What is Yelp?
Yelp is a website that began in 2004 to help users find out about local businesses. Users can review the services they received from said businesses. This is often referred to as “crowd-sourced reviews.” The website began as a way to help users get online recommendations but quickly turned into an unsolicited area of user reviews and social networking. Yelp currently has about 130-140 million visitors each month, adding that four out of five users visiting the site when they want to spend money.
How do Yelp reviews work?
Users are given a one to five-star rating system, and can also write a summary of how they felt the services of the company they reviewed were. Through this system and the ever-growing popularity of Yelp, many companies have found that these reviews can truly make or break them. This, obviously, has lead to some controversy with regards to what reviews should and/or have been posted. Regardless, Yelp reviews are often fed into other big sites and companies have found their profile increase (or decrease) due to Yelp reviewers’ (or “Yelper’s”) reviews.
Do Yelp reviews really mean anything?
Yes and no, but mostly yes… Here’s where things get tricky. Yelp has developed some specific ways to filter out fake reviews in order to give their users a more trustworthy database. The website uses an algorithm to handle this duty, which is discussed in a little more detail below. Either way, Yelp reviews can have an effect on a businesses’ revenue. In a study by Michael Luca, an Assistant Professor at Harvard Business school, he found that each Yelp ratings star review translated to anywhere from a 5 percent to 9 percent effect on revenues. Furthermore, 72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they would trust a personal recommendation.
Why should you care about Yelp rankings?
As stated previously, Yelp reviews can literally make or break your business. With the growth of Yelp in the last 10 years, more users now whole-heartedly trust the reviews posted through the website. The better the reviews, the higher rank a company will be attributed in the Yelp system. The most important part with regards to how a business ranks is that the higher it can be, the more “trust” consumers seem to have with the business. Obviously, when users have more faith or trust in the business, that businesses’ services are used more.
What’s up with this Yelp algorithm?
The controversy with Yelp lies in their algorithm. Yelp’s algorithm determines whether or not a review should be used. In a perfect world, the algorithm is meant to find out the fake reviews, remove them and keep only the actual reviews. That means that you can’t write a billion great reviews for your own business and watch it’s ranking soar, but that also means that a competitor couldn’t write horrible reviews to bring those rankings down. Seems simple, right? Well, the problem is: it doesn’t do that all the time and more troublesome is that small businesses have often felt that you have to buy into Yelp in order to make your profile stand out. Yelp’s software works off of data points. It tracks a user’s reliability and activity in order to determine whether or not a review should be posted. Companies that claim Yelp listings are also encouraged to fully build out their Yelp site, in order to receive more activity.
Does Yelp help/hinder small businesses?
Because of Yelp’s algorithm and listing system, many small businesses have felt the sting of not being able to fully integrate their company or reviews into the Yelp system. Companies have tried (and failed) in multiple legal battles with regards to their rights on Yelp. This has led to companies raising the white flag and ignoring Yelp completely. With the influence that Yelp holds in online presence, companies need to understand how to better take advantage of the review site in order to build their business.
How can I get “good” Yelp reviews?
Your company needs to provide great service. That’s it. It’s not a big secret, but the problem lies in this: the one day you have an off day, you get reviewed, and it’s poor. The next thing you know, you find “ABC Company is horrible, and should not be trusted.” It’s an everyday challenge for companies, and where online reviewing has become such a part of the norm, it’s no surprise how fast the word spreads. Dr. Peter Zandan, the global vice-chair of research at Hill + Knowlton Strategies noticed how much negative comments are received, “We know from research that negative comments are weighted more than positive comments.”
How can Yelp Helpers help my Yelp?
If you came here looking for us to write a fake review about how great your business is, you’ve come to the wrong place. We do, however, want to give your company the best fighting chance it can have. What our services do is give you the opportunity to prove yourself. We send established Yelpers to your company and have them test out your product or service. At that point, it’s on you to provide the quality service we know that you have. Once our Yelpers see how great you can be, they’re going to write an actual review to help out your company. This is a two edged sword, mind you. If you provide horrible service, it’s not going to help you, but we give you the chance to redeem your company. This is what is known as advocate marketing, because we give you the chance for your customers to experience your brand in the positive light you intend for all of your customers. See our case studies to understand the various scenarios we have encountered and how we can help you,
What is advocate marketing?
Advocate marketing is simple. You find the customers with the most potential and then motivate or empower them to preach about your company. In essence, they sell your company because they believe in your brand, service, or ideas. Yelp Helpers uses advocate marketing to assist your business on Yelp and other review based social sites. We send you customers that are going to impact your business positively. This will continue to grow your customer base, which in turns increases your revenue.