Did you know that up to 84 percent of people trust online reviews as much as friends?
And if you think only a minority of customers read reviews – you're be mistaken too! In fact, more than 9 in 10 people read online reviews either regularly or occasionally.
We also know that online reviews significantly improve SEO ranking on search engines. Therefore, you should be working to build up your reviews.
But, which business review sites should you concentrate your efforts?
In this article, we'll discuss two of the most important business review websites – Yelp vs Google? Here we go!
Just because you haven't requested to sign up your business to Yelp, it doesn't mean that your company is not already listed.
Your business could have been added by a customer or another user without your knowledge. However, if you're not already, get registered on Yelp.
It's important to ensure the information about your business is accurate and up to date. You don't want a former address or incorrect name to be listed on Yelp.
You should also ensure that the pictures displayed are relevant to your business and paint you in a good light.
On Yelp, your business will be rated according to a scale of 1 to 5. Your ambition should be to get as many 5 out of 5 reviews as possible.
Reputation as a Trustworthy Website
Founded in 2004, Yelp has been a source of online reviews for customers for longer than any of the other big players. Therefore, it's got a great reputation among consumers.
Over one-third of consumers say that they regularly visit Yelp for business reviews. However, it's not just popular.
It is also highly regarded! Yelp is the second-most trusted business review website only after Facebook.
Regulates Online Customer Reviews
One of the criticisms of Yelp from businesses is how reviews are displayed (or not displayed). Yelp uses an algorithm to determine which reviews appear on the website and which are buried.
Therefore, small businesses which have limited reviews could be damaged by the selective choices of Yelp. You need to urge your customers to be active on the website and produce high-quality reviews.
There are a number of factors which determine whether a review gets posted or not. This includes whether the review includes photos or if the reviewer has “Friends” on Yelp.
Therefore, it's not simple for customers to create a profile on Yelp and leave reviews straight away. You need to develop a profile on the website over time which is recognized by Yelp as a credible reviewer.
Many businesses have also claimed that the reviews Yelp displays are unpredictable. But, you probably don't have a choice if you want to build up your reputation among customers.
Can You Urge Happy Customers to Review?
Yelp doesn't want businesses to “ask” customers to leave reviews.
It's common for businesses to encourage happy customers to write a review of their experience. This can be either friendly request or even the promise of a reward or discount on the next purchase.
While Yelp can quickly find you out if you're urging lots of customers to review your business at the same time in a similar way, there are loopholes. You just need to gently let your customers know that you're on Yelp.
This can be achieved by either adding a Yelp button on your website or a sign on your storefront for happy customers to leave reviews. It appears that Yelp is determined to weed out insincere reviews.
However, this can be problematic for small businesses which want to encourage happy customers to review them. Check out our blog to learn more ways to increase good reviews for your company.
Influences Your Ranking on Search Engines
Remember, Yelp reviews also improve your SEO standing on Google results pages.
While Google won't promote Yelp reviews as much as its own, it's enough to have a significant boost to your ranking.
Of course, Google is famous for its search engine. But, the company has branched out to include numerous other enterprises.
By contrast, Yelp is a dedicated online customer reviews website. This works both for Google and against it.
The Strength of the Google Brand
Google entered the online reviews industry in 2012 with the launch of Google Local Search. And yet, Google already receives more web traffic.
51 percent of consumers say that they rely on Google Reviews to judge a business. This makes it the most popular website for reviews.
You Can Ask Customers for Reviews
Yelp has developed a reputation as being quite strict with reviewers. However, Google doesn't stand in the way of businesses asking for reviews from customers.
That doesn't mean that Google permits “fake” reviews to be listed. But, there are no measures in place to stamp them out either.
What is clear, on Google reviews you can ask happy customers to leave reviews. You can even encourage them with rewards.
Therefore, for many customers, the quality of the reviews compared with competitors may not as high.
Opportunity to Respond to Negative Reviews
Moreover, if a customer leaves a negative review, you're also permitted to respond to apologize or dispute the customer's account. As a result, you can defend your brand on the forum.
A customer only needs to search for your company name on the Google research engine to review your business. This makes it easy for happy customers to find a company.
Optimize Your Google Ranking
Additionally, Google Reviews are an important method of improving your ranking on the results pages.
While Yelp reviews also appear on Google results pages, Google reviews are usually higher placed.
Focus on Yelp vs Google?
It would be nice to be able to say concentrate your efforts on Yelp or Google alone. But, there is no simple answer to the Yelp vs Google question. At the moment, you need to focus on building up your reputation on both websites.
Google is the most important if you want to improve your SEO and raise awareness of your brand. However, Yelp remains one of the biggest sources of online reviews for many consumers. It also has a greater reputation for trust due to the strict regulation of “fake” reviews.
If you want to learn more about how to protect your online reputation, check it out Here!