If your brand's relationship with Yelp is a little combative, here are some things to help clear the air between you two.
"Only negative reviews show up for my business because I don’t advertise on Yelp."
It’s a tempting conclusion to draw, especially if you’ve declined a pitch by their sales team. The FTC confirmed a few thousand complaints against Yelp on this topic and an investigation cleared them of any wrongdoing in 2015. That, combined with the site’s popularity among users, means your best option is to learn to work with them.
Start with these two basic steps and you're on your way to an amicable relationship:
"There are tons of positive reviews, but Yelp won't show them."
Yelp filters reviews, it's true. Their goal is to be reliable and authentic and they've invested heavily in suppressing anything fake--good or bad. The site will likely filter out multiple reviews posted from the same IP and reviews written in a similar style from different users for the same business. The upside: this protects you in case you inadvertently created an unhappy customer with a vengeance or former employee who wants to cause trouble. You can find your filtered reviews here.
Sometimes bad things happen to good reviews and authentic ones get filtered too. To decrease your chances of filtered reviews, keep this in mind:
"Yelp doesn't want me to ask for reviews, so how do I get them?"
This one is true: Yelp flat out tells businesses that solicited reviews will often sound fake or forced so don't do it. Use badges they offer on your website and order a sticker or sign if your business uses them.
By showing that you are on Yelp and that people like you, you're indirectly encouraging new people to write reviews.
Find some perspective.
If the Joshua Tree can get a one star review, then so can your brand. Yelp can bring out the best in people. And sometimes the worst. Just read this feature on the shocking one star reviews Yelp users wrote about some stunning National Parks.
In the end, the best way to get great reviews is to focus most of your time and energy on giving customers a great experience.
Written by Parissa Snider
Partner, Marketing at Generator
We're a marketing team launched in 2013 and based in Baltimore working with clients across the U.S. and beyond. We solve problems, leverage budgets, create content, launch products, generate leads, and help grow businesses.