Think about the last time you bought something online, booked a trip, or looked up a recipe—you probably looked at reviews during that process. Reviews are a part of our everyday life, and consumers trust reviews. As a business owner, it’s about how you can start receiving those reviews.
Receiving reviews—especially those first few reviews—can feel like the most important thing when you’re putting your business online. Just remember that earning online reviews takes time, similar to the time it takes to build up business through word of mouth. Reviews are essentially your word of mouth online.
5 steps to getting your first review
Set yourself up for success by getting your Yelp Business Page ready for your first review.
1. Complete your Yelp Page
First claim your business on Yelp. Then update your business information to make it easy for potential customers to find you. Add info like your address, website, phone number, and hours of operation. The more detail you provide, the more likely you are to attract customers to your page and your business.
2. Add photos
Images help tell your business’ story, serving as a digital storefront that shows potential customers what they can expect when they engage with you. It’s free and you can add as many photos as you like.
You don’t need a professional photo shoot to add photos to your Yelp Page either. Taking pictures on your smartphone is free, quick, and easy. Add a variety of images to help tell your business story, such as:
- Yourself and your staff
- Your product and/or services
- The interior and exterior of your business
- Your company vehicles
3. Fill out your “From this business” section
What makes your business unique? It’s the people and the story behind the business. The “From this business” section contains three parts:
- Specialities: Let customers know what you do exceptionally well
- History: Share the story of your business and how it all started
- Intro: Say hi and tell your customers why you’re passionate about what you do
These details showcase what makes your business unique, and they’re also a great way to set expectations before customers come into your business.
4. Define your service offerings
Adding your service offerings let Yelp users know what industry-specific services you provide. Are you an HVAC company that does installations but not maintenance or repairs? Are you a hair salon that also does manicures and pedicures? By adding your service offerings, you’re more likely to get in front of customers that are looking for those specific goods or services.
If you’re a service-based business that travels to your clients, you should also add your service area to your page. This shows Yelp users how far you’re willing to travel for a job.
5. Spread the good news
Once you’ve started telling your business story on Yelp, let people know they can check you out. Include a link to your Yelp Business Page on your website, in your email signatures, or on electronic receipts. You can do this before you even get your first Yelp review.
Responding to reviews
Once the reviews start rolling in, be sure to respond. Responding to reviews is a great way to show off your customer service practices. It also gives you a public way to show potential customers how much you care.
Review quality over quantity
The number of reviews you receive as a business varies based on a number of factors, like your industry, the size of your business, the number of customers you serve, and how long you’ve been around.
For example, because we eat three times a day, it’s expected that restaurants will have an abundance of reviews. Meanwhile, we (hopefully) only need to call a plumber once in a blue moon, meaning there may not be as many reviews—but it’s the quality of the reviews that matter most.
Don’t ask for reviews
Have you ever had a great experience in a rideshare? You’re having a nice conversation with your driver, and then when you get to your destination, they quickly ask on your way out the door, “Can you give me 5 stars?”
It feels awkward because it is. Reviews should be organic. Asking for reviews puts your customers on the spot, and it doesn’t get you the natural feedback that will come if you don’t ask. Reviews that are asked for also tend to be biased. Rather than asking for reviews, focus on the customer experience and provide exceptional service.
As a part of Yelp’s Trust & Safety efforts, it’s also important to note that Yelp’s automated recommendation software works against solicited reviews, so be sure to steer clear of asking for reviews. For more info, check out this quick, informative video:
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The information above is provided for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and may not be suitable for your circumstances. Unless stated otherwise, references to third-party links, services, or products do not constitute endorsement by Yelp.