Going Viral: How to Get Yelp Reviews (and Google, Too)

Nearly 145 million people visit Yelp each month to see whether a local business is worth their time (and money). And it makes sense: research shows that 84% of customers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.

If you’re unsure whether to jump on the Yelp bandwagon, know that like Google reviews, Yelp is just as influential. Not sure how to get Yelp reviews? Read on to find out.

Getting Noticed on Yelp

1. First, claim your Yelp business listing so you can begin tapping into customer statistics. Go to Yelp’s “Find and Claim” page and once you’ve found your business, you can secure it.

2. You must optimize your Yelp page by adding all necessary information such as your opening hours and whether you offer free parking. Make sure you upload high-quality photos to establish your credibility and make the customer’s life easier.

3. Add links to your other social media channels.

4. In real life, ask customers how their experience was. If there were any issues, listen and emphasize so they feel heard and understood. Staying on top of your customer’s feelings mean they are less likely to leave a negative review on Yelp. 

5. If the feedback is positive, ask the customer to write an online review. Be sure to do it casually.

6. Whenever a customer leaves a review, be sure to answer back especially if it is negative. If you ignore bad reviews, then customers will think you are not passionate about the business and that you don’t care about your clients. 

But as you reply, never deliver excuses or attack the customer for their opinion. Always accept responsibility and correct the problem. 

What if Customers Don’t Have a Yelp Account?

It’s easy to obsess over how to get Yelp reviews but the customer’s experience should be your top priority. Also remember that customers may dabble more with Google, Facebook, or TripAdvisor so sign your business up to those platforms too.

Or use a reputation management tool as it is automated and doesn’t require customers to sign up. To use it, enter your customer’s email address or phone number into the system to send them a single survey question.

Happy customers are sent to your favorite review site, such as Yelp, whereas the reputation management tool will send unhappy clients to you so you can address any problems.

What About the Yelp Filter?

Yelp uses an automated filter to only display more helpful and honest reviews. Yelp filtering reviews are a nuisance for business owners because even authentic reviews can be hidden.

There are other Yelp review guidelines to follow such as.

1. Yelp doesn’t trust users who have only left a few reviews especially if they have no profile information. 

2. Yelp filters reviews that are too positive or negative. This also means reviewers who are always positive get flagged as realistic customer’s experiences aren’t consistently perfect.

3. The feedback violated Yelp guidelines which are easy-to-follow.

To avoid this, never pay someone to review your business and if an authentic review is hidden by the filter, add the reviewer as a friend or vote the review as useful.

How to Get Google Reviews 

If you’re after top stars in Google search ensure you have an account set up and you encourage customers to leave feedback. 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business so think of positive reviews as free advertisement and a major boost to your ROI. 

You can get Google reviews by:

1. Asking Customers for a Google Review

Like Yelp, ask customers (in real life) to leave valuable feedback.

2. Send a Follow-Up Email for More Google Reviews 

This is especially relevant if you’re in the service business. In your email, thank your customer for choosing you, tell them you appreciate their feedback and why their review is important. Finish off the email with a direct link so they can leave you a Google review.

3. Add a Review Link to Your Website

A custom Google review link lets your customers leave you a review. It is hassle-free and quick so clients will be more willing to add their feedback. 

Make sure you have plenty of call-to-action buttons on your website and even a small pop-up to encourage customers to leave feedback. For example, use a message like “Did you enjoy [insert your product here]? Leave us a review!”.

Being straightforward and honest about wanting a review makes it easier for both parties involved.

4. Follow-Up Your Review Multiple Times

Customers may be too busy or forget to leave you a review the first time. To combat this, create two email follow-up templates alongside your first and limit these review requests to three.

Try sending one request a week or every other until you reach the maximum. Doing this keeps your company fresh in the customer’s minds and reestablishes contact. Although, don’t be disheartened if a customer doesn’t, as not everyone remembers to leave feedback.  

Now You Know How to Get Yelp Reviews

10% of website traffic is attributed to reviews so if you don’t use a review site, you’re missing out. A simple way to get Yelp reviews is by asking directly, integrating your email marketing strategy to chase up reviews or sprinkling CTAs over your website so it is easier for customers to leave their feedback. Good luck!

Did you find this article useful? Take a look around at our similar business-related content. 

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.