You’re hungry and looking for a new place to eat.
How do you get an idea of where to eat?
If you’re like millions of other people in the world you ask you friends, family and colleagues for recommendations.
Humans have evolved to look for the path of least resistance. We look for shortcuts that save us time and energy. We tap into the experiences of others and trust that we’ll have a similar experience.
This basic human instinct is the reason Yelp is so important for local businesses like restaurants, stores and other establishments.
The Power of Social Proof
Social proof is a way to save time when making decisions. Rather than taking time to research a perfect restaurant for dinner you can take a quick glance at ratings for restaurants nearby.
Social proof is also a form of conformity. Humans are naturally drawn to conform to what the crowd is doing. If the crowd is going to a specific restaurant we feel compelled to follow suit.
It makes sense that humans evolved this way. The crowd generally survives. By doing the same thing we can expect to survive as well.
If lots of people enjoy a restaurant the odds are good we’ll enjoy it as well.
Yelp For Business: Good Reviews Lead To More Business
Yelp describes itself as the best way to find local businesses.
Anything from restaurants to stores to services is listed on Yelp. It’s easy to browse the website on your laptop or the app on your mobile device. You can easily search for whatever you need and instantly get feedback on what the best option is.
As a local business owner you stand to gain a lot if you can leverage Yelp.
It starts by taking advantage of the good reviews you already receive.
You know you do a good job. Your business wouldn’t be successful if you weren’t. Your customers are probably already referring friends and family to your business.
This is the same principle that makes Yelp popular.
People in every city around the world are using Yelp to find recommendations for local businesses. People are asking the crowd where they should eat, where they should shop and where they should take their automobile for repairs.
How Yelp Works
Users are in control on Yelp.
Businesses are encouraged to let reviews happen naturally. But you can let your customers know that you have a profile on Yelp. It’s a slight nudge to let them know where they can share their experience.
If a customer tells you that they really enjoyed your service there is nothing wrong with asking if they would share that information on Yelp so others can see.
Reviews are filtered on the site to protect the integrity of Yelp. Businesses that try to add fake reviews or that try to ask for reviews blatantly won’t trick the system.
Your best bet is to focus on creating a great business and making sure people know they can provide reviews online.
More Reviews Leads To More Business
The more reviews you get on Yelp the more likely your business is to appear in results as people look for businesses in your location.
The formula for finding businesses on Yelp is simple. If you have a lot of positive reviews you’ll rise to the top. It doesn’t happen overnight, but you can encourage your already loyal customers to help you achieve strong status on Yelp.
With good standing on the site you’ll see your customers increase. There are tons of people searching Yelp for recommendations. If you’re not showing up on the site you’re missing out those customers.
This is the first post in a series on Yelp For Business. Stay tuned for articles discussing how to get started with Yelp, how to improve your profile and how to respond to reviews and how to promote your business with Yelp.