Yelp Ratings and Review: You Are in Control

Consider these facts: 98% of Yelpers have made a purchase from a business they found on Yelp, 89% of consumers make a purchase within a week of visiting reviews sites and 29% will visit a business within a day.

Yelp

photo credit: Yelp Inc. / Flickr

While there are a variety of business directory websites that offer customer reviews, none have received the acclaim and influence that Yelp has. With strong brand power and ability to directly influence customer’s purchase behavior, specifically for local businesses, Yelp should be the first place your business starts responding to reviews.

Yelp is for all small businesses

Since Yelp was founded in 2004 it has grown to see over 95 million reviews in just 11 years, that’s over 8 million reviews a year and over 23,000 reviews a day—quite a bit of activity! And Yelp users, or Yelpers as they are called on the site, aren’t just leaving reviews; they’re actively patronizing businesses in their area.

While Yelp may have a reputation for driving business, it is sometimes seen as a platform that is only effective for restaurants. While it may have started as a place for consumers to find their next great meal, it has evolved to become a destination to find any local business. Today, only 20% of reviews on Yelp are for restaurants. Yelpers are searching for anything from doctors open on Saturdays to mechanics to fix the latest ding in their car.

Respond to all reviews for success

If your local business isn’t actively managing your Yelp profile, you may be surprised to find your business already has a listing and probably some reviews. It is critical for businesses to be aware of and actively respond to ALL reviews, both positive and negative.

Consumers are likely to spend 31% more on a business with excellent reviews and 92% spend at a local business with a 4-star rating, but only 13% will consider using a business with a 1-2 star rating.

If you are new to Yelp, and are facing a low star rating as a starting point, don’t despair – you can improve this with a few basic steps. It all starts by taking ownership of your profile. By responding to reviews you are showing that your business welcomes feedback, genuinely cares about their customers and takes pride in the products and services they provide. Acknowledge positive reviews to build loyalty and demonstrate you are listening. Address negative feedback head on, be respectful, your response says a lot about how you run your business. You also have the opportunity to see those negative reviews actually become a positive one, once the situation is rectified.

Responding to reviews can actually lead to an increase in your star rating which can lead to a 5-9% revenue boost for your local business. We’ve actually created an easy to use formula to help you respond to all reviews, remembering that once you initially respond to a negative review, it’s always best to take that conversation offline.

  1. Recognize the issue
  2. Respond succinctly and politely
  3. Move the conversation offline

By responding and engaging with your customers on Yelp, you can build an active community of brand advocates who can help influence customer behavior and drive new business to your door.

With over 95 million reviews and an active user base ready to spend money on local business, Yelp is one of the top review sites your business needs to be listed on. Get started on the network in just a few simple steps and take control of your online reputation, putting your best foot forward to the active Yelpers in your community.

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