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Can't get one positive review on Yelp for small business

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by bobinnc, Feb 6, 2015.

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  1. bobinnc

    bobinnc Newbie

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    I am a small contractor and am the owner. I currently have 1 negative review on Yelp and have had a few customers that have left positive reviews but none of them stick. Earlier this week we did a job for a customer, they were happy, left a review on Yelp 4star. I get a call today from Yelp to advertise and as I go to my page this 4 star review is "not recommended".

    I swear I feel like I am being extorted.

    Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

    Bob
     
  2. BassTrackerBoats

    BassTrackerBoats Super Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    Yup, that is the general consensus with yelp.
     
  3. mohamedraouf

    mohamedraouf Junior Member

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    So you registered on this forum and your first post is about asking for a favor. Did you helped anyone here (same as me ) ?
     
  4. BreaknBrix

    BreaknBrix Power Member

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    Bob,

    You're doing things wrong and you're not.

    Our first review on Yelp was filtered as well. Then they call you up and try to sell you ads. This happens to a lot of people and it does seem like extortion but they will stop calling you fairly quickly.

    In order to get reviews to stick on Yelp.... Yelp makes you PROVE YOURSELF unlike any other place I know of.

    For instance, we later had 4 more reviews filtered, but only 2 were legit and 2 were fake. The 2 that were real came from people who has no friends or no previous reviews on yelp. We're a new business... so OF COURSE Yelp is gonna filter those reviews.

    If you're new on Yelp you need to prove yourself. Do this by having 15-20 minute conversations with a happy / served clients about how to leave reviews.

    Ask them questions like,

    1) Do you have a Yelp account?
    2) Do you have a Google account?
    3) Do you have friends on Yelp?
    4) Have you left reviews before on Yelp?
    on and on we try to collect a lot of information.

    If a client says, "I have no friends on Yelp", then we say, "ok, can you leave a review on our G Local?" Or sometimes our Yahoo Local or Yellow pages, etc.

    That's what I did EARLY ON. Early on your first few Yelp Reviews NEED to come from Yelp members with friends and previously left reviews, not new members or old inactive members.

    That helped us overcome that "probationary phase".

    And now we dominate Yelp. We have 5 times more reviews than our #2 competitor.

    Keep in mind it takes TIME. Lots of time. We've been working on our Yelp for years but it's only this past 12 months we really started slamming Yelp with reviews. And let me tell you, traffic grows with every single review you get. If I posted you a picture of my Yelp analytics you'd be like "damn, that's worth putting a lot of time into".

    And it is. Yes it's frustrating as hell when you're new. That's why most of our competitors gave up and we now outrank every single one on Yelp.


    -BB
     
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  5. bobinnc

    bobinnc Newbie

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    Thanks BB! thats a bit what I have gathered from reading online.
     
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  6. sully1975

    sully1975 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Welcome Bob,

    I too am a contractor trying to learn this kind of stuff. What is your trade? I do electrical and mechanical (heating and cooling) in a more b2b setting. I generally agree with Breakinbrix on what to do there. I myself have no reviews but don't do a lot of b2c. in my neighborhood an HVAC guy I use, had another electrician endorse him on his website. They knew each other for years and do a lot of residential style work together. But to see an allied trade endorsement has some merit. So if you are a remodeler, a good word on your website from a roofer or a GC or a fire restoration contractor does carry some weight.

    Don't get me wrong, endorsements carry weight. The written word is powerful. But pictures of work before and after as well. Get a video testimonial too and throw it up on the site as well from someone whom is satisfied.

    While playing the waiting game as brix says, make good use of your time. Don't look like every other construction site under the sun. Blog every day and use longtail keywords. Write not from a sales perspective but to inform.
     
  7. sully1975

    sully1975 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I am sure others will chime in here, but I think there are services in which will scrubb your negative review somehow. There is also a protocol of how a contractor is supposed to respond to a negative review and seem to appear more proactive and look like a partial recovery of the damage too. I am sure those in the know will explain it way better than I can.

    Are you listed on Home Advisor and all those review and lead sites? How about Houzz? You could start building or attempting to catch some specific niche review sites during your slow wait with yelp.
     
  8. ThopHayt

    ThopHayt Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Probably easier to add new positive reviews than scrub bad ones.
     
