Yelp Reviews Have Changed Business Marketing – Social Proof Marketing (2019)
The nature of business marketing is ever-shifting and growing with its customers. It has to in order to stay afloat. Most customers get their information about businesses from the internet, and often Yelp Reviews is their go-to source. Online review sites like Yelp provide important Social Proof to potential customers and maintaining a business’ online reputation is more important than ever.
The power of online reviews increases every year. People turn to reviews for advice on where to eat, who to buy from, where to go, etc. more frequently as time passes. It can offer stability and security in a world full of competitors.
Yelp, according to their recent reports, has had an upward trend of unique users for the past few years. This means more people are searching before they spend their money. In a local consumer survey from BrightLocal, 97% of consumers searched for local businesses online and 12% looked every day in 2017.
Millions of reviews of thousands upon thousands of businesses have been written and published on Yelp. Online services like these are only becoming more popular and business owners may be able to use this to their advantages. Here are some reasons why Yelp reviews are essential to business.
People Trust Reviews
Potential customers want to feel like they’re making the wisest choice when they decide they want to buy something from a business. They always did, but the difference now is they can actually find out what past customers thought about their purchasing experience.
A couple of decades ago, we turned to friends, coworkers, and family for recommendations on where to buy. Word-of-mouth was king. To be fair, it still is, but it’s going digital. Now, customers can ask thousands of other people for recommendations before making a decision and, as we’ve seen, they likely will. BrightLocal found 85% of people trusted online reviews for a business as much as they trust recommendations from people they know.
The more positive Yelp reviews your company has, the more customers will see you when they search online for a company, service or product.
Customers Leave Good Reviews
Customers have to take time out of their busy lives to leave Yelp reviews for your business. If their experience with your company is significant enough, they may take that time to leave that review. Sometimes those reviews are good and sometimes, they’re bad.
You may be surprised to hear that the vast majority of Yelp reviews are positive ones. According to data from Yelp, 48% of reviews were 5-star reviews and 20% were 4-star ones. Almost half were five-star reviews. Only 16% of reviews were one star, 7% were two stars and 9% were three.
In addition to star-based reviews, Yelp gives customers the option to either recommend or not recommend a business. The data shows 72% of people who left Yelp reviews recommended others go to the business for their needs. People appreciate good experiences and will take the time to tell others they were taken care of by your company.
Reviews Attract Good Customers
According to Yelp’s data, its 60.4% of its users have gone to college. Also, 49.6% of its users have an income of over $100,000. To put it another way—about half of the people reading Yelp reviews to spend money are those who make the most money. That’s a valuable customer.
Their reports also show that the age demographics of people who use Yelp are spread across the board. 33.9% of users are 18-34, 37.5% are 35-54, and 27.6% are 55+. People of all ages use Yelp—not just the younger generations.
Businesses Can Talk to Customers
Businesses talking directly to customers after they leave reviews is becoming a more common practice. Yelp provides businesses with an avenue to engage with the customers who review it. Someone representing the company may thank a customer for a recommendation or five-star review. They may also apologize and make an offer to a customer who has left a bad review.
Yelp also provides business with the option to create a bio for customers to read—a sort of social media page for the business. This creates more visibility and makes it easier for customers to find and review the business.
This is especially effective for small businesses. Decades ago, it was tough to get constructive criticism for a business. Now, customers give that advice to businesses constantly through Yelp reviews.
Yelp Reviews Means Visibility
If you’re a business owner in a city, it’s easy to be overlooked in the forest of competitors. Where before, in the pre-Internet world, you had to rely on things like physical advertising, you can now focus on providing the best customer experience possible and letting the Internet do the work for you.
When your business gets reviews, it moves up on a couple lists. People will often not search for you directly but will find you with a “near me” search if your reviews are positive and plenty. The more Yelp reviews your business has, as well as reviews on other sites, the higher your business will be on the list of Google search results.
A Google search for “Best BBQ places in Memphis” will pull up a Yelp page of the top ten best- and most-reviewed BBQ restaurants in the area. Odds are, if someone is searching for something that specific, they’re ready to buy. That puts your unpaid advertisement directly in front of the customer who wants what you have—as long as you have the reviews to get it high enough on the list.
Yelp reviews will even help increase your Google My Business (GMB) listing ranking. Google, which is a super important source of reviews itself, sees Yelp as a trusted source of reviews.
All these factors together prove that Yelp and sites like it are one of the more powerful tools your business can have. And, unless you pay for ad space on the site, it’s completely free. Get people through your doors, do a great job, and they will do your marketing for you.
If you are looking to improve your business’ online reputation but need help, give us a call at (800) 485-9498. At Big Machine Marketing we offer full services to help your business get reviews, maintain that reputation, and get the word out what your customers are saying about you.
Adrian La Fosse cut his teeth in the marketing world from being a real estate agent in Columbia, SC. He found that he had a knack and joy in creating websites and other digital marketing elements. His main goal is to work with his business clients to help them see actual results from his marketing campaigns.