Let me read you a support ticket a small business owner put in:
How do I delete my business from Yelp? I’ve had it with them. The rep keeps calling me wanting me to pay $1500 to advertise. I’m shoemaker. I make shoes. I wouldn’t even know where to get $1500, let alone advertise. I want my account closed!
This is one of the most frequently asked questions that is asked at our support center. Small business owners who are upset, or better yet exhausted and frustrated with dealing with Yelp/Yelpers will often look to the web to try to figure out how to get some sort of control over Yelp. Running your own business is frustrating enough and having to deal with strangers online leaving reviews makes it even more challenging.
HOW TO DELETE A BUSINESS FROM YELP
Unless you have been living under a rock, you know that your business is listed on Yelp. Yelp is an online directory that lists your business information and allows anyone to leave a review. Reviews are scored on 0 – 5 star rating (5 stars being the best) and members (Yelpers) can leave written reviews. Before we move forward, let’s take a look at the Yelp ecosystem – these stats came directly from Yelp:
Yelp Demographics (2018)
The age demographic for Yelp is pretty young with 36% hitting between 18-34 years old. That means that businesses who cater to this audience have more chances to be reviewed on Yelp. Does that mean that your business that caters to an older demographic won’t be reviewed on Yelp? Nope. It will also be reviewed, maybe not as much. Yelp grows in popularity by day and is considered to be one of the strongest competitors to Google when it comes to local business searches.
Are all Yelp Reviews Negative?
Outside of that review sites, in general, have a higher ratio of negative to positive reviews. The reason? If you’ve had a bad experience the odds are higher that you’ll post them on the web. That being said, we’ve seen businesses out there that have stellar reviews…and not just on Yelp. So, if you play your cards right and you use these review sites as customer satisfaction surveys, you can really improve your business as well as your reviews.
Does Yelp Extort Businesses?
Outside of negative reviews many small businesses feel the infamous “Yelp Extortion”. Business owners have claimed that they received bad reviews on Yelp and then would receive a call from a Yelp account executive trying to convince them to advertise on Yelp. Many owners felt it was an extortion racket. Countless times we’ve heard from restaurant clients and their social media marketing firms that they’ve received good reviews and Yelp hides them until they pay to advertise. Some owners would love to advertise, but the price is in the $500+ a month range. The jury is still out on this, since there is no solid proof of Yelp’s extortion; only hearsay.
Why Should You Embrace Yelp?
It is understandable why you, the business owner, might feel obliged to close your account. Our advice to you is: don’t. Why, you ask? Yelp, Google, Tripadvisor, and all directory sites are free marketing. They are highly trafficked websites that your business is listed on and you can capture hundreds or even thousands of new customers. Ask yourself, “How much is one client worth?” If you are a dentist one new client is worth $500. Get 10 new leads a month from a site like Yelp and that’s an extra $5,000 for doing nothing. It’s free advertising!
HOW TO TAKE CONTROL OF YELP
You are probably saying to yourself right now, but Mr. Socialdraft I have a 2-star Yelp review, no one going to visit my establishment. Well, that is where online marketing and Socialdraft come in. Here are the steps to resuscitate your 2-star and bring you up to a 3+.
Fill out your Yelp Business account as much as possible. This means all business information, website, features, hours, specialties, history, about us, and most important of all; photos. Add lots and lots of photos. Do this on a constant basis. Remember people are visual and they want to see what your establishment has to offer.
Being active on Social Media is a great way to compete with Yelp. If you keep your business active on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram you give people other places to find out information about you. Think about all the time people spend on Social lately…it’s time you put efforts here so you can begin to control the conversation. What can you do with Socialdraft?
- Schedule posts to your Facebook business page, Twitter account, Instagram account, and even Pinterest boards and LinkedIn business pages.
- You can monitor your online reputation. Socialdraft scours 7 billion websites and brings any mentions of your business into the dashboard. See something you like, share it to social in seconds.
- Set up people in your company to work on social media AND give them whatever permissions you like. This way you can let people create content and feel comfortable that you have control.
- Pull reports whenever you want to see if you are growing at the pace you want to grow at
- And tons more.
3. Respond to Yelp Reviews
Respond to EVERY yelper’s review whether it’s positive or negative. Be courteous and respectful. This is about customer retention and capture. The majority of the times you are writing not for the reviewer, but for those who may see that review.
Say I went to your law office and had a bad experience and put it on Yelp. You should respond and see if you can apologize for their bad experience. When people see you’re a human they will more likely want to do business with you (or take down that negative review). Check out our guide on how to respond to negative reviews on Yelp if you need some help on this.
PRO TIP: Instead of responding to Yelp review by yourself. Hire us. Socialdraft’s experts can help you manage all those nasty reviews, not just on Yelp, but also on TripAdvisor, Google and many more. Click the support button on the bottom right hand corner to get more information on Socialdraft Managed Services.
4. Share the Positives
Got a 5-star review on Yelp? Share it on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (our dashboard makes that easy). Share it even if the review has been filtered. It could be that this is a new Yelper who has no other reviews & that is why they are filtered. There’s no reason people should not get to see that people love you on Yelp.
If you still want to cancel your Yelp Business account, we have bad news for you. You can’t. Here is the official wording from Yelp.com:
Consumers have the right to talk about what they like (and don’t like) about a meal they ate, a plumber they hired, or a car wash they visited. We don’t remove business listings, so your best bet is to engage with your fans and critics alike, and hear what they have to say.
So I guess you’ll have to follow our advice and hopefully get more free clients.