How to ask for Yelp reviews and have them actually count?

Yelps “Magical” Review Filter

As a small business owner, or a small business owner’s assistant you may have wondered how easy would it be to request positive Yelp reviews with every client interaction to inflate your social status? After all, if someone Googles your business the Yelp review gets a high level of visibility on the top of that search page.

So we all want positive reviews but it turns out its not so easy, we have to go thorough Yelps “magical” review filtering algorithm — why? Two very important reasons:

  1. If it would be up to us, we would call everyone we know, our friends and family, our across the street neighbor and request positive reviews and therefore “cheat” the system
  2. Even more importantly, the competition could also ask the same, but instead of positive reviews they could request negative reviews towards your business

What we can do

So how to request reviews from our clients, customers or fans? We can’t be exact only because we don’t work for Yelp, however here are some tips:

  1. Always use common sense and ask yourself if the person you are asking for a review truly likes you and your business? Or perhaps they may update their review with every encounter? Will they expect something in return? Always ask your biggest fans.
  2. Ask the person for a review when they’ve complimented your service or product, or when you’ve successfully solved a problem for them.
  3. Do not request for a review on your website, Facebook page or other social profiles — it is against Yelp’s policy to publicly request a review, and also Yelp can tell where your visitors are coming from.
  4. When a review gets “filtered out” by the review filter, try interacting with the review writer on Yelp, or reply and vote the review itself.
  5. Avoid having customers review you while they are traveling, Yelp seems to approve reviews that originate around the geographical location of your business.
  6. It helps if your reviewer has actually Checked Into your business on their smartphone Yelp app
  7. Make sure you ask them if their Yelp profile is fairly complete and if they’ve reviewed anyone before – If a profile looks brand new, no picture, fake names, no reviews etc, that may raise some red flags

If you try following most of these rules, you will increase your chances of your reviewer’s posts to get past the filter, and into the main Yelp profile, and potentially Google’s search results page.

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