Make review platforms your secret weapon with these simple tips
Yelp, TripAdvisor, and similar review platforms can be useful sites to attract customers to your business. People use these platforms to search both service and product based businesses, and with over 92 million users each month, why not put up a FREE page for your brand?
Here are three tips to get your profile in top shape and start attracting customers.
Fill your profile with all the details
This sounds basic, but many businesses don’t take time to fill out important information that helps customers actually find their business. Look at your page from a customer’s point of view and add details that will help them decide it shop with you specifically. Here is a short checklist:
- Business name
- Phone number
- Email address
- Address (if there is a physical location)
- Hours of operation
- Special holiday hours
- Special features (parking, handicap access, bathrooms on site, etc.)
- Bio: Concise “about me” for your business
- Possible Links to Add (based on business type)
- Logo (makes it easy for people to identify you)
- Storefront (again, make it easy for people to know they’ve found the right business)
- Most updated menu or pricing list (it can’t hurt to have this in more than one place, but KEEP IT UPDATED or else you will confuse customers on price/offerings)
- Products – food, or anything else you make or sell
- Employees or people who work there (help people connect to the humans behind the screen)
Now it’s time to get reviews! Yelp has a strict “no solicitation” policy, discouraging businesses from asking outright for reviews. There are different ways you can go about ensuring reviews. Here are some that work well for me:
- Put up Yelp stickers at your business and on your website
- Put up a sign at your store that says something like “We LOVE hearing from our customers. Find us on x and y platforms” (not an outright question, just a hint 😉 )
- Put a stamp or sticker on your receipt saying you love reviews
- Just ask for reviews (Don’t come at me Yelp)
When you get reviews, respond to them all. The good, the bad, the ugly. Again, not what Yelp recommends, but they are not the customer-facing business. I recommend responding publicly unless there is a large issue that is better handled by private message. In this case, never write anything you would not want to see reposted online. For more on how to navigate bad reviews, read my blog post on how to respond to complaints on social media.
Up-keeping your page is as important as starting it in the first place. Prices change, renovations are made, and customers can discern years-old photos. Stick time in your calendar for monthly checks, if not weekly and use this time to respond to reviews, update photos, snoop on the competition, etc.
That’s it! Since the sites were designed for easy use, they’re not difficult to navigate. There are new features in 2021 and 2022, so let me know if you’d like a guide on things like Yelp stories or badges!
A final word – I discourage most small businesses from diving into paid subscriptions with Yelp. It can be right for some brands, but not for all. Be wary of strong arm sales people who show you paid bells and whistles (video, ads) that don’t always produce great results. I’ve seen brands have great success with paid Yelp advertising and ranking, and I’ve personally used Yelp for Low Store. BUT, because of the incredible power of social media and SEO on websites and Google, Yelp advertising is not always the best bang for your buck. Really parse out the features you would be willing to pay 100s if not 1000s of dollars for (that’s what Yelp charges) and go from there.