Local businesses have a love-hate relationship with Yelp. If you have a 3.5+ rating on Yelp with over 30 reviews, then Yelp is a terrific resource for new customer acquisition. On the other hand, if you have a sub-3 rating on Yelp, then Yelp can destroy your business. The ratings and stars is a good example of gamification, a booming trend. (Click here to see What is Gamification)
It’s therefore important to not only get a lot of reviews on Yelp, but to make sure they’re positive reviews. This post will cover how to increase your review count, while a future post will cover how to make sure these Yelp reviews are positive.
Who should read this post: local business owner that are looking to increase their Yelp reviews
Why you will learn: how to get customers to leave you more Yelp reviews
1. Post Yelp signage
Obvious and effective. Post a sign at your location to encourage your customers to find your business on Yelp. Now that more and more customers have a smartphone, customers can write a review while they’re shopping or dining at your location.
2. Post your positive Yelp reviews at your business
This is very very effective.
I saw this used at one of my favorite vegetarian fast-casual restaurants in Irvine, CA. They printed and framed their best Yelp reviews and posted them inside of the restaurant so you can see them while waiting in line to order. Furthermore, the frame looked very exquisite and they blew up the reviews to 10x their size so that it’s very easy to read.
This technique has two very positive results:
- Other Yelpers realize that this place is highly reviewed and worth reviewing, so they’ll take the time to review it as well
- People in line will feel very positive while waiting in line and the taste of the food will be that much better because they expect it to be great, leading to positive reviews
3. Offer a special reward to the Foursquare mayor
Yelpers are highly likely to use other social media service such as Foursquare. Therefore, the more Foursquare users that you attract, the higher the chance that you’re attracting people that leave reviews on Yelp.
Fourquare users must also take out their phone in order to check-in. If they’re taking out their phone to check-in, they may also take out their phone to review your business on Yelp. Increase your chance of Yelp reviews by getting more Foursquare users.
4. Host a Yelp event
Another obvious and VERY effective way to boost your Yelp ratings. Take the following steps to hold a fun Yelp event with many Yelpers:
- Interact with your current Yelpers (the users that have already reviewed your business on Yelp)
- Interact with Yelpers that have reviewed a similar business to yours
- Contact your local Yelp Elite member to let him know that you’re looking to host a Yelp event and that you’re looking to work with him to host it
- Create a a web-form with Wufoo and invite Yelpers to RSVP for your event
It’s always a good idea to collect emails.
Do NOT send an email just to ask for Yelp reviews – this can have negative consequences and makes you look like a needy business owner. Instead, make the ask passive.
In the footer of your emails, create a link to your Yelp page:
Let us know your feedback on Yelp! Over 100 others have already!!!
Each step above takes investment on your part. If you hustle, have excellent food and service, and constantly remind your customers to review you on Yelp, then you will greatly increase your reviews and see a very positive increase in foot traffic to your business.