Remove Bad Yelp Reviews

Bad Yelp Review

How To Remove Negative Reviews On Yelp

You’re looking at your Yelp business profile and you notice a bad review. Worse yet the review does not include specifics about your business or where you possibly went wrong. If this sounds familiar you could have become one of an increasing amount of businesses plagued with fake negative reviews. These reviews may have been left by a competitor or worse they may be the result of a drive by Yelping. This occurs when an irresponsible Yelper leaves a review for your business without actually ever appearing at your business or using your services. These Yelpers are merely trying to pad their review count which is a practice seemingly accepted by Yelp. Using the “Talk” feature these individuals participate in competitions to see if a set amount of reviews can be achieved; for example: 30 Days of Yelp, 100 Days of Yelp, etc. This behaviour leaves your business at the mercy of reviewers that are trying to increase their prestige by not only having a high review count but also through other incentives that Yelp offers in the form of badges. These badges are the same as the “achievements” 12 year olds get from completing tasks in a video game except this isn’t a game it’s real life and your livelihood is at stake.

So now you’re thinking what can be done to remove your business from Yelp? You can’t. Once you create a profile for your business it’s there to stay. Worse yet you may not have even created it one of your customers may have. I can understand why Yelp has taken this path it holds unscrupulous businesses to account for their practices. The problem is that for every 100 customers you serve there may be 99 that are happy but there is one malcontent and it’s this customer that creates your business profile then flames you. Unfortunately their stance taken with regard to their reviewers is a far more lenient. As an example take a look at this little gem:

Negative Review 01

Three one sentence paragraphs containing bad punctuation and incomplete sentences starting with some bigotry and ending off with confusion. Thankfully this is not the average Yelp review but it illustrates the quality that is seem at times. Now lets take a look at this reviewer’s profile:

Yelp Profile 01

What stands out is that this guy signed up in June of 2011 and has spit out 1842 reviews. Today is the 24th of May, 2013 so assuming his sign up date was June 1, 2011 he has left 2.5 reviews per day. That’s two and a half reviews every one of the last 723 days including weekends. He is not this persistent though he takes the odd day off and makes up the difference by leaving 10 reviews all at once. I have alerted Yelp by flagging this particular profile and described what he is doing. There was no response from Yelp.

Don’t let this get you down there are other alternatives and we are here to help. Give us a call right now and we will get to work on your problem right away.

Crafting a proper response to criticism can make or break your business. 89% of customers find online reviews trustworthy and that of these sampled 4 out of 5 have changed their minds based solely on a negative review they found online.

Source: http://www.conecomm.com/stuff/contentmgr/files/0/286c351989671ae74994fec139863bb2/files/2011_cone_online_influence_trend_tracker_release_and_fact_sheet.pdf

So, here’s the situation: Good reviews boost sales and bad reviews don’t. Or worse, bad reviews will cost you. A lot of times the bad review is not even read when consumers are using a mobile device but simply look at the star rating of your business. This type of reflexive decision making is not unlike a stop light. Green means go, yellow means caution, red means jam on the brakes. Good star ratings have always been important (and are crucial for restaurants) but until recently the exact impact has never been known.

Enter two economists from the University of California at Berkeley. Professor Michael Anderson and Jeremy Magruder have published in The Economic Journal (October 5, 2011) the first evidence linking a business’ star rating to consumer purchasing. Their research looked at the effect of having a positive rating on Yelp among 328 restaurants in San Fransisco. The data was collected in real time by measuring availability between 6:00 PM and 8:00 PM using each restaurant’s reservation system.

Source: http://are.berkeley.edu/~jmagruder/Anderson%20and%20Magruder.pdf

What was discovered was that a restaurant having merely a 1/2 star rating increase resulted in that business being more likely to fill up during peak dining hours. This increase in customers was measured while factoring out variables such as a change in price, the quality of food, the service, or the decor.

The increase in sales was the direct effect of the Yelp reviews.

This difference can be devastating when considering that Yelp takes the average of all reviews and rounds to the nearest 1/2 star. What this means is if your average rating works out to 3.74 it will be rounded down to 3.5 whereas an average or 3.76 will be rounded up to 4. The actual difference in quality is negligible in reality but for customers searching while using a mobile phone app will see the business with the actual rating of 3.76 will be displayed well above the other business with the 3.74 rating. The 1/2 star makes all the difference.

In simple terms the data illustrates that improving from a rating of 3 stars up to 3.5 stars will increase the chance of selling out during peak hours from between 13% to 34%. Improving from 3.5 to 4 stars will give you a 19% increase in customers. Even using the most pessimistic value an increase in customers by 13% for a business with razor thin margins will make a huge difference. A 2.5 star rating or less you ask? Board up the windows.

What was also found that was significant was that when there is a lack of other information available for a business then the results from review sites and local listings appear on the first page of Google creating the possibility for fake reviews. Take a moment and go to Google and do a search for something generic such as “sushi”, “pizza”, “brunch”, “walk in clinic”, etc. and you will see what I’m talking about.

The Potential For Profit Is Huge

According to Harvard Business School an increase of one star rating on Yelp will result in a 9% increase in revenue.

Source: http://www.hbs.edu/research/pdf/12-016.pdf

As of December 2011 Yelp served 41 million visitors and by the end of June 2012 Yelp received 78 million monthly visitors. That is nearly a 50% increase in traffic in just two quarters. Almost every second of everyday a consumer has used Yelp to find directions to a local business. On average a potential customer that uses Yelp visits 3 listings before making a final decision that results in a sale. Having your Yelp listing optimized will mean more sales.

Siri + Yelp = Explosive Mobile Traffic

Millions upon millions of iPhones have been sold to date, and this is not even counting the millions of iPads. I can guarantee that if you are not using an iPhone you know of someone who is. The problem is that when your customers use Siri (Apple’s “personal assistant”) to search they are returned results from Yelp. If you do not have your business listed with Yelp these new customers will not find you.

Siri for BusinessFor example, ask Siri to “Find some pubs near me” and the result will be based on your current location along with data retrieved from Yelp. It will not matter if you have been trying to get to the top of Google or if you use Pay-Per-Click advertising; your business will not be listed. This is a bit of a game changer since traditional search is bypassed altogether.

I am betting you’re a little annoyed with the thought that all your effort spent scratching your way to the top of Google and the hours spent on Facebook and Twitter are all for not. Don’t worry, this isn’t the case. Optimizing your business for Yelp is just another tool in the box.

Love it or hate it, Yelp is not going anywhere. The tendency is for small business owners to ignore Yelp but it has the power bring in sales. Social media and online product reviews are here to stay. Only one business can be on top of a search and that business will win the new customers.

Turn A Negative Into A Positive

With our help your business’ reputation will be transformed resulting in more customers and more profit for you. If your business already is suffering from negative yelp reviews then you will need to change this in a positive way.

There is no need to stress any longer, just sit back and let us do the work!

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