If you have own business, you’ve presumably been affected by online reviews inside the previous couple of years. Whether you are a Dentists, plumber, doctor, builder ,restaurant etc. when you interface with the public you’ve probably got positive and negative reviews out there somewhere.
According to a recent survey by a company in the industry, 91 percent of consumers now read online reviews (vs. 88 percent in 2014) and 38 percent of consumers say they form an opinion by reading just 1-3 reviews.
The gorilla in online reviews obviously is Yelp. They were the principal and the largest online review portal. They first made their mark with restaurants and rapidly expanded to various industries and businesses.
If you are a business who has had multiple reviews on Yelp, you’ve likely had to deal with “hidden” reviews that don’t appear in the main section. Often (too often, some businesses would say), these are positive reviews that Yelp has decided shouldn’t be included with other reviews. Yelp says it uses automated software to help it filter reviews. According to a Forbes article, a Yelp spokesperson claims “reviews are excluded for a variety of reasons”.
One of the problems we see with Yelp is that there is no “opt-out” option for businesses that don’t want to have customers leave reviews on the site.
So what can and should you do to help your online reputation on Yelp (and similar sites)?