All You Need to Know About Yelp Business Reviews

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Last edited: June 18th, 2024

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Yelp business reviews are a powerful tool for shaping your company’s online reputation and attracting new customers.

With millions of users turning to Yelp to find local businesses, understanding how to effectively manage and leverage these reviews is crucial.

This article will guide you through the pros and cons of Yelp, how reviews can impact your business, and provide actionable tips on setting up and optimizing your Yelp business page.

Whether you’re new to Yelp or looking to enhance your existing presence, we’ve got you covered with everything you need to know about Yelp business reviews.

Is Yelp A Trustworthy Platform? Pros and Cons.

If you search for information about Yelp, you can’t miss all the critical opinions. Some people say Yelp is a scam, and that they purposefully promote negative reviews for businesses that don’t pay them.

Yelp is also known for the funny and entertaining reviews that Yelp users like to write.

Is this all true?

Here’s a breakdown of Yelp as a review platform.

Pros of Yelp

  1. Large user base
    With millions of users, Yelp offers significant exposure for businesses. Many consumers trust Yelp reviews when making decisions about where to eat, shop, or find services.
  2. Detailed reviews
    Detailed reviews provide valuable insights into customer experiences and can help you identify strengths and areas for improvement. Users can upload photos, which can enhance the credibility and appeal of reviews.
  3. SEO benefits
    Yelp pages often rank high in search engine results, helping you gain additional visibility outside the platform.
  4. Free business tools
    You can claim your Yelp page for free, allowing you to update information, respond to reviews, and add photos. Access to insights and analytics can help you understand customer behavior and engagement.
  5. Community engagement
    You can interact with customers by responding to reviews, which can help build relationships and address any issues publicly.
Yelp reviews are often very thorough and detailed

Cons of Yelp

  1. Negative reviews
    Negative reviews can significantly impact your reputation, and dealing with unjust or malicious reviews can be challenging. Some reviews may be biased or unfair, and Yelp’s filtering algorithm can sometimes remove legitimate positive reviews while leaving negative ones.
  2. Advertising costs
    While basic listings are free, Yelp’s advertising options can be expensive, which might not be feasible for many smaller businesses. Of course, you don’t have to buy ads from Yelp, but some business owners report feeling pressured by Yelp sales representatives.
  3. Algorithm concerns
    Yelp’s algorithm can filter out genuine reviews, which can frustrate both businesses and customers. There are concerns that businesses who advertise on Yelp might receive more favorable treatment in review placement and ranking.
  4. Fake reviews
    Despite efforts to combat fake reviews, some businesses still struggle with fake positive or negative reviews, which can skew public perception.
  5. Limited control
    Businesses have limited control over the content on their Yelp page, and cannot remove negative reviews (only flag them for Yelp to review).
  6. Not that global
    If you live anywhere in the world except in the United States, Yelp is probably not the most used review site. In that case, you might need to check out other review sites.

How Yelp Reviews Can Impact Your Business

Yelp reviews can significantly impact your business in various ways, affecting both your online reputation and your bottom line. Here are some key ways Yelp reviews can impact your business:

Positive Impacts

  1. Increased visibility and credibility
    Yelp pages often rank high in search engine results, making your business more discoverable to potential customers searching online. Positive reviews build trust with potential customers. Many consumers rely on Yelp reviews to gauge the reliability and quality of a business.
  2. Customer acquisition
    Positive reviews can attract new customers who are influenced by the positive experiences of others. Satisfied customers who leave positive reviews essentially provide free word-of-mouth advertising.
  3. Customer feedback and insights
    Reviews provide valuable feedback, helping you understand what your customers appreciate and what needs improvement. Constructive criticism can guide you in making necessary changes to enhance customer satisfaction and service quality.
  4. Competitive advantage
    A higher overall rating and more positive reviews can help your business stand out from competitors. A strong presence on Yelp can establish your business as a reputable and trusted choice in your industry.
happy couple shopping, customer reviews floating around

Negative Impacts

  1. Reputation management
    Negative reviews can damage your reputation and deter potential customers. A few bad reviews can outweigh many positive ones in the eyes of prospective clients. Poorly managed negative reviews or responses can exacerbate the situation and further harm your reputation.
  2. Revenue loss
    Negative reviews can lead to a decrease in customer visits and sales, as potential customers might choose competitors with better ratings. Negative experiences shared on Yelp can deter repeat business from dissatisfied customers.
  3. Dealing with fake reviews
    Fake reviews, whether positive or negative, can mislead potential customers and harm your business’s credibility. Addressing and reporting fake reviews can consume valuable time and resources.
  4. Pressure to advertise
    Yelp offers advertising options that can be expensive, and some businesses feel pressured to purchase ads to improve their visibility and ratings.There are concerns that businesses who advertise on Yelp may receive more favorable treatment, leading to skepticism about the platform’s impartiality.

