Unlocking hidden reviews on Yelp requires a basic understanding of Yelp's algorithm. Make sure your future reviewers are aware of this. Let’s spill the beans! Here are 5 points that Yelp’s algorithm considers as red flags, therefore labeling reviews as inadequate and sending them to the hidden section:
- The Yelper used inappropriate language.
- When found any connection between the commentator and the business owner other than being a client, such as a competitor, disgruntled employee, family member, friend, or has any other type of connection through social media. Remember your browser stores cookies and pieces of information of your navigation paths, habits, website visits and so on.
- The Yelper's profile is incomplete; e.g., missing a profile picture, bio, location or contact and verification information.
- The Yelper has very few or zero previous reviews, no pictures uploaded or no comments, likes or dislikes at all.
- The Yelper has a track record of engaging in negative conversations; e.g., leaving negative reviews, posting negative feedback to others’ reviews, disliking content on Yelp.
The two most common reasons Yelp’s algorithms consider a review to be inadequate are: 1) Yelpers have very few or zero previous reviews; 2) Yelpers don't have a complete profile; there is a lot of Yelpers missing a profile picture – to dig a bit deeper, if you click through to your hidden reviewers individual profile pages, I bet you can find few commonalities among your reviewers, such as they have very little information filled out and minimal engagement with others. It's almost as if they created a Yelp profile just to write a review for your business!
Hey, Yelp reviews are important. Regardless of the stigma that is associated with the platform, Yelp is a powerful marketing tool for small businesses. It is still the number one business directory worldwide. Though, if your customers are not active on Yelp, it will be better to get their review in some other way. Otherwise, in order for the wonderful reviews to get unstuck from the hidden area, you will need to reach out to your previous reviewers and let them know that they need to increase their engagement on the platform and fill out the rest of the profile information… I know; I can feel you going like “What! That’s too much work! Ridiculous!” I am with you!
Also, in order to gain control on your online reputation what works best is when you see a happy client, ask him to take a video sharing his great experience, ant the reason behind his happiness. Or just ask if you can take the video for him. You could ask your clients, what is it about your business/products/services that moves them to come back for more. Then, upload that video on your website, on YouTube, on your Facebook page and on G+ for others to see it.
Though, if you feel unstoppable and want to give it a try, you could contact those reviewers with hidden comments letting them know how much their thoughtful review means to you and to your business; and, that you would love for their feedback to appear in the regular section. But in order to achieve it, they will need to increase their engagement in Yelp and:
- Complete their profile 100%. A comprehensive Yelp profile including a clear profile picture, full bio with location, links to their social media profiles, business website, pictures, likes and dislikes.
- Make some friends on Yelp. Suggest them to sync their Facebook and Twitter profiles to identify any of their Facebook and Twitter friends that might also be on Yelp.
- Check-in to their favorite businesses. They will have to download the app in order to check-in. (It takes less than 5 seconds.)
- Bookmark places of interest. Saving those places is the best reminder to visit them on your free time!
- Upload a photo or two of their most recent dining experience. Suggest them to take a picture of the food they order or the exterior and interior of the business. This also creates a beautiful diary of images on their profile.
- Comment on other Yelper's reviews. If they see a place they like or a funny picture or an insightful or well-written review, suggest them to leave a comment to let the author know.
- Write some reviews. This is key to earn Yelp trust. Those Yelpers who write reviews become credible and unbiased sources for Yelp. Remember, Yelp is looking for engagement. The more they engage, the more visible they become.
I call the above "The 7 Wonders" - If you feel like asking your reviewers to do all the above is too much, I don’t blame you. Sometimes it is not realistic.
Now, who doesn’t want engagement! Imagine that you have a store or a restaurant, wouldn’t you want to have it filled with happy customers? Wouldn’t you want your business online profiles, pages and website filled with insightful and engaging content and audience interaction? Well, Yelp wants it too. Yelp wants to know that users didn't sign up just to write one glowing review or one very negative review. Yelp’s business is driven by user engagement. So, if your clients are not Yelpers pros, forget about it! Invite your clients to send you a short video and give them an appreciation gift, like a meaningful item associated with your brand, a discount, or a free product!
Additional effective outlets to where you can ask for online reviews and improve your SEO and overall online reputation are reviews on your Google business page and Facebook page.
What do you use to collect client reviews?