How much does it cost to remove a Yelp review? What can business owners do to build a great reputation on the Yelp platform? These questions and more will be addressed in the following guide.
Writing a Yelp review provides individuals the opportunity to share their experiences, good or bad. Consumers are able to get an idea as to how well, or badly, a particular establishment or company is viewed by people who have experienced their products or services first hand. The success of a restaurant, hotel, spa, or other retailers, along with those providing professional services such as real estate agents, physicians, lawyers, family offices, interior designers, architects, etc., often hinges on the amount of positive or negative reviews they receive online.
Obviously, the more positive the review, the better for the business owner. A bad review, or one perceived as a negative review, will have an adverse effect. These reviews when reiterated and consumed by enough patrons and clients could potentially tank a business or operation, causing huge losses in revenue. Business owners should be concerned about negative reviews and what people write on Yelp and other sites.
So, the question becomes, What can businesses do when they receive bad reviews, or even worse, a false review?” Is there a system in place that allows one to remove bad reviews?
It might be a good starting point to give an overview of Yelp’s popularity, its reviews policies, and to investigate Yelp guidelines to determine if a) this is possible to accomplish, and b) at what cost?
The Popularity of Yelp
Yelp continues to be considered a highly trusted source for local business reviews and ratings. There is a good reason for this. Every month, 142 million people visit Yelp. According to a FreshChalk study, Yelp ranks in the top five search results for 92% of Google web queries that include a city and a business category. Only Google rivals it in local, location-based searches, and every business owner must consider Yelp’s influence when developing an online marketing strategy.
The main reason Yelp reviews appear at the top in search results s because the site has kept the number of spam and advertising links to a minimum. Yelp also provides in-depth, long-form reviews that give a comprehensive report on businesses that customers appreciate. Yelp also frowns upon fake reviews, hate speech, use of its platform to promote other businesses and services, or anything that constitutes a violation of its rules and practices.
Yelp understands businesses that are unfairly reviewed because of factual disputes are directly hurt. Yelp is far and beyond most competitors simply because it attempts to keep malicious content off of its site.
Keep in mind how Yelp users will write about your business on the site regardless of whether you activate a business page or not. This is why it’s in your best interest to take a proactive approach and set up your business’s Yelp page yourself. Ideally, you should include colorful pictures that showcase your business or services and provide useful information that will entice prospective customers into wanting to learn more about your business.
Do Business Owners Pay Yelp?
It’s important to understand that Yelp is a free and effective way to connect to potential customers with the businesses they’re searching for. But, there are plenty of ways to augment your own Yelp business listing. “Yelp for Business Owners” is an online platform where merchants manage their Yelp business listing. It offers free, as well as paid tools, intended to increase online search visibility.
These tools allow you to pay Yelp to customize your listing with a newsfeed and create your own posts to promote special events, time-sensitive discounts, or other special offers. Most businesses can benefit from these extra tools and services, helping them to boost their digital reputation while improving brand recognition on the review site.
Unfortunately, Yelp has been accused of using its platform to extort money from business owners. In fact, “pay to play” schemes that only benefit a company if the business owners pay Yelp have resulted in several class-action lawsuits. The short answer is that while advertising can help you stand out from your competitors on the Yelp site, but not if a conflict of interest is preventing Yelp from treating non-paying customers fairly.
Yelp Advertising Available
While it’s totally free to set up a Yelp business page, which allows you to display your business name, address, contact information, and other critical information, as well as receive ratings and user reviews from customers for the general public and everyone else to see, investing in the additional features that Yelp has to offer can make a substantial difference.
The average monthly cost of advertising on Yelp, should you make full use of its features, is a little under $1,000, and includes these features:
- PPC Advertising: Points Per Click (PPC) will position your business name and Yelp profile at the top of search results for related keywords.
- Target Audience: This allows you to define your target audience, and then direct ads to them on the basis of location and keyword.
- Custom Ads: You can customize the ad model and reach, depending on your goals and budget.
- Tracks Results: Yelp works in sync with your business goals by tracking the results of your campaigns and key metrics on its dashboard.
- Budget Setting: You can pay Yelp as little as $5 per day to get your ad started. You also have the option to adjust the budget or pause the ad campaign any time you want.
Yelp Looks for Accurate, Fair Reviews
When writing a review on the Yelp page, it’s important for customers to write a fair and accurate description of their experience. After all, no one wants to be the victim of false reviews bent solely on hurting the establishment, but unfortunately, this can be the case. Yelp is a consumer-focused platform that allows people to share their views about how well run a business is and how personable and knowledgeable and caring the owners and workers are in any given scenario.
