How To Get More Yelp Reviews: The Ultimate Guide

Now more than ever, reviews of your products and services can make or break your business. People nowadays check the reviews before availing anything. Thus, it’s a no-brainer to say that good reviews attract customers whether you’re a huge company or a small business

The magic behind reviews

A survey by Bright Local revealed that:

  • 87% of customers are review-reliant for businesses in 2020
  • 94% stated that a positive review kept them coming back for more of that business
  • Almost ½ of the consumers stated that they would probably not avail from a business with less than 4 stars
  • 3 out of 4 stated that only reviews within the last month matter to them
  • Important factors in the chronological order: star rating > authenticity > how recent the review was

The conclusion of the survey states:

“Reviews play a key role in helping consumers to feel able to trust a business. Online reviews are an incredibly useful tool in influencing opinions, with many potential customers making decisions on whether to use or avoid a business before ever getting in touch with them.” And notably, “companies with a poor review profile could be denying themselves a vast number of new leads without ever knowing a consumer considered them.”

What is Yelp and how does it work?


Yelp is a social media website that lets consumers leave a review at food service establishments, such as restaurants. According to Yelp, over 50 million visit their site per month and the website houses over 135 million reviews! People rely on this heavily. In fact, 90% of costumes state that the reviews impact their purchases. To encourage reviews, Yelp actually offers rewards for their customers who post frequently. They even give the titles Elite Yelper and Extra Influence for customers who meet their set criteria. The reviews of such customers also have greater weight in the computation of the Yelp score of restaurants.

In addition, Yelp also posts vital business information: address, business hours, and amenities. They have also provided tools for business owners to reach out to their clients like the capability to add a menu, update business profiles, view visitor activity, and reply to reviews left by customers.

How Yelp reviews can influence your business

The greater the positive reviews, the greater your business’ visibility on Yelp will be. The greater the visibility, the greater the traffic, sales, and revenue. Yelp reviews can either make and break you. Holding a 3.5 star rating and above will have customers flocking all over your business! But under that and it might be problematic for you. 

Dealing with bad reviews can be a nightmare. Even if you deactivate your page, people can still leave a review about your business. Thus, you have to be proactive! Make your page interesting by adding catchy photos and useful information to attract customers.

Complying with Yelp guidelines

Yelp prohibits business operators from actually asking customers for reviews. The website strongly advises against “asking customers, mailing list subscribers, friends, family, or anyone else to review your business.” In fact, they even have a recommendation software that pinpoints which reviews were requested or solicited.  Once they find out, they can hurt your rating, have your page slapped with Consumer Alerts, or even lessen your visibility. 

The guidelines from Yelp are as follows:

  • Do not deliberately ask for reviews in any way
  • Do not hold a competition among your staff about review collection
  • Do not utilize surveys to ask for reviews, especially from customers who always leave positive feedback on the website
  • Do not offer rewards such as giveaways, discounts, or payments in exchange for good reviews

How to get Yelp reviews then?


While Yelp imposes a strict set of guidelines, there are still some smart means to encourage consumers to leave a review safely:

Elevate your game

The most organic way is to simply provide excellent customer service and products. This makes any customer want to leave a good review even without you asking. Plus, this is the core of your business and it will help you in more ways than one. To do so, go over your reviews and identify things that need improvement. You don’t have reviews yet? You can simply ask your customers upfront regarding their experience with you.

Claim and improve your business listing

Nobody wants to buy from an empty Yelp business profile. It somehow does not look legit and will scare consumers away. So the first step is to claim your Yelp listing”

  1. Go to the Yelp Business Owners page.
  2. Click the “Manage My Free Listing” button.
  3. If your business is nowhere to be found on the website, you can “Add Your Business to Yelp.” If it’s already there, you will be asked to unlock it. If it’s already unlocked, then that means some have already done so. 
  4. Once you’ve claimed your business page, it’s time to start filling and optimizing it!

To encourage customers to view your listings, here are great additions:

  • Menu
  • Food photos
  • Dining room/ covered patio
  • Website link
  • Phone number
  • Health and safety protocols

Post reminders and Yelp stickers

The first thing you have to do is let people know that you’re on Yelp. One efficient way is through stickers that say, “Find us on Yelp!” or “People love us on Yelp!” This is an indirect and subtle way to let them know that you’d appreciate a review. These stickers can be requested but are subject to Yelp’s approval. 

You may also encounter a customer that had a pleasant experience with your business. You can encourage them to leave a review on any of their favorite websites. This does not violate Yelp’s guidelines because you didn’t specifically ask for a Yelp review. 

Last but not the least, you can email your list with the link to your Yelp page. You need not ask them, just link it there and let them do what they want. Your list includes people who already love your business so they are most likely to give out positive reviews!

Shara positive Yelp feedbacks

You may get some authentic positive feedback from your customers and post them on your Yelp listing and other social media pages. Yelp even offers the HTML codes you need to easily post it on your website. 

There was even someone from Yelp who shared, “From sharing my reviews on Facebook and touting my great Yelp reputation on LinkedIn, clients know that I value their input. In such a competitive industry, I’ve found that word of mouth, referrals, and my reputation are some of the most powerful marketing tools that I have.”

Yelp says, “Did you know you can share Yelp reviews across social networks and via email with the click of a few buttons? When you share content via your social networks, you advertise your business and the things Yelpers say make it great, and you inspire people to click over to your Yelp listing to read more.”

You may easily access this by logging into your Yelp account and clicking the Reviews tab or through scrolling through your Activity Feed.

Post happy photos of your staff

Nothing leaves a better impression than staff looking extremely happy to serve! So posting happy photos of your employees will do your business a lot of good too.

