As one of the leading reputation management platforms out there, Yelp reviews are a necessary component of a solid web presence. At MDPM Consulting, we take our clients’ reputations as seriously as our own, which is why we stay on top of updates and changes in the reputation management/social media realm.
Despite the fact that its name is highly recognizable, Yelp and its practices are less than transparent, which is evidenced by recent changes to their review recommendation system. There is much that Yelp does not disclose about how and why certain reviews are recommended while others are buried out of sight. Here’s what you need to know.
What They Won’t Tell You
It isn’t difficult to find articles that voice concern about the downside of Yelp’s questionable review process (including this less-than-flattering entry by the Better Business Bureau, found here). One of the most-frequently recurring complaints from business owners is that positive reviews from respectable clients/customers are often hidden, while negative ones that are easily proven false are allowed to remain highly-visible.
Your natural inclination may be to ask customers and clients to leave reviews about their positive experiences as often as possible. However, according to Yelp’s well-hidden regulations, too-frequently-posted positive reviews can seem suspect, and are therefore not recommended as often. In fact, a “normal” pace for reviews for a dental/medical practice is 4-5 reviews within a 6-month period, which we know is absolutely nothing for anyone who spends even the minimum amount of time and effort on online marketing.
Online Marketing Beyond Yelp
The bad news is that, since anybody can leave an unverified review on Yelp, there is little that can be done in the way of controlling falsely vindictive ones. The good news, though, is that most people recognize the fickle nature of Yelp reviews and are not likely to consider them a highly-credible source of information about your practice. To help make that point clear, we advise implementing a comprehensive and effective online marketing plan that includes;
- search engine optimization of your website
- continuous blogging and social media posting
- social media cohesion (accurate representation of your practice and contact info)
- involvement in your local online community
- involved reputation management of reviews on sites that are more credible than Yelp
- and more
If you’re tired of your online reputation being at the mercy of Yelp’s erratic review system, then let us help you devise a plan to overcome it!