Yelp.com has been surrounded by huge controversy for the past few years. Yelp has gained a bad reputation among business owners, especially small business owners because the simple consumer review site can make or break you. Small business reviews are essential for a great online reputation, especially on popular sites like Google My Business pages and Facebook. The video above is the trailer for the new documentary "Billion Dollar Bully," directed by Kaylie Milliken and produced by Prost Productions.
In the past, the website has charged business owners to push positive reviews to the top. Some small business owners even reported positive reviews disappearing after contact from Yelp representatives or suspicion of favoritism for businesses paying for Yelp advertising. Companies that advertise with Yelp may even have the benefit of having their ads show up on non-paid competitor Yelp pages. Although Yelp has been called unethical by many business owners, consumers, and media in the past, Yelp is here to stay (for now) and you need to make it work for your small business.
How Important Are Yelp's Small Business Reviews?
According to Yelp, 77 million local reviews have been written by "Yelpers". More importantly, in just the first quarter of 2015, Yelp had approximately 142,000,000 monthly unique visitors to the site. Yelp is gaining power as one of the most popular review websites online, with a large focus on local restaurants and small businesses.
What Can You Do For Negative Yelp Reviews?
- Claim your business on Yelp
- Respond to reviews (both positive & negative)
- Respond in a timely manner (week or less is great)
- Get positive reviews from your happy customers and use Yelp to help you
- Submit to take down negative reviews that state untrue facts about your business
- Don't make fake profiles and review competitors
- Become a Yelp(er) Elite Squad member - invites to private restaurant events, reviews weighted heavier, and a shiny badge
Note: Once your business has a Yelp page, it cannot be deleted, even if you did not create it.