Offer exclusive deals and gift certificates on Yelp

A good strategy is by offering deals and gift certificates that are only accessed via your Yelp listing. Besides, the first step to have people review your business is by getting them into your page. Yelp Deals are vouchers that offer discounts while gift certificates are almost the same, except for the fact that they are given as gifts. 

Reply to bad Yelp reviews

Getting negative feedback is part of any business, but you don’t want to do anything about them. Don’t let them just sit out there. What you can do is respectfully respond to that customer and try your best to address the problem. Who knows? With great communication, you might even have that reviewer delete the bad review. Respond as soon as you’re emotionally ready to professionally handle the situation, offer ways to solve the issue, and explain how vital reviews are for your business. 

Add a Yelp QR code

In this digital age, QR codes make it easier for your customers to visit your page and even leave comments on the dot.

Avail Yelp ads

Yelp ads are conveniently pay-per-click. This means that they bill you only for every visitor that goes into your page. Yelp can also place your business up the relevant search result! All these while being relatively easy and affordable! 

Tips on how to handle negative Yelp reviews

negative reviews

Even the biggest of businesses get bad reviews, so don’t fret! It may suck, but you have to have your head in the game. Here are some efficient ways to address bad feedbacks:

  1. Don’t reply immediately

We understand the pain of having someone bash a business you’ve been working hard for and it’s easy to leave a nasty and angry response if you put your emotions first. It’s best to breathe and assess the situation first before attempting to reply. Once your head is clearer, go ahead and be the professional that you are!

  1. Objectively analyze the feedback

Try to read the comment objectively so you can also objectively solve it. This is also an opportunity to improve your business!

  1. Public or private response?

If talking to the reviewer publicly does not help, you may try reaching out privately. 

  1. Address the issues calmly and reasonably

Taking the high road always wins. Keep being polite and respectful despite the rage of the other party. The goal here is to respectfully discredit the review if you believe that it’s not true. People nowadays are smart enough to spot an unreasonable customer. Use facts to prove your point. An example is: 

“Gretchen, we were very disappointed to hear you didn’t enjoy our cheesecake. Other customers have told us it’s their favorite of our desserts, but maybe you caught us on an off day.”

Now it’s a different story if it really is something that can be blamed on you. With this, simply apologize in a cool and collected manner and who knows? The reviewer might appreciate it!

  1. Sprinkle some humor!

Look at these two ways on how to respond to someone saying that the pumpkin pie purchased tastes like vomit:

Scenario #1

“Wow. I don’t have a clue as to why you would think that throwing pumpkin chunks into a cold pre-baked pie shell and then covering it with a cream sauce that literally tasted like vomit. { I am very serious!} and topping it off with whipped cream that was runny would in any way be something that can be called pumpkin pie?”

Scenario #2

“Hi Sandy. Wow! That bad huh? I haven’t had the chance to sample too many varieties of vomit, so I can’t say I can really relate to your experience, but that doesn’t sound too fun. We tend to be very busy during Thanksgiving so it’s possible that one of our chefs made a mistake with that Pumpkin Pie – we’re sorry you found it so truly gag-inducing. Come by again and we’ll see if we can make it up to you with something more to your liking!”

Between the two, it’s easy to spot that scenario #2 is the better way to deal with negative feedback while scenario #1 may do your business no good!

  1. Peace offering

A great way to save the situation is to offer some peace offering. You may invite the reviewer for a tour of your bakery or some free dessert. Thankfully, Yelp offers a feature that allows users to change their reviews! 

  1. Use constructive criticisms wisely!

No business is perfect so if you think that the bad review is legitimate, use this as a weapon to even improve your service! Let the user know that all comments are taken into account and that your team is working hard to address the problem. This way, you might even gain some points from that customer.

  1. Keep things in perspective

Don’t stress yourself out with some negative reviews. Yelp even stated, “Negative reviews are an unfortunate — but entirely normal — part of doing business… While it’s important to look for patterns in your reviews (the bread is stale, the same employee is repeatedly described as rude), you should take any individual perspective with a grain of salt.”

Reasons why some reviews may be marked as “fake”


Yes, Yelp can tag a review as “fake” and here are some of their guidelines in doing so:

  • Ratings of one or five stars. A 3- or a 4-star review is less likely to get flagged
  • Reviews from relatively new accounts or accounts with almost no reviews
  • Reviews from someone with no profile photo or unfilled profile
  • A sudden flock of comments in a short amount of time
  • Short reviews are more likely to be filtered
  • Reviews from someone with the same surname, thinking that it might be a relative
  • Responding to reviews and market them as useful will raise the chance that they will not be filtered out

Tools to turn visitors into customers

Yelp Call to Action

This is to promote a transaction for people who have already decided to spend. Examples are:

  • Scheduling an appointment
  • Printing out a coupon
  • Buying tickets to an event

Yelp Deals

As discussed, this includes discounted vouchers or gift certificates!

What if my customers aren’t on Yelp?

While Yelp remains to be one of the biggest review portals, there are still others out there that do the same and it’s worth putting up listings and profiles everywhere you can. Create business pages on other sites such as Google, TripAdvisor, and Facebook. This is especially helpful for customers who do not have a Yelp account!

Plus, you can also enjoy other strategies on websites that aren’t as strict as Yelp. It would be best for you and your business to not just focus on cultivating one site!

Last thoughts

There you have it! We have broken down how your listing can thrive on Yelp. People nowadays are extremely influenced by reviews so make sure to strategize well. Don’t forget to use other platforms as well like Birdeye, Swell, and Best of luck!