Tips on increasing your Yelp reviews

Yelp is an online urban city guide founded in 2004 that helps people find great local businesses or cool places to eat, shop, drink, relax and play, based on the Yelp user opinions. It’s the fun and easy way to find, review and talk about what's great and not so great in your world and it’s free unless you’re placing ads, then there is a cost. Business owners can setup a free account to post photos or messages to their customers.  In addition to reviews, you can use Yelp to find lists and to talk with other Yelpers. 

A wide range of people use Yelp, including locals who are "in the know" about what's cool and happening in their city, visitors who want to get an insider's local perspective, and anyone trying to find a great local business. 

Therefore, as a business, Yelp can play a valuable role. However, business owners may be surprised when they experience the ramifications of a single negative Yelp review. Customers retreat, sales slow, and business suffers. However, there are a number of ways to control what shows up in Yelp when someone searches for information about your company. The main strategy for keeping Yelp ratings high is to emphasize the positive reviews from the start. If, like many small business owners, you have a business listing on Yelp but the reviews are less positive than you’d like, here are ways to increase your star rating. 

Move Positive Reviews Out of the Filter
Check the filter for positive reviews that are stuck, and therefore hold no standing in the overall score. Yelp uses an algorithm to hide (filter) reviews that it thinks are either unauthentic or just don’t add value. These reviews can be accessed at the bottom of the company page. You may find positive reviews from real customers stuck in the filter. Example, if your business currently has 3 stars, bumping a few 5-star reviews out of the filter and onto the main page could gain a full star or more. Yelp often filters reviews they think are spammy or fake. To avoid this situation and get those positive review out in the open there are a few steps you can take. 

Friends and Family
If you need more positive content in general on your business’ page, ask friends and family for positive reviews. 

Look to Loyal Customers
If you have customers you have worked with for years, or you frequently get positive feedback from a particular client, ask them to post those kind words on your Yelp page. 

Ask Your Distributors
Your distributors often closely understand you, your business, and your work efforts.  Although they may not be customers, they are certainly well positioned to leave a review of their business dealings with you. Just ensure that they are honest in the review and have them talk about how they “worked with your company” rather than pretending to be a customer. 

Yelp is a powerful tool when it comes to gaining new customers. It’s not uncommon for a number of happy customers to be undermined by a single scathing 1-star review. Don’t let a low star rating cause a dip in profits. Try the above strategies to ensure Yelp success.

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