Getting your business to the top of search and location results relies quite a bit on reviews. You can move the needle initially quite a bit by optimizing your Yelp profile, but that will only go so far.
If you want to top the search results, then you also need reviews. Quality reviews with good content from your customers and lots of them.
There’s one huge glaring problem with that.
You can’t ask for reviews on Yelp.
It’s completely against their policy according to their help center and terms of service. It’s a great way to get your business banned on Yelp. It’s simply not worth doing because if your business gets banned then you can’t get any business from Yelp. Or, you could still be listed on Yelp, but your reviews will likely get deleted or hidden.
You represent and warrant that you will not, and will not authorize or induce any other party, to:
solicit or ask for reviews from your customers.Yelp terms of service section 1B part ii.
Deleted or hidden reviews can’t do a thing to help you, and you wasted all that time and effort getting them. So, don’t ask for reviews on Yelp unless you’re willing to waste tons of your time and be salty towards Yelp even if they already warned you.
So, are you going to ask for reviews?
We don’t recommend you do.
But how are you supposed to get reviews on Yelp if you can’t ask for them?
There are several ways that should work relatively well. While it’s not as easy as automating the review process (which you can do on Google!) it’s the best Yelp gives you to work with.
Dig into these three methods of generating more reviews for your Yelp page and jumping to the top of search results. Even if you hate Yelp, I don’t think you hate free business and Yelp can direct customers to you.
Three Methods To Get Reviews On Yelp Without Asking
If you use these three methods to get more reviews on your Yelp profile, you should start increasing in rank on Yelp. You could even make it into one of their top listed businesses for certain industries and markets. Those lists are often ranked pretty high in search engines and are well trusted by customers.
Aren’t these worth the effort to get more customers?
I think so.
Incentivize Customer Check-In
A magical thing happens when your customer checks into your business on Yelp.
Yelp asks your customers to leave your business a review!
That saves you all the effort of collecting information from customers, sending out review requests, and all of that. Yelp will do all the heavy lifting for you, and you don’t have to lift a finger.
But how do you get customers to check into your business on Yelp?
Incentivize your customers to check in. You can set up really awesome coupons when your customer checks in on Yelp. I would check in for 10-20% depending on how much that would save me!
Even if your customer doesn’t use Yelp regularly, you can let them know they can get a big discount for checking in. Just put some marketing collateral at the checkout counter or even the door. A customer may use Yelp regularly but not think to check it before they pay.
If you let them know you’re on Yelp and that there’s a good coupon if they check in, they will score, and you will score too!
The day after they check in, Yelp will send your customer a message to review your business. Bam! Free review generation, compliments of Yelp.
Of course this isn’t quite as good as asking yourself because your customer still has to do a lot, but it’s a pretty good alternative. By incentivizing checking into your business on Yelp you’ll get nearly free reviews, boost your ranking, and then shoot up the list of top businesses in your town.
Yelp gives you several options for embedding a Yelp badge on your website. Or you can simply place text on your receipts, on your front door, or at the register. Just don’t ask for a review. You can tell customers you’re on Yelp as long as you don’t actually ask them or a review.
Yelp gives you several options of badges you can place on your website. Those can be helpful to show people you have reviews, and you’re on Yelp.
It’s a good reminder that your business is on Yelp, and they can leave you a review.
The embed code was in a way telling people, but it relies on your customer noticing the Yelp badge. Sometimes just relying on your customer coincidentally noticing your Yelp badge isn’t enough.
So, tell them!
You can’t ASK for reviews on Yelp, but you can TELL your customer you’re on Yelp.
It really is that simple sometimes. Simply telling people you’re on Yelp is enough to get them to check you out on Yelp. This can even go hand in hand with incentivizing check-ins That way they know you’re on Yelp and are more likely to check in.
So, if you tell your customer that you’re on Yelp, they check you, and then they’re more likely to leave you a review of their own will. Here are a few ways you can tell your customer you’re on Yelp.
- Your email signature
- Store signage (front door, tables, menus, etc.)
- At the end of a service call, say “by the way, check us out on Yelp.”
Whatever methods you choose, telling people can have a huge impact on you getting reviews. It doesn’t break Yelp’s terms of service, and it’s relatively easy for you to do.
Take advantage of these methods of getting more reviews on Yelp without asking. Getting reviews is essential to your business and prioritizing where you get reviews is essential to your businesses’ success.
Asking for reviews is the ideal method of getting reviews because it’s more dependable, but it’s not always possible. For those directories that do allow you to ask for reviews, a local marketing automation tool can help your review generation be more successful.
For the one directory that doesn’t let you ask, Yelp, there are some creative solutions that will get you around the asking for reviews ban. It will ultimately benefit you to take advantage of these methods of getting more Yelp reviews.
Many customers still use Yelp, and they also hold many top places in Google searches. So, set up a check in promotion, embed a Yelp badge on your website, and tell people you’re on Yelp.
The more noise you can make about being on Yelp, the better off your ranking will be on Yelp.