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Do I Really Need To Be On Yelp?

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​Do I Really Need To Be On Yelp? I Hate Yelp...


You don’t really hate Yelp, right? What you probably don’t like about Yelp is the possibility of getting a bad review posted to Yelp that you have no way of controlling. And it might not even be anywhere near true. Am I right?


Yelp actually is a great boon to you and your business for online visibility No matter what your business, whether you provide products or services, whether you are for profit or a nonprofit, being on Yelp is a plus as far as getting found online.


​Pick any keyword phrase a consumer or business might use when searching for products or services, such as “best plumber in Temecula”, “Murrieta Mexican restaurant”, “anti-hacking software”, etc.

Key it into a search bar, like Google, and you will see that on the first page of results, the organic results, not the paid ads, Yelp will most likely come up at least once, and potentially 2-3 times.


So, the answer is yes, you need to be on Yelp. If you want to be found online when someone searches for the products and/or service you offer, you need to be on Yelp, plain and simple.


Yelp Listings:

Now that you know Yelp is a must, how do you optimize your Yelp listing? The first rule of thumb for all directory listings is to be completely consistent. However you list your business phone and address and email on your website; that needs to be the very sae identical way you list it on Yelp.  


This means if you spell out the word “street” on your website, you need to spell it out on Yelp (and all other directory listings as well). To further explain, if you list your address as 123 Main street in your website, you should not list it as 123 Main St. on Yelp.


Why? Because if your address changes from site to site, this confuses the search engines (as smart as they are, can you believe it?), and if there is not consistency, they tend to ignore your listing altogether. Therefore: Rule 1: Be Consistent


Rule 2: Use Every Character They Give You.  Yelp particularly, (but several of the other directories as well), gives you a lot of space to describe your business, your products, talk about you (or why you are different). How foolish is it to not take advantage of all of this space to talk about the products and services you offer in detail.  


This is the time also to blow your horn; Why are you better than the competition, what sets you apart? Why should I do business with you? What are the advantages you bring to me?  


Rule 3: Use Your Keyword Phrases:  and yes, you know all those search phrases you want to be found for like “best plumber in Temecula”. Embed these phrases into the description of your business and products and services and the about you, the owner section.


Reviews: Finally now, we are at the crux of the matter; those reviews. Yes, you need good reviews on Yelp. Actually, you need 5-star great reviews on Yelp. So, even though Yelp counsels against it, ask your best customers, the ones you know will say good things, to post a review for your business on Yelp. If you have a listing on Yelp, but no reviews, it’s like not being there at all.


How Do Reviews Work On Yelp? This question is one I get all the time from folks. Specifically, there are two questions that come up: 1. Why don’t all my 5-star reviews show on Yelp, and 2. I have a totally false bad review on Yelp - how can I get rid of it?


Like all other online platforms, Yelp has a secret algorithm - the one on Yelp is used for determining which of the reviews posted for your business are featured. This leads to question number 1. 


1. Why don’t all my 5-star reviews show on Yelp?  Yelp filters the reviews trying to present the truest picture possible of your business. Therefore, they try and filter out reviews that might have been posted by friends and family and so may not be a fair representation of your business. 


One of the things Yelp looks at is the detail in the review, which might indicate whether the person really used your products or services.. And another consideration is the reviewer - are they a regular reviewer and user of Yelp, or did they just come in, post one review on your business and nothing else ever again, which looks kind of phony to Yelp.


Therefore, even though you have many 5-star reviews, Yelp factors out those it thinks might not be valid, and only uses the remainder in the calculation of your overall rating and as featured reviews. The others are still there if you click on “see all reviews.”  


2. I have a totally false bad review on Yelp - how can I get rid of it?  Sometimes, there is a misunderstanding or miscommunication and someone will post a negative review. And worse yet, sometimes a review is posted that is totally false. There are two things to do:

  • Respond privately to the reviewer apologizing for whatever it was and try to remedy the situation. I would also try to reach out and personally phone the person as well.  

Then post a public response on Yelp, once again apologizing (even if the situation is untrue) and offer to fix it - in whatever way you can. This lets others who might see this review see that you are willing to try and right the situation. And it also helps people put a negative review in context as only 1 negative among many great reviews.

  • Appeal to Yelp. You can lodge a formal appeal with Yelp stating why the review should be removed. I have seen this work occasionally so it is worth a try. It doesn’t always work, but sometimes it does

Therefore, in conclusion, yes, you should be on Yelp to increase your online visibility. And you should also monitor Yelp to respond both to positive and negative reviews.

This article is part of the Questions Series of articles where I answer the most commonly asked questions I get from customers and workshop attendees.


The previous articles in this series, in case you’d like to take a look at them are:

1.    I Don’t Need a Website; Can’t I Just Use Facebook?

2.    Can I Copy Stuff Off The Web and Use It On My Blog?

3.    Should My Business Posts Go On My Personal Profile Too?

4.    OK - I Posted a Blog Article; How Come My Business Hasn’t Grown?

5.    I Don’t Like Social Media - Why Do I Have To Use It For My Business?

6.    Can I just use my logo online rather than a headshot?

7.    Why Do I Need To Spend Time Online Chatting And Building Relationships?

8.    With ½ hour a day to dedicate to social media, what should I do with that time?

9.    If I post my videos to YouTube, is it good?

10.  Ok, I posted an article on social media. Where’s all the traffiic?​

11.    But it’s my personal profile; Why do I have to be careful about posts and comments?

12.    Should I boost my post on Facebook?

13.    I Have A Website, So Why Can’t People Find It Online?



If you’d like to chat personally about Yelp or any other social media or visibility questions you might have, email me at and we’ll set up a time to talk on the phone.




Tags: Online visibility, Yelp, directory listings, search results

Filed Under: Questions Series

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