If you own a local business with a Yelp profile, then you know that Yelp reviews can have a large impact on your revenue.

People frequently use Yelp to discover new places to eat or hang out so negative reviews on Yelp can lead to potential new business going elsewhere. Unfortunately, angry customers are more likely to leave reviews than happy customers since upset customers use review sites to unleash their frustration while happy customers never think to leave a review.

As a digital marketing agency, we are frequently asked by our clients how they can get Yelp reviews. So here’s our simple guide to:

Getting Yelp Reviews Without Violating Yelp Policies

Out of hundreds of review websites and apps, Yelp has what is considered to be one of the most strict set of rules and policies about what businesses can do to get reviews.  Yelp is very clear on their support website about their policies – and the overall message to business owners is, “Don’t do anything that involves requesting that anyone leave you Yelp reviews.”

Here are the specific guidelines regarding how to get Yelp reviews:

  • Do not ask for Yelp reviews – this includes not asking customers, family, friends or anyone else.
  • Do not have competitions for your staff to collect reviews.
  • Don’t use surveys to request reviews from customers who report positive experiences.
  • Don’t run any type of promotions including discounts, payments or giveaways in exchange for Yelp reviews.

If businesses aren’t allowed to ask for reviews on Yelp, how can a business get Yelp reviews?

Here are a few tips:

  • Place a Yelp badge on your website
    If someone is angry enough to leave you a negative review then they will find your Yelp profile with or without a badge on your site.  However, there could be hundreds or thousands of happy customers visiting your website every month who don’t know you have a Yelp profile. Placing the Yelp badge on your website can help these satisfied customers find your Yelp page and, hopefully, leave you a positive rating.
  • Share your Yelp reviews on Facebook and Twitter
    You can share your Yelp ratings on your Facebook and Twitter accounts.  You can even post or share your less than favorable Yelp reviews as long as you’ve responded appropriately to them.  Your happy and loyal customers might take notice and decide to take action and support your business by giving you a positive rating and review on Yelp.
  • Increase customer awareness of your Yelp profile
    While you are not allowed to ask for Yelp reviews, there is nothing wrong with letting customers know that you have a Yelp profile. A few ways of getting the word out include:

    • Telling customers, “Check us out on Yelp!”
    • Place Yelp signs in your place of business. You can create these yourself or request them from Yelp here.
    • Include Yelp reviews in your marketing materials.  There are some guidelines about how this can be done (scroll down to the “Yelp Content” section for specifics), but overall it’s a great way to draw attention to your business’ Yelp profile.

Yelp’s strict policies about how businesses are allowed to procure reviews can be frustrating, especially if you’ve had an angry customer vent their frustrations on your Yelp profile.

Use the methods listed above to get positive reviews while remaining within Yelp’s guidelines.  If you need help managing reviews on other websites, consider our Reputation Management solution.  Our solution not only helps you gather positive reviews while avoiding negative reviews, it also monitors over 50 reviews websites for all mentions of your business so that your online reputation is not only easy to manage, but also easy to protect.