There are many review sites out there, but few as powerful and trusted by users as Yelp. It has longevity on its side and the brand has been built in customers’ minds. This means having your business seen positively on Yelp is important.
Yelp’s review filter is a double-edged sword. Because it is stricter, it does a better job than other review sites at keeping away competitors who would like to lower your average to make themselves look better. However, it also filters out a lot of the legitimate good reviews that your business needs to stand out on the platform.
The team here at Objection Co understands this frustration all too well. We are not immune to having half of our great reviews filtered away by Yelp’s stringent policies.
You aren’t helpless, though. We’ve put together this article to help you successfully get as many reviews out of the filter as possible.
The first thing to understand is that Yelp wants reviews and content on their site. They are not filtering things out just to be mean. They do this because while they want content on their site, they also need that content to be trusted by their users.
When you go to ask a group of people for advice on a restaurant, you will trust some people more than others. You’ll trust the person you know over the person you don’t, and the person who goes to a lot of restaurants over the person who rarely goes out.
Yelp evaluates their users and their activity in a similar way so they can decide what reviews have the most value for their users and then they recommend certain reviews over others accordingly. In Yelp’s video on their filtering policies, they explain that they are looking for users with a history of quality, reliability and varied user activity.
There are a few common criteria for users who end up with their reviews filtered, or not recommended. For example, someone who has only ever written one review, or has no profile information filled out.
It’s important to note that as a user’s activity changes, their past reviews may pop up into the recommended reviews with time.
At Objection Co, we always tell our clients to stop marketing and be remarkable. The better experience you are providing, the better the reviews will keep coming in.
But as you can see in the criteria above, if your customer is a new Yelp reviewer, their review is more likely to be filtered out. This is made worse when, as they just signed up to review for you, they are less likely to take the time to fill out their profile. They also (hopefully) wanted to write you a glowing review, and as its their only one, it makes the post looked suspicious to Yelp.
This is the frustration of the system. We can’t change it, we can only find ways to work with it.
When someone posts a review for your business there are things you can do to help their posts get through.
Having more activity on the review and the user’s account will help their new account become established in the Yelp system.
To help this along, you can do things like:
Customers also find it frustrating that their reviews are filtered by Yelp. They want to know why. It is helpful to tell your customers how Yelp works and the things they can do to establish a healthy Yelp account.
In your newsletter, on your social media pages, or in person, you can tell your customers that the more reviews they leave the more trusted their user accounts will be on Yelp. Once they have a healthy number of friends and have left 100 reviews, they’ll be amazed to find their reviews are never filtered out again.
Remind them that there is value in their opinions and power in their reviews for local businesses.
Don’t Do This All At Once. A real account builds over time. Check in on the app and add reviews gradually. Make Yelp a part of your routine.
On Whether You Should Solicit Reviews
This is a tricky situation. You can ask for reviews. You shouldn’t ask for “good” reviews. Yelp wants honest reviews and when you tell people to leave good ones, Yelp counts that as telling them what to say.
That doesn’t mean you should ask an irate customer to review you. Mention it to people smiling at the cash register.
People who took the time to follow your social media accounts are probably invested in your company. Making a post to ask for reviews is a good idea.
Yelp reviews are important. Some people focus in on this and put a lot of energy into creating a Yelp review team and send them out there to attempt to trick the system so they can get the reviews they want.
Don’t bother doing this. It isn’t worth the effort. Simply asking your regular customers will cause you less stress and get you further in the long run.
At Objection Co, we understand how frustrating filtered Yelp reviews can be. Don’t let it get you down, though! With time and effort, you can have a healthy Yelp page for your business.
Use legitimate strategies for encouraging more reviews and healthy Yelp user account activity and trust that eventually, if you don’t give up, it will come together for you.