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  • Curtis Andrew Massoll

    January 4, 2016 at 10:22 am

    YELP, like google and all of the others I think that it is important to have a good presence and favorable reviews, though have not seen good results of any additional customers with their paid advertising. I think that this varies considerably on your area demographic and participation by existing or potential customer base. Highly populated urban areas may have better results.

  • Richard Zaagman

    January 4, 2016 at 11:01 am

    I don’t have much direct experience with Yelp, however, I have heard very little good coming from other shop owners that do have Yelp experience.  Yelp is important, however I choose to spend as little as possible with them.

  • pbrennan

    January 4, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    Yelp can go one of two ways: help or hurt.

    The first step, before you ever consider advertising with Yelp!, is to bolster your online reviews & reputation. There are a ton of ways to do this, but having a consistent process that you train your staff to use, plus a tool to track your online reputation is the first key. 
    In short, if you have less than a 4 star rating, don’t spend money with Yelp!. If you have a 4+ star rating, these can be very solid leads. You can first experiment with just having an offer on your page or the ability to book appointments. Then you can go with their PPC if you’re getting good leads from that.
    Even yelpers understand that Yelp! is a place lots of people complain. So if you work to improve or bolster it, and you have a good rating, you’ve already built trust with potential customers, making your conversion rates on those much much higher!
    Simply getting more positive reviews on Yelp!, however, will bring you more leads. Having a better online reputation increases the response and conversion rate of all of your advertising. I tell business owners this all the time: make customer service & your online reputation the keystone of your marketing strategy; the foundation. I’ve read studies that have shown a 1-star increase to equate to 5%-9% increase in revenue. 
    In short, I’d rate Yelp! a 9.5 if you have a 4+ star rating. I’d rate it a 0 if you have less than that.
  • rjcutl

    January 5, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    You also have to consider the market you are swimming in.  In smaller markets like mine there aren’t many Yelpers, which really negates the effectiveness of the site.  We paid Yelp for 6 months as a marketing experiment and got no new reviews.  I would rather focus on our Google+ presence and Google Reviews because those are what drive search results and leads for us.

  • dougfentiman

    January 6, 2016 at 9:19 pm

    You also have to consider the market you are swimming in.

    I fully agree with Andrew. I have clients who get 50 – 60 new customers a month from Yelp (big university town), but many more that get nothing. All depends on the city you are located in. Generally, big city, yes; small town, no. Like any marketing you need to test it. What works for others doesn’t mean it will work for you.

    BUT, with Yelp’s renewed presence in Google listings you should (must) have a fully optimized free listing on Yelp. With their top listings in Google search there is good opportunity for people to go onto Yelp and find your listing. Research ‘Barnacle SEO’ for why being listed on other websites is important.

  • adamkushner

    May 26, 2016 at 9:47 am

    Doug, I agree. Yelp and it’s importance varies greatly. Consider the audience the platform has traction with. In some geographic areas Yelp has a stronger following.

    Also, consider Yelp is native to IOS (Iphone apple searches). 
    Bottom line – It’s important that you show up, accurately. That you monitor customer interactions. That you rally customers to provide positive feedback so that you can market your reputation. 

  • acoliajja

    May 28, 2016 at 6:37 pm

      Yelp is a scam period . Yelp lets any and all bad reviews to post while they do not allow most good reviews to get posted . I called them and they say that Yelp sees negative reviews as more beneficial to the general public . 

  • SpencersAuto

    June 2, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    Yelp sucks… Of course that’s just my opinion.  🙂

  • SpencersAuto

    June 2, 2016 at 3:59 pm

      Yelp is a scam period . Yelp lets any and all bad reviews to post while they do not allow most good reviews to get posted . I called them and they say that Yelp sees negative reviews as more beneficial to the general public . 

    I have had the same experience as you Jeff with Yelp. I have seen them pull three of my 5 star reviews off. I have no time for them nor would I spend a cent with them. Be nice to be able to review them in public EH? 

  • djsauto

    June 2, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    Yelp is a scam!!!   I am a paid advertiser of theirs.   I only purchased their advertising to raise my ratings.   They show one negative (that is 5 years old) and no positives.  But, I have 29 positive reviews that yelp does not recommend.    I have called them and they say that its in their algorithm.   I asked them to verify the reviews and they wont.   I wished I could do something about this but i can’t.   

    Yelp reviews doesn’t hurt or help my business anyway.  I think they are ineffective and the public knows that.
  • sako7mm

    June 2, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    Yelp is a scam, They allow first time negative reviews but not first time positive reviews! This all Started after we did not want to advertise with them! We have over thirty positive reviews in there not recommended spot on our yelp listing. It is funny before Yahoo business was changed all our reviews on Yahoo business were good reviews,but after they started using Yelp all these reviews went in the not recommended! I think Yelp Is the BIGGEST SCAM!!!!!

  • bellauto

    June 2, 2016 at 6:38 pm

    Mike Lenci

    I don’t like YELP! We have a hard time getting over a 3.5 rating. It appears they