Yelp is an invaluable part of any business’s online presence. Almost 90% of consumers look at the reviews and ratings for a local business before making purchase decisions, and Yelp is one of the largest and most popular platforms for consumer reviews. This means that knowing how to get Yelp reviews is an essential skill for any business owner.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Getting more reviews is one of the best ways of improving your business’s online presence via search engine ranking and consumer trust, but vendors can’t specifically request reviews from customers.
  • Having an accurate business page with as much information as possible encourages consumer engagement and customer reviews.
  • A prominently displayed Yelp badge on your business’s webpage alongside your social media links tells customers that your company has a presence on Yelp, further encouraging reviews.

Yelp’s policies on reviews are, however, different than that of other platforms, and the methods used to drive customer engagement on most platforms may not apply to Yelp. Nevertheless, there are a few guidelines you can follow that will help you get more reviews without violating Yelp’s policy.

Why Yelp Reviews Matter

Studies show that 87% of consumers regularly read online reviews for local businesses. For companies in the service industries, platforms like Yelp are the go-to sources for finding out about a business’s reputation via customer ratings and reviews.

A business’s presence on Yelp is its most direct connection to actual customer experience via a passionate community of Yelpers — one that has the credibility to lure potential future customers, thus making it one of the main factors in driving new business.

Insider Tip

A business’s presence on Yelp is its most accurate gauge of actual customer experience.

Yelp’s Review Policy

One reason why Yelp reviews can be more challenging than on other social platforms is that Yelp expressly forbids businesses from directly contacting customers requesting a review. This means that a lot of the ways in which a business might go about driving more consumer engagement and retaining happy customers usually aren’t of any use when it comes to Yelp. Of course, there are still a few ways to encourage more reviews on Yelp without violating their Terms Of Service.

How To Get Yelp Reviews

Since asking for reviews directly from a customer or user is a violation of Yelp’s policies, businesses are left with less direct approaches to driving engagement, most of which comes down to how their company is presented online.

Keep Your Business Page Up-To-Date

Ensuring that all the information on your business’s website, Yelp business page, and pages on other social platforms is accurate, up-to-date, and as complete as possible is an important aspect of any approach to driving customer engagement. A business whose hours of operation, managing staff, and other important information are easily accessible and accurate creates consumer trust. This, in turn, makes it easier for customers to engage with businesses, driving new business and encouraging customers to leave reviews.

Insider Tip

Adding a Yelp badge next to your social media links tells viewers your business has a presence there and makes it quick and easy to write a review.

Add a Yelp Badge to Your Website

Prominently displaying a Yelp badge on your business’s website, social profiles, or next to links to other social media platforms tells potential customers (and current ones) that your company has a presence on the site that is easily accessible with a click. That makes leaving reviews and ratings a quick, easy, and transparent process, increasing their likelihood.

In-Store Yelp Branding

Displaying a Yelp window cling (which can be ordered for free from Yelp) on your business’s front display window, check-out counter, or other easily visible areas in your physical place of business lets customers know that you’ve got a presence on that platform. It also has the effect of telling customers you’re a trustworthy and transparent business that’s keeping pace with the world and new technology.

Respond to Your Yelp Reviews

Quickly and sincerely responding to both negative and positive Yelp reviews in a personal tone that references their specific experiences makes customers feel listened to and encourages further communication. More engagement online leads directly to more reviews and the creation of loyal customers. It can even turn a negative experience into a positive, or at least less negative, one for customers.

Warning

Yelp specifically forbids businesses from directly contacting customers requesting a positive review; you may lose your Yelp business page if you violate this rule.

F.A.Q.S

Why can’t I request reviews on Yelp?

It can be a little confusing, but Yelp’s Terms of Use dictate that businesses refrain from requesting positive reviews from customers or offering them goods or services in exchange for reviews. In fact, asking for any review or rating at all is still frowned upon, and Yelp may determine a violation of policy at their discretion. This is, of course, intended to maintain the integrity of Yelp’s ratings and reviews and, to some degree, remove any liability.


How long does it take for Yelp to remove a review once it’s been flagged?

After you flag a review, it can take several days for Yelp to review your issue and make a decision on whether to remove it or not. While you’re waiting, you also have the option to check in on the status of the flagging at any time. To do this, hover your cursor over the flag icon that will appear next to the review. Once Yelp has made a decision, you should receive an email explaining everything.


Should you buy reviews on Yelp?

While some businesses do this, it’s generally considered unethical. It also violates Yelp’s Terms of Use, and if Yelp finds out, you could wind up having your business’s Yelp page removed entirely.



STAT: 94% of consumers say positive reviews make them more likely to use a business, while 92% of consumers say negative reviews will make them less likely to. (source)

STAT: Almost 70% of consumers say they will go to a business’s website, look for more reviews, or visit a business after reading positive reviews. (source)

STAT: 89% of consumers say they regularly read local business’s responses to online reviews (source)

Jed Smith

I'm a musician and recording engineer and live in Queens. I have a cat. Her name is Elsa. I love to write about consumer tech and musical instruments.

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