Guest Video: Top 10 Yelp Tips for Small Business in 2016
Craig J Mount cjmount

Craig Mount of Classy Brain, an SEO company in Colorado Springs, Colorado that specializes in search placement for the local market, created this great video and submitted it in our user forum.

We wanted to share their Top 10 Yelp Tips for Small Business with you


What I want to do today is walk you through the top 10 tips I’ve discovered working with the Yelp application.

Tip number one, Apple pulls its review data from Yelp. Anytime somebody accesses your business through Apple Maps or Siri, the review data or star pack comes directly from Yelp.

Tip number two, there’s a correlation between user engagement and ranking on Yelp. If you’re having trouble ranking, a lot of people think that you need to get more reviews and you’ll climb in the ranks. While that’s true, freshness is what matters, and Yelp looks at those metrics a lot more. So if somebody has more reviews than you and they’ve stagnated their review campaign, if you get more reviews during a certain time period, you’ll actually increase your ranking, sometimes even passing the person who has more reviews than you. It’s very common for this to happen.

That leads me to tip number three. One of the biggest complaints that I get from small businesses is that they have a hard time getting reviews to stick. That means that even though a review is left from an actual customer, Yelp will filter it out through its pretty strict spam filter. And if you’re having trouble getting reviews, have users check-in whenever they enter your establishment. I have never seen a case where a user has checked in and left a review and Yelp filters out that.

That leads me to tip number four. You cannot actively solicit reviews from customers for Yelp. Now what you can do is ask users to check in. Within the Yelp application, if somebody checks in, Yelp will actually remind them at a later point in time to leave a review. In a sense, asking for a check-in is kind of asking for a review.

Asking every single customer to check in can be a little time consuming which is why Yelp actually has stickers. All you have to do is go to this URL and fill out a form. Yelp will send that sticker to you in the mail.

So if you’re still having trouble getting reviews, you can actually use something called the Facebook hack. Now, within the Yelp application, they have a feature called “find friends.” The find friends feature imports all of your Facebook friends (editor note: or email contacts) that have Yelp accounts. If you have any past customers that also happen to be your Facebook friends, you can ask them to stop into your business again and check you out. Now that’s going to statistically improve your chances of getting a review, and when they see one of your stickers, they’ll be very likely to check in and leave you a review at a later point in time.

Which leads me to tip number seven. Let’s introduce Yelp Elites. It’s important to understand that Yelp has two different kinds of members: normal Yelpers and Yelp Elites. Yelp Elites are people that use the application a lot. There’s perks to being Yelp elite. Yelp Elites get a snazzy profile badge, a customized cover, and they also get access to regional parties. It’s kind of Yelp’s way of saying “thank you.” It’s important to understand that Yelp Elite reviews are a little bit different. Now their photos are more likely to be prioritized, their reviews are more likely to be featured, their flagging is more likely to be considered by Yelp, and we’ll get into more of that later.

Which leads me to tip number eight. The secret formula to becoming Yelp Elite. The criteria for becoming Yelp Elite goes all the way down to the details. You have to use the Yelp application and all of its features. That means having a snazzy profile picture, fill out your profile to the best of your ability, answering every single question that they ask you, participate in Yelp talk, take pictures every single time you leave a review, be sure to import friends from Facebook like we mentioned earlier, check in, leave tips for other Yelpers, participate in Yelp events, bookmark businesses, and create lists. Once you complete at least 40 reviews, you can nominate yourself at A community manager will look through your profile and approve you. You’ll receive an email and once you’re welcomed into the Yelp Elite family, you’ll get all the perks that come along with being a Yelp Elite.

If a customer leaves a negative review on your profile, a lot of business owners approach me and ask if there’s anything they can do about it, especially if that review is inaccurate. That review can be flagged, however, if you flag this as not factually correct on Yelp, they’ll actually send you a message that says, “We do not get involved in factual disputes.” There is a silver lining. In Daniel Lemons’ book, Manipurated, he actually points to a study called, The Perfect Review Sandwich, which states that negative reviews can actually amplify the positive reviews around them. And if you think about it, that’s true. When you see a 4.5 out of 5, 4.6, 4.7, it’s actually a little more credible than just a 5-star review. I mean, nobody’s perfect.

So we’ve made it this far.

Tip number ten, I’m going to throw a fun one at you. In the Yelp platform, look at reviews of your local jail. If you’re ever having a bad day, they are almost always hilarious and I highly encourage you to check them out.

That’s all we have today, and I hope that you enjoyed these top ten tips. It was really fun making it. We hope that this helps you out in your quest to get more reviews on Yelp. Big thanks to Crave for letting us shoot here. If you ever stop in here, don’t forget to check in, show Crave some love on Yelp as well. And I want to thank Kanin for his best shot at the Three Little Pigs Challenge. It’s a lot of food and way more work than it looks. The next time you’re in feeling adventurous, definitely give it a shot.

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