  9. affarmy

    affarmy Regular Member

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    IMO I hate yelp- they ARE extortionists and want paid ads to help you deal with the negative.

    Get google+ reviews, facebook page reviews, etc and if you feel you HAVE to use yelp, seek out those with active yelp accounts FROM YOUR AREA only.
    For one of my brick n mortar businesses, I have ONE negative review and 12 positive (none paid- LEGIT) and out of the positives, 3 are showing and 8 are hidden.

    Screw you, yelp.
     
  10. Ambitious12

    Ambitious12 Elite Member

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    Try new ads for your products which claims 100% money back guarantee and start some sale also.
     
  11. BreaknBrix

    BreaknBrix Power Member

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    It's VERY EASY to get mad at Yelp. Same way I use to hate on the BBB (and still do tbo).

    However, I've read 3 books in the last year about online reviews and the last 1 I finished was one of the best books I've read so far. Extremely well written and researched (won't plug the name unless anyone asks).

    What marketers need to understand is that Yelp is NOT getting any smaller. In fact, right now they are growing at a rate right that is absolutely staggering. I forget the exact figures but the traffic predictions for 2016-2017 made my jaw drop. It's something marketers need to take very seriously.

    I wanted to make a thread with all the data and case studies, and maybe I will but take this advice.

    Yelp is the most hated review site by marketers and business owners for a very clear and distinct REASON. They have the most sophisticated linguistic engineers in the world and algorithms that can detect fake reviews with >>90% accuracy. They had undergrad linguistic engineers try to beat the system, both from Harvard and Standford and 90% of the time Yelp's algo was able to spot the fake reviews.

    We need to understand that this widespread hate for Yelp translates directly into TRUST for consumers. Consumers TRUST yelp. They trust them more than Google or any other online review site in the world. Because of this, Yelp is going to continue to grow at an exponential rate. I thought I didn't need it for my own biz since my top ranking competitors barely had any reviews at all. Which is why I mostly ignored it my first 2 years in business. But doing the numbers for the past year, we've pulled in more than $60k in profits just from Yelp.

    And it took roughly 6 hours of work to make that amount of money. Just a bunch of short 10-15 minute conversations asking people with Yelp accounts to leave reviews.

    Which equates to roughly $10,000 per hour of work we spent asking for those reviews. I said previously "it's a lot of work" to get the reviews but it's really not. It FEELS like a lot of work cause it takes time (time just waiting for the opportunity). But in terms of ROI / time spend that money is beyond worth it.

    And our Yelp doesn't even rank on Google (yet). We just rank within Yelp. We use to make a lot of money from G Local (4-5 times as much in 2013) until pigeon hit and wiped out most our 7 packs. So we got more leads these past 12 months from Yelp than we did from G local. Overall it accounts for a small % of our traffic but it's our top performer as far as review sites go. It's more consistent than G Local. No stupid, rotating 7 packs. No stupid pigeon updates that wipe out 60% of our traffic overnight.

    Just saying, Yelp is more than worth a shot and considering how fast they're growing the ROI is only gonna keep getting better and better year after year.

    -BB
     
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  12. sully1975

    sully1975 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Can you drop us the name of the book for online reviews please?

    How expensive is it to advertise with YELP anyhow? I know of the lawsuit and hiding reviews unless you pay deal though. I don't really follow these paid advertisements as the construction/home remodeling ones are always residential focused. I know yelp is all encompassing, but service magic, angie'slist, and home advsior's crapping out leads to half a dozen people at once, the same lead, sometimes bogus leads made me wary. My bias is from Yellow page advertising.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  13. postalTG

    postalTG Newbie

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    Some good tips in this post so far. I wouldn't mind the book name either as I would like to check it out/read up.


    Earlier poster mentioned getting posts from people on Yelp who already have friends and reviews is key. Another important key I have found with getting Yelp reviews to stick is having people in the same general area as the business. For example, if you are running a business in San Diego you shouldn't be getting reviews from people in Las Vegas. The more local you can keep the reviewer I have found goes a long way in getting a review to stick unless the person is well vetted through multiple review locations, tons of friends, positive feedback, etc...
     
  14. ranjim

    ranjim Regular Member

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    I would like to know the book. Thank you.