If you are a business owner who is not familiar with Yelp, then it’s time to get up to speed. For business owners who are familiar with Yelp then you know it can be controversial. The best thing you can do for your business is to use Yelp to your advantage. Start by checking to see if your business is already on Yelp, and if not – then claim it and verify it.
Yelp’s Review Filter
Yelp does have a review filter and when reviews are submitted they may be filtered out by the review filter’s algorithmic process. The most important thing to know is that the reviews are not deleted by the review filter. It sometimes appears as if they are deleted but they actually still appear on user pages and they are re-added over time. What is happening is that users are becoming established over time according to Yelp and their reviews start showing once again. These usually end up in the “Not Recommended” section. The filter can be a good and bad thing. The negative being your good reviews can end up lost in the filter, but the 1-star reviews may slip as well which isn’t a bad thing.
If your business receives a negative review, first determine if it is in violation of Yelp’s guidelines. If there is any part of it that violates the guidelines then flag the review, and let them know you would like it removed. In your request for removal provide information as to why you feel it violated the guidelines. If the review can’t be removed you should reply to it in an effort to resolve the issue. Take the time to respond to positive reviews as well.
Advertising On Yelp
You can advertise on Yelp but it may be more costly then you are used to. It tends to be more expensive then advertising on other popular online sites with their intro level costing $300 a month for promoting your business to 1,500 people in your area. Don’t be surprised by Yelp’s aggressive sales team (you may find yourself blocking their number) but know they can do more for you than just sell you an ad. If there is an issue with your business’ representation on Yelp, don’t be afraid to bring it up to your contact. Did you recently move and now you can’t change your address? Let them know and stand your ground until they help you get it right.
Stay active on Yelp and post discounts and announcements. If you are hosting a special event at your business you have 140 characters to announce it. Get creative and promote it with a catchy title.
Let your business stand out by adding high quality photos. Many times all you will see is poor quality images uploaded by visitors. Add your own professional quality photos and your business will stand out.
Yelp provides you access to metrics where you gain key insights about your overall Yelp presence. Pay attention to users actions paying close attention to what they are clicking on. Use this information to determine when is the best time to announce an event or run a special.
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