It is not surprising that some business owners are reluctant to use (or downright rejecting the use of)  online review sites, such as yelp, to promote their businesses. Some do not like the lack of control over what appears in the review, and some dislike its “black-box” algorithm that sometimes filters out positive reviews for no apparent reason.

Everyone seems to agree though that online reviews

  • are important in generating leads (It is reported that as high as 98% of customers who shop for a service use online reviews)
  • are cost effective
  • its impact lasts for a long time
  • helps their business show up on the first page of the search result!

So no matter you like yelp or not, online reviews are going to be here and will influence your business in a big way.

Here are a few things you as a business owner can do to make yelp work for you:

(1). make sure your business’s yelp profile is complete. This includes the information of business category, great photos, business hours, contact is up to date.  Make use of the right sets of keywords in the description.

(2). make it a habit to respond to yelp reviews both positive and negative ones!  Thanking the reviewer for a positive review and resolving any issues from a negative review shows the potential customers that you care how each customer feels.

(3). you can consider installing yelp’s button on your website for customers to check and leave reviews.

(4). to prevent legitimate reviews from being filtered out, add the reviewer as a friend, respond to their review, vote the review as useful or funny.

It will take some work, but positive online reviews will reward your business richly!