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Why your reviews disappear on Yelp and what you can do about it

Yelp, I have to be honest with you. Nobody likes you. At least that’s a common discussion amongst friends and clients alike. So often, I hear “My Yelp reviews disappeared!” and to many, it feels like a waste to seek them. The reality is YOU don’t like the process, but the online consumer is LOOKING for your reviews.  You need them whether you like the process or not.

Yelp’s algorithm is private and they are going to keep it that way. It’s meant to keep people honest, but it does so with the drawback of filtering legit reviews to the “not currently recommended” tab.

Who you ask and how you ask them really matters on making your Yelp (or other) reviews stick around on the page. Here are a few tips on getting online reviews for your business.

(Hint: Yelp isn’t the only player in the game)

First, email the client and ask for a review to post on your own website.

Tell them it can just be two to three sentences and you’d like to attribute it to them. Once they reply with a glowing review, copy and paste their response back to them and ask them to leave a review online if they can make the time.  Note that you are only going to reply with the added request if it’s a GREAT review.  Here are three ways to do it:

If you want reviews on Yelp:

  • First, check to see if your client has a Yelp account. If they are active Yelpers, they have a better chance of having their review stick. If they aren’t, don’t bother asking for a Yelp review.
  • Assuming they use Yelp, send them a link to Yelp’s homepage and tell them to search for your business first. Sending them a link to your Yelp page will almost always get the review removed.

Remember, you’ve given them the review to leave in the message above so they can cut and paste with ease.

Example message:  Thank you so much for sending me this wonderful testimonial.  I hope to use it on my website in the very near future.  I did notice you are active on Yelp.  If you have an extra moment, I would just love it if you could repost your review above on Yelp as well.  Just search for my business name after logging in.  You can cut and paste from above. This method has the best odds of making it through Yelp’s filter.  I really, really appreciate it!

If you want a review on Google:

This is much harder to send a link to but works great for SEO. First, you need to go to your own Google My Business page.  Literally, Google your business name, not your website and look for your results box on the right.  Below your business name, it will have your stars rating and a “# reviews” link.  the top right corner.

The link (this is mine,  you need yours) is super long:  https://www.google.com/search?q=webcami+site+design&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS713US714&oq=webcami+site+design&aqs=chrome..69i57j69i60j69i61l2j69i65l2.2703j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#lrd=0x5490406464244b73:0xfbfcbf7e71d717e1,1,,,

Click that and your own review will appear in a pop up with a “Write a Review” button on the upper right-hand corner as it does in my example.

Example message:  Thank you so much for sending me this wonderful testimonial.  I hope to use it on my website in the near future.  Since you have a Gmail account, I’m wondering if you might take an extra moment to copy and paste your review above on Google as well.  This link (highlight and insert your link on THIS LINK) goes directly to my Google reviews where you will see a button that says “Write a Review” in the upper right-hand corner.  Just copy and paste your review into that form.  I really, really appreciate it!

If you want a recommendation on Facebook:

You need to have a Facebook business page that you set up yourself to make this one work to your advantage.  And post something every month or two to look like you are still in business.  You can directly send them a link to that page in this example and a little bit of instruction. And it’s best if your client is a known Facebook user, too!

Example message:  Thank you so much for sending me this wonderful testimonial.  I hope to use it on my website in the near future.  Since you have a Facebook account, I’m wondering if you might take an extra moment to recommend my business on Facebook as well.  This link (highlight and insert your link on THIS LINK) goes directly to my Business Facebook Page where you will see a button that says “Do you Recommend…” near the top of the page feed.  Click yes and a dialog box will open to copy and paste in your review.  I really, really appreciate it!

Okay, now a few more recommendations:

  • Only ask for ONE of these.  Don’t ask for all three.
  • When unsure about what review to ask them to leave, default to Google.  Most people use Google.
  • Don’t hit them up again if you don’t see a review posted. People are busy.
  • Do work in their review on your website someplace.  It will make them feel good.  And link back to their business in the attribution.

Does this all sound like too much work?  Hit up Chris Lollini of Ignite Reviews.  He’s no longer in BNI but still has a great service to grow your reviews online.

They may be a pain to get, but they are worth their weight in gold when you are getting compared to others online!

Special instructions for LEAVING reviews:

When you are the reviewer and not asking for reviews yourself, these tips will help you boost your provider’s online reputation:

  • DO post where you actively review people.
  • DO only write one review at a time.  Don’t flood the system with a bunch all at once.  That means if you are in a business group, only leave reviews for your comrades once or twice a month.
  • DO give some good detail in your review, like how they helped you or the best part of their service.