Writing Yelp Reviews without Bias
It’s important that anyone that writes a review does so without attempting to cause malicious damage to the business or its owner. Personal grievances should not be allowed to cloud one’s judgment. The Yelp reviews should be based solely on an actual encounter or experience where the reviewer is giving an honest assessment of what occurred, or what they experienced firsthand when engaged in using a particular business’ goods or services.
Ideally, the review should be written by the customer soon after the encounter, usually within 24-48 hours, while events are still clear and free of embellishments. Your opinion is important and your memory of your experience is vital to the accuracy of your review.
The writing should be engaging, and a bit colorful, so that the reader is intrigued and wants to continue reading the review. In the case of a good review, the consumer experience is likely to draw others to want to visit the establishment or make use of these services, hoping for a similar experience. When online reviews are positive, a business owner should immediately thank the client. When there are negative reviews, address any issues promptly and politely.
Bad Reviews: How Do I Get a Bad Yelp Review Removed?
This can be a tricky process, but in some instances, you can have bad reviews and negative reviews removed, depending on whether you follow Yelp’s terms. Here is a short list of such reviews that violate Yelp’s terms of service (TOS):
- Writing a fake review or one deemed defamatory
- Promoting local businesses or other commercial ventures within the review
- Ranting about a business’s employment practices, political ideologies, or matters that don’t directly address the actual consumer experience
The removal of negative Yelp reviews lies solely upon its own algorithm. If a bad Yelp review doesn’t violate Yelp’s terms, one option is to publicly defend your business by countering the points brought up in the negative review, or try contacting the reviewer and attempt to convince him or to remove the offensive review. You might invite them to make a second visit, or negotiate your services, to have an opportunity to make things right.
Other Examples Where Yelp Deletes Reviews
There are instances where customer reviews can be flagged for removal by business owners. For example, marketing copy does not belong in a Yelp review and will be flagged and removed. Friends, relatives, or employees should leave online reviews about your business in an attempt to increase your ratings. Yelp will also flag or remove content they deem irrelevant including negative rants instigated by current or former employees.
Yelp’s User Operations team can remove customer reviews that are written about somebody else’s experience, as this is clearly an unfair approach to reviewing a business since the author didn’t base the review on his or her experiences. Yelp also reserves the right to remove reviews that have been copied and pasted from other sites, or have been posted previously by another user, along with reviews that violate any form of intellectual property.
Reviews on Yelp can substantially increase or decrease the amount of business you might receive, and obviously, the more positive reviews the better. In other words, every bad review posted to Yelp directly hurts your business prospects. It has been shown that one-star reviews can eliminate as much as 59% of new customers.
Every positive review helps, and every negative review can stand in the way of business growth.
Another thing that can and will certainly work in your favor is the Yelp reviews filter. This filter can help you to preserve your reputation by flagging the reviews that may violate the site’s internal policies.
How the Yelp Review Filter Helps Businesses
The Yelp review filter was designed by Yelp to help filter out fake reviews, which means customers will be basing their decisions on legitimate reviews. The filter gives preference to established reviewers, those that have reviewed multiple businesses and have fully created profiles, often dismissing reviews by reviewers with little or no profile information, write short reviews with little or no information or details, use profanity, or are slanted (either negatively or positively), and may have been written by questionable sources.
The filter’s accuracy has come into question, however, with businesses complaining that legitimate reviews have been taken down or moved to the lowest point on the thread. But still, having the filter to delete Yelp reviews that are bogus and violate the site’s terms is better than no filter at all. It provides the proper tool for removing obvious false reviews and negative reviews whose sole purpose is to discredit or harm a business by providing falsified information.
Paying to Remove Negative Reviews, Boosting Positive Reviews
There are services that can help you remove negative reviews your business might receive on Yelp. That’s because only 7% of reviews are removed by Yelp, which doesn’t bode well if you are trying to delete Yelp reviews on your own. Local businesses need help with managing and removing bad reviews.
If you’ve ever asked yourself, “how much does it cost to remove a Yelp review?”, the above sections on review removal can help you make informed decisions.
An Online reputation management (ORM) company like Erase Complaints can negotiate with Yelp to remove negative or bad reviews with the assistance of the Yelp support team. An ORM will monitor Yelp and other sites for negative reviews. It can also help in generating positive content, which in term can help to obtain positive reviews on Yelp and boost your reputation in Google search. The cost to do this will depend on the strategy recommended.
To learn more about review removal and how to get the most from your third-party review site profiles, contact EraseComplaints today at 888-600-7409.