Since 2005 when the online review company Yelp started to gain some serious steam, some businesses have been living and dying by the online review.
If you’re one of these businesses, you know what I mean. Every positive review you receive is followed by a mini-celebration, while every negative review feels like a death sentence. And if you’re paying attention to your online reputation, you know that it truly does count towards your business’s success.
However, there are many businesses that aren’t paying attention to their online reviews, especially the important reviewing communities like Yelp. We see it all the time. Some companies don’t have any reviews on Yelp. Some have a few, but those are generally outdated. And some have reviews, but they’re negative.
The truth is, while the majority of online reviews on Yelp are positive, a lot of people that write online reviews are often compelled to do so because they were unsatisfied with their experience and want to make sure others know about it. All it takes it one customer to have a less than stellar experience with your business, and boom, there’s a negative review on Yelp that sticks out like a sore thumb.
If you’re not paying attention to Yelp or other online reviews, those negative reviews can negatively impact the perception of your business. Again, all it takes is one bad review among a small amount to really impact your online perception.
So if you’re not paying attention to your online reviews, particularly on Yelp, which is the most popular online reviewing community, here is why you should be doing so.
Yelp is the most popular online reviewing community
Here are some statistics to show just how popular Yelp really is:
- Yelp has on average 139 million unique monthly visitors
- There are more than 67 million Yelp reviews
- There are more than 26,000 reviews posted to Yelp every minute
- 98 percent of Yelp users have made a purchase at a business they found on Yelp
- Yelp is available in 27 countries
As you can see, Yelp is an extremely popular online community, which means it has a direct impact on businesses and their reputation.
In addition to these statistics, here are a few more that encompass online reviews as a whole:
- 92% of users read online reviews before selecting a business (source: eTailing Group)
- 74% of users say they will not select a business with a poor reputation (source: Harris Interactive)
Still not convinced? See why consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
You’ll earn more business
Take a second and think about this simple scenario. You want to find an orthodontist for your child. Naturally, you search online for an orthodontist in your area. When you search on Google, two practices appear, practice A and practice B. You see that Practice A has 10 Yelp reviews with an average of 4.1 starts. Practice B has 4 Yelp reviews with an average of 4.5 stars. What practice are you more likely to give your business to? While you might disagree, I would choose practice A. Why? Even though Practice B has a slightly higher star review (4.5 compared to 4.1), I would rather bring my business to the practice that had more online reviews (10 compared to 4). I would do so because I would assume Practice A earns more reviews because they earn more business, and Practice A has a high enough star average from more reviews comparatively, showing a lower standard deviation. If you’re practice B, for me to give you my business, I would want to see more reviews to justify the rather high star rating. If you think you’re Practice B and want to gain control of your online reputation, come work with us and we’ll show you how.
You’ll be able to improve your business practices
One of the best ways to improve not only your online reputation but your business practices, is to pay attention to your Yelp reviews.
For example, let’s say your run a fertility practice, and a recent customer had a horrible experience with your administrative staff. That customer then went on Yelp and wrote a negative review about their unfortunate experience, citing specifically that your administrative staff is the reason for their negative review. If you don’t pay attention to Yelp, you would probably never know they had a bad experience and that your administrative staff is the reason. In turn, you would never improve your staff and their practices, and the problem would persist. However, if you did pay attention to Yelp and your online reputation, you could mitigate the issue by understanding what it was that your administrative staff did incorrectly, and in turn fix the issue so that it didn’t prompt a future negative review. Now, you’ve not online potentially improved your online reputation, you’ve improved your business practices. Simultaneously, if you receive a positive review on Yelp, you’ll know to continue doing what you’re doing right. Honest feedback, whether positive or negative, can greatly improve your business practices.
Here are more ways to moderate your online reputation and 5 more reasons you should pay attention to your overall online reputation, not just Yelp.
Written by Luke Severn
Luke is a marketing coordinator at Kaufer DMC. He loves the Arctic Monkeys, David Fincher movies, and the Portland Trail Blazers.