Many local business owners rely on Yelp and other community and local directory websites to introduce their business to customers. Now more than ever, it’s important for small businesses to monitor online review sites and address customer comments, paying close attention to negative mentions as well as positive feedback. Yelp is one of the most popular destinations on the Web, with 71 million visitors monthly. Google gives consistently high visibility to Yelp results (Google almost bought the site a couple of years ago) and it is likely one of the top results that appear when someone is searching for your business.
Every business can have an “off” day, but if you see a lot of negative or defamatory Yelp reviews, it’s time for some reputation management. Read on to find out how to improve your Yelp rating and protect your business online.
If you can’t beat them, join them. Every business owner should create and fully optimize their personal Yelp profile, interact with other businesses online and community members and confirm the business profile information displayed for their company is correct. A Park Slope eye doctor found success “beating” the Yelp review filter for his business by engaging Yelpers who left feedback for his company, but found their reviews stuck in the filter. He would contact the reviewer directly, thank them for their post and offer suggestions to optimize their profile and engage with other Yelpers. Over time the reviews started to appear in the public display area.
You may also be interested in reading a recent post about how to remove a Yelp complaint.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by all the social media and community review sites that impact your business, you might want to work with a top rated online reputation management company. In addition to utilizing search engine optimization techniques to elevate positive things people are saying about you or your company online and suppressing negative content, a reputation management firm can help you craft an appropriate response to a posting on a site like Yelp, monitor mentions and follow trends in online sentiment.
Have you had luck with Yelp? Share your stories below!