Yelp" sticker

A "Find Us On Yelp" sticker is a wonderful way to let customers know you're on Yelp. This will prompt them to search for you on Yelp and engage with your business. Instead of asking for or soliciting reviews, create a trail that will lead them to perhaps submitting one. That’s one of the secrets to getting more Yelp reviews organically.

To request a “Find Us On Yelp” sticker:

  • Fill out this form
  • Fill in your name, country, business name, address, city, state, and email address on the form
  • Note that stickers are currently only shipped to addresses in the United States and Canada, and delivery takes 3-4 weeks

Make customers feel special

Your customers want to feel appreciated. There are easy and cost-effective ways to make your customers feel valued and special. 

  • Offer incentives
  • Listen to their feedback
  • Respond to every inquiry and complaint immediately
  • Appreciate them every time they patronize you
  • Compliment them occasionally
  • Keep the lines of communication open

Apply for the "People Love Us On Yelp" sticker

Businesses that meet specific criteria are awarded these prized stickers twice a year by Yelp. Yelp provides you with a "People Love Us On Yelp" sticker once you get a lot of outstanding reviews.

There is no particular way to request a sticker, and Yelp doesn't say what businesses must do to qualify. The method of obtaining a "People Love Us On Yelp" sticker is, overall, a little complicated.

In order to increase your chances of earning one of these stickers, you may follow these simple steps:

  • You must claim your page on Yelp
  • Optimize your page and take advantage of all the opportunities Yelp has to offer
  • Respond to reviews on your Yelp page

Use Enhanced Business Profile features

Enhanced Business Profiles are a paid version of Yelp that offer additional functionalities and benefits to businesses. They drive engagement with tools that make it easier to manage your business, highlight what makes it special, and turn page views into sales.

The following are some of the features available with Yelp Enhanced Profiles:

Remove competitor ads from your business page

Some businesses may spend a lot of time and effort enhancing their Yelp profile only to discover that many visitors on their page do not convert. One cause for this could be that competitors are stealing leads.

The ability to remove competitor ads is one of the best Yelp Enhanced Profile features. Competitor ads are displayed in the center of free Yelp sites. This can divert a search user's focus away from your page and toward competitor adverts.

Competitor ads for similar businesses may appear immediately on your Yelp profile for businesses with standard Yelp profiles. Upgrading your Yelp page to an Enhanced Profile is the most effective way to get rid of this annoying advertising. You will get your customers' full attention this way.

Enhanced photo gallery

People make decisions based on what they see when thinking about your business online, whether it's on Yelp or social media. Photos are a differentiating factor whether you're looking for the finest restaurant, the most talented painter, or a talented and friendly contractor.

Users with enhanced business profiles can upload more images and rearrange their photo galleries. This allows them to prioritize good photos while pushing unfavorable photos to the back, as well as choose featured photos. Standard profiles do not allow the reordering of photos.

Using the correct photographs to sell your business will help you attract and retain customers. Small or unclear photos appear unprofessional and make it difficult for clients to understand what they're looking at.

Add a CTA button

With the Yelp enhanced business profile, you can add a Call-to-Action (CTA) button to your Yelp business page. This allows Yelp users to easily interact with your company.

It allows a company to create intriguing free-form text and employ an action button to convert Yelp users into paying clients. Your business website can be linked directly from the Call to Action feature. With a Call to Action button, Yelp Business Pages get 33% more user views and 38% more customer leads on average.

Customers might be sent to a certain page of your website or be directed to a phone number you've provided using your CTA button. A Call-to-Action button helps you grab a customer's attention. It can also assist you in leading a customer to a desired action, such as generating a lead or closing a deal.

Yelp Deals & Reservations

In almost all of the markets where it operates, Yelp currently possesses the biggest repository of local business information. It also has a significant user base that is actively looking for local companies in their area, making it a great platform for local merchants to post daily discounts. 

Yelp Deals & Reservations allow local business owners to build promotional discounted deals for their offerings. They market these to customers through the Yelp network, earning a commission based on the price and amount of deals sold.

Track your analytics through the Yelp dashboard

Your Yelp for Business owners account allows you to see who is visiting your Yelp Page and what they are doing once they arrive on your page. 

When tracking analytics, there are three categories to keep in mind:

  • Page Visits
  • About Your Audience
  • Customer Leads

These indicators can be viewed over three separate time periods: the previous month, the previous year, and the past 24 months.

Page visits

A page visit occurs when someone conducts a Yelp search and then directly clicks on your business listing. Page visits are the total number of times users on any device, including mobile and desktop, visited your Yelp page within a certain time period. For businesses that have previously had some traffic to their page, Yelp will create an automated prediction that displays the expected amount of additional page visits.

About your audience

This section shows you how many times your business appeared in Yelp search results and what proportion of page visits came from mobile devices. This serves as a good indicator of how well you're reaching out to the local audience.

Customer leads

A customer lead is created when a customer visits your business page (that is a page visit) and takes any other trackable action on your page. To obtain a comprehensive breakdown of what actions were taken over the specified period of time, go to the customer leads tab at the top right of the activity section.

Respond to positive and negative Yelp reviews

Responding to customer reviews is the best way to show that you care about what they have to say. It allows you to encourage repeat business, point out areas where you can improve, and create a powerful brand image that customers will remember and choose over others.

All Yelp reviews require a response, whether positive or negative and devoting the time and effort to do so can have a significant influence. It demonstrates to the consumer who left a comment that you care about what people have to say about your business. This fosters a sense of belonging among your consumers, making them more likely to provide positive feedback. There are various tips you could follow for responding to Yelp reviews. They are:

  • Be brief
  • Apologize if necessary
  • Say thank you
  • Be professional and courteous
  • Offer to speak offline with a customer if they have a complaint
  • Sign your name or initials to show that you are genuine and legitimate

In Short

Creating an updated Yelp profile should be a no-brainer for local businesses. This guide has shown you how to get the most out of Yelp for business. Visit here to read our comprehensive guide to creating a Google My Business profile.