Last Updated on March 14, 2023 by Allen
I know, I know, you want good Yelp reviews, right? Well, here’s the do’s and don’t on how to get Yelp reviews. Not just Yelp reviews. Well, the bad news is that Yelp (understandably) doesn’t allow businesses to ask specifically for positive reviews – you can only encourage customers to review you honestly.
The good news is that if you’re a good business and doing things right, you’re likely to get good reviews! Hip hip hooray!
There are a few strategies and do’s and don’ts for getting Yelp reviews.
Do’s And Don’ts of Getting Yelp Reviews
Activate Your Yelp Page: Take the initiative by activating your Yelp page. Go all out – add photos, descriptions, menus, phone numbers, hours of operation, etc.
Post a “Find us on Yelp” Sign: Yelp out your restaurant or local biz with Yelp posters, stickers, badges, and other paraphernalia. In this plugged-in age, visitors might see those signs and head to Yelp to review you even while in your restaurant!
Host a Yelp Event: Hosting a Yelp event will encourage Yelpers to visit your business while establishing yourself as an active community member – it’s pretty much a no-brainer for getting chummy with local Yelp users
How do you host an event? It’s pretty easy. Head over to yelp.com/events, pick your city and hit the “Add an Event” button. Then fill out your event details.
Next it’s time to promote your awesome event! Send out the invite to Yelpers who have already visited your business, or those who have reviewed a business similar to your own. Also, consider contacting a local Yelp Elite (these are mega-Yelpers with a lot of influence) and ask if they’re interested in helping you out with your event.
It’s a great idea to have some sweet swag giveaways during your Yelp event – maybe all event attendees get 10% off their meal with another 10% coupon for later. Try a raffle to win dinner with a friend, a free reusable water bottle, whatever! Make it fun and exciting for attendees!
Post a Yelp Deal: Yelp Deals are a great way to get customers in the door. Unlike with Groupon or Living Social, customers who take advantage of a Yelp Deal are pretty much guaranteed to be active Yelp users, increasingly the likelihood of them writing you a review.
Add Happy Staff Photos: Friendly, smiling, waving staff members being featured on your Yelp page will create a positive first impression for your Yelp page visitors, and might even discourage disgruntled customers from posting something nasty.
Offer Foursquare Check-in Rewards: Foursquare has long passed its heyday as an ultra-popular location check-in tool, but a lot of awesome folks (such as your truly) still use it to broadcast micromanaged location updates for our undying fans.
Even a small Foursquare award, like free drinks for the mayor, can get users excited. It’s also reasonable to assume that many Foursquare users are also Yelp users. After all, who is using Foursquare except for the media-obsessed foodie-photographing weirdos? Appealing to the Foursquare/Yelp user with a check-in reward might be just the push they need to write you a shining review.
Respond to Existing Yelp Reviews: It’s always a smart idea to respond to the existing Yelp reviews you do have, especially if they’re asking a specific question or voicing a concern. People like to be acknowledged, so responding to Yelp reviews creates a favorable impression for your business and shows readers that you care about your customers.
Print Out & Display Positive Yelp Reviews: One expert technique, for getting Yelp reviews, is to print out and hang your existing positive Yelp review on the wall in your restaurant or business. Enlarge the reviews so that they’re easy to read, frame them, and hang them where they can easily be read by patrons waiting in line. When new customers see existing positive reviews, they’ll feel inclined to think positively of you as well and write a similarly upbeat review on Yelp.
Add a Yelp QR Code: Yelp QR codes are a simple way to make it easier for your smartphone-carrying patrons to check out your Yelp page and review you in-store!
Promote On Other Networks: Ask for Yelp reviews on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media networks. It’s best to not sound too needy though (“Pleaaazzeee say we’re super-awesome!”). Opt for something discreet like, “We’re now on Yelp and would love to hear what you think of us!” Yelp itself suggests in their FAQs: “Instead of blatantly saying, “Review us on Yelp,” say “Check us out on Yelp”.
Add a Yelp Link to Your Newsletter: Chances are your newsletter subscribers already think you’re pretty cool. Reminding them to write about you on Yelp is a surefire way to get some positive reviews.
Add a Yelp Website Badge: A Yelp website badge lets visitors know you are on Yelp, and all they have to do is click the badge to be taken straight to your Yelp page. It doesn’t get much easier than that
Be Awesome: If you provide excellent food, excellent service, and an excellent experience, you will get Yelp reviews that are awesome, no question about it. Be the best you can be and the glowing reviews will follow!
Offer Bribes for Reviews: Yelp is very strict in regards to their reviews policy. You absolutely cannot and should not offer a reward in exchange for a review. Even something as innocent as “half off your next meal when you review us on Yelp” is a big no-no and can get you in serious trouble with Yelp’s powers that be.
Ask for Positive Reviews: As discussed earlier, don’t ask specifically for positive reviews, just reviews, in general.
Buy Yelp Reviews: We’ll be talking more about this later. Just know for now that buying Yelp reviews are not worth the trouble by a long shot.
Want more tips on customer reviews?
Drop us your email and we will keep you in the loop for all online review management tips!