Mitigating Negative Impacts

You shouldn’t shy away from review sites just because of the possible negative impacts. A large part of how much they hurt your reputation is up to your own behavior.

Here are a few things you can do to avoid reputation damage.

Active Engagement

Respond to both positive and negative reviews in a professional and timely manner to show that you value customer feedback.

Address any issues raised in negative reviews to demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction.

Encourage Positive Reviews

Encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews, which can help improve your overall rating.

Focus on providing excellent customer service to naturally generate positive feedback.

Monitor and Manage

Regularly monitor your Yelp page to stay informed about what customers are saying.

Report fake or inappropriate reviews to Yelp for investigation and potential removal.

How to Add Your Business to Yelp

So, how does one get started with Yelp?

Follow these steps to add your business to Yelp and make your page stand out:

  1. Claim Your Business Page
    • Go to the Yelp for Business Owners page.
    • Search for your business by name and location.
    • If your business appears, click on it and follow the prompts to claim it. If not, select “Add your business to Yelp.”
    • Fill out the required information about your business and submit.
  2. Verify Your Business
    • Yelp will send a verification code via phone or email.
    • Enter the code to verify your ownership and access your business page.

Tips for Creating a Great Yelp Page for Your Business

Help People Get to Know You

Fill out all the sections in your business profile, including address, phone number, hours of operation, and website.

Keep your information current. Update your hours, contact details, and any changes in services or products promptly.

Write a Great Business Description

Write a clear and concise description of your business, highlighting what makes you unique.

Use relevant keywords that potential customers might use when searching for businesses like yours.

Add a touch of personality to your description to make it engaging. Let customers know what to expect when they visit.

Add High-Quality Photos

High-quality photos make a great first impression. Upload photos that showcase your products, services, and ambiance.

Include a variety of images, such as your storefront, interior, staff, and happy customers.

Regularly update your photos to reflect current offerings and seasonal changes.

How to Get Yelp Reviews

The only way to get more reviews is to ask for them. Find a method that works for you:

  • Asking for reviews via email after an experience
  • Asking face-to-face while completing the service
  • Showcasing QR codes in your location
  • Sending a text message
  • Offering incentives for reviews

Read more tips on how to get reviews from customers to get inspired.

However, even if you find the perfect method of collecting feedback, there is one big obstacle in getting Yelp reviews: your customers need to have a Yelp account to write reviews.

Not everyone has an account. How can you make sure those customers still can leave reviews for you?

Try a solution that helps you get 100% more reviews: Trustmary.

With Trustmary Method (the best way to collect reviews) you get feedback from all your customers, reviews from 40% of the respondents, and Yelp reviews from those who have an account.

What to Do About Negative Yelp Reviews

Most businesses get critical reviews, or even bad ones, from time to time.

While negative reviews can feel detrimental for a business owner, there’s always an opportunity to turn the situation around.

Responding to negative Yelp reviews in a constructive and professional manner can help you mitigate the reputation damage.

By addressing concerns, making amends, and showing a commitment to improvement, you can turn negative experiences into opportunities for growth and customer loyalty.

Here are some steps you can take to address negative Yelp reviews:

1. Stay Calm and Objective

Don’t take it personally. Understand that negative feedback is part of running a business. Approach it as an opportunity to improve.

Try to think of the critical review as a favor: if this person hadn’t told you about a defect in the customer experience, how would you have learned that it needs improvement?

Secondly, avoid responding when you’re upset. Take time to cool down and think clearly before replying.

2. Respond Promptly

Respond as quickly as possible to show that you value customer feedback and are proactive about addressing concerns.

According to review statistics, over half of customers (53%) expect brands to respond to negative reviews within 7 days, while one third expects a response in 3 days.

Additionally, industry leaders (the top 10% of brands) answer significantly faster than businesses on average.

statistics about responding to reviews

3. Acknowledge the Issue

Start by acknowledging the customer’s experience and expressing empathy. Let them know that you understand their frustration or disappointment.

The worst thing to do is to invalidate the customer’s experience and show everyone else that you are incapable of receiving feedback.

4. Apologize Sincerely

Offer a sincere apology for their negative experience, even if you believe the feedback is not entirely fair. A simple, heartfelt apology can go a long way in diffusing tension.

5. Address Specific Concerns

Address the specific issues raised in the review. Explain what steps you have taken or will take to resolve the problem.

If appropriate, explain your business policies and practices that relate to the concern, but avoid sounding defensive.

6. Offer to Make Amends

Provide your contact information and invite them to discuss the issue further offline. This shows your willingness to personally resolve the problem and prevents a public back-and-forth.

Additionally, this lets you verify if the customer is serious with their complaint. It takes guts to give constructive criticism face-to-face, and a fake reviewer is unlikely to take the opportunity.

Privately, offer a way to make things right. This could be a refund, discount, or a special offer to encourage them to give your business another chance.

7. Learn and Improve

Use the feedback to identify areas for improvement in your business operations or customer service.

Ensure that your staff is aware of the issue and knows how to prevent similar situations in the future.

Regularly engage with your customers to ensure they have a positive experience worth sharing.

8. Encourage More Reviews

Unhappy customers are more likely to leave reviews unprompted than happy customers. If you just passively wait for people to write Yelp reviews, you will likely get more negative than positive reviews.

The key to balancing the number of positive and critical reviews is to ask for reviews from all your customers.

9. Monitor and Report Fake Reviews

Keep an eye on your Yelp page to stay on top of new reviews.

Report any reviews that violate Yelp’s content guidelines. Provide evidence if you believe a review is fake or unfair.

suspicious man stroking his beard

Example Response to a Negative Review

Here’s an example of how to respond to a negative review professionally:

Reviewer: “I had a terrible experience at your restaurant. The service was slow, and the food was cold and tasteless.”

Response: “Dear [Reviewer’s Name],

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience. I am very sorry to hear about the issues you faced during your visit. This is certainly not the standard we aim to provide.

Please accept our sincere apologies for the slow service and the quality of the food. We take your feedback very seriously and are already looking into these matters to ensure they don’t happen again.

I would like to make it up to you. Please contact me directly at [your contact information], so we can discuss how to make this right. Your satisfaction is our top priority, and I hope you will give us another chance to provide you with the excellent service and food we are known for.

Best regards,

[Your Name]
[Your Position]
[Your Contact Information]”

How to Get Reviews from Yelp (without API)

Have you considered using Yelp reviews on your website or social media?

In that case, you might want to scrape your Yelp business reviews to be able to use them.

Scraping Yelp reviews to use on your website can be a way to showcase customer feedback, but it’s essential to proceed with caution. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Understand the Risks: Scraping Yelp reviews may violate Yelp’s terms of service. Always consider the legal and ethical implications before proceeding.
  2. Use Scraping Tools: There are various tools and scripts available online that can help you extract Yelp reviews. However, be aware that these tools might get blocked by Yelp’s anti-scraping measures.
  3. Display Reviews Ethically: If you decide to scrape reviews, ensure you attribute them correctly and avoid altering the content. Misrepresentation can harm your credibility.

While scraping is an option, it’s not always the best or most ethical choice. Instead, consider using Trustmary for an easier and more reliable way to gather and showcase customer reviews.

Why Trustmary?

Ease of Use

Trustmary allows you to collect reviews effortlessly without needing complex tools or APIs. Just add your Yelp review page URL and Trustmary does the rest.

Stylish Widgets

Trustmary’s Yelp review widget adapts to your website’s style automatically without any coding from your side. On average, adding a review widget to your website increases conversions by 20%.

Comprehensive Feedback

Get feedback from all your customers, not just those with Yelp accounts.

Increased Reviews

Trustmary helps you gather reviews from 40% of respondents, significantly boosting your review count.


Is Yelp Really Worth It?

Yes, for many local businesses, Yelp can be a valuable tool for visibility and customer feedback. However, it requires active management and engagement.

Can You Remove Yelp Reviews?

Businesses cannot remove Yelp reviews directly. They can flag inappropriate reviews for Yelp to review and potentially remove.

How to Avoid the Yelp Review Filter?

Encourage detailed and genuine reviews from customers. The more active and credible your Yelp presence, the better chance you have of avoiding the review filter.

How to get reviews from Yelp?

If you want to export Yelp reviews to use them in your own website, we recommend using Trustmary. It’s an easy and safe option for scrapers and API keys, as you don’t have to do anything else than copy and paste your Yelp review page URL.

Trustmary team
Trustmary team


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