Most businesses know to look at their Yelp reviews, but how many actually consider how to proactively employ Yelp to enhance their digital PR campaigns? Most people think of Yelp as a one-dimensional user review platform. People offer their takes on products and services, good, bad, or indifferent. But how can brands leverage this platform to enhance their digital PR?
Let’s begin by looking at some impressive statistics for context. More than seven out of 10 online shoppers depend on online reviews to influence their buying decisions. Many millions of these shoppers are looking to Yelp. How many? As of February 2020, Yelp has more than 60 million registered users reading through 20 million posted reviews — and those numbers continue to grow every day.
All these reviews and customer interactions allow brands to maximize their digital marketing efforts, if they know where to look and how to apply what they learn.
Direct Feedback is Essential
It may not always be nice, and it may not always make a brand happy, but honest, unfiltered consumer feedback is vital to growth and success. While there will always be people out there who are unreasonably happy or upset, paying attention to the constructive reviews helps brands know where they can or should invest in improvements. Look at the specifics offered. What did customers really like, and what were they ambivalent about? What did they hate, and how can that be changed? Pay special attention to the two- and four-star reviews. These often contain very specific reasons why the consumer would or would not recommend the brand.
Yelp Assists with SEO
Given the attention gathered by Yelp, Google looks at the site with high regard. The more specific the reviews are on the site, the more connected brands are to specific keywords, topics, or items of interest for potential customers.
Yelp Creates Conversation
Even in today’s social media dominated world, many dissatisfied users will not speak directly to the brand in question. They will, however, leave a negative review. Brands can use these reviews to initiate discussions on their social media platforms. These honest conversations engage consumers who may not otherwise share their perspectives, offering specific ways to improve, and driving interest in the brand, as well as increasing the number of social media mentions, which is one good metric for measuring digital PR success.
Cross Posting Reviews is Free Positive Content
Companies and brands looking for quick and easy positive content can find a free treasure trove through Yelp and other review sites. Adding a Yelp or Google review section to the brand’s site increases the credibility of the brand, while providing new and evergreen content for the digital marketing team.