Yelp and Google Places – Make them your friends
Local review and search service Yelp says its growth is accelerating, despite increased competitive pressure from Google, Groupon, LivingSocial and others. Yelp users wrote over 9 million reviews so far in 2011.
Restaurant reviews are still the plurality of Yelp’s reviews, but not by much. Twenty-five percent of reviews are for restaurants, but another 25% are in the shopping category (which includes everything from the local flower shop to Best Buy). Local entertainment, services and health and beauty each constitute 10% of the platform’s reviews as well.
Google Places, a Yelp competitor acts as a recommendation engine and ratings/reviews system for places. Links appear in Google‘s web search results and are baked into Google Places. The reviewer has to be logged into Gmail or another Google product in order to rate restaurants, see which ones their friends are liking, and get recommendations of new places to check out.
Now here is the kicker, you can get your customers to write “Best Ever” reviews by simply telling them to log into Places and click on the “Best Ever” button where your business is concerned. A “Best Ever” automatically counts as a 5-star review and will help boost your ranking in Google search. You get all the benefit of top ratings—plus the added bonus of being the “best ever.”
A customer can only have a total of 10 “Best Ever” businesses at once (meaning they can’t rate every single business this way) so the honour is yours if they choose to give you this rating. ”Best Evers” are easy for customers to write: with clear instructions, they can do it in 3 minutes or less. As well, you as a business don’t need to do any extra setup. If you have a Google Places listing (and you should), your business is automatically listed. Click here if your business is not listed on Google.
Even though it can be easy, very few businesses have a “Best Ever” recommendation. That’s because most customers don’t even know about Google Places reviews! The only way you can make sure your hard-earned customers give you “Best Ever” reviews is if you ask them and show them how to give you one on Google Places.
Contact RED Brand Media and we can give you detailed instructions on how to get your customers to start giving you the reviews on Google that you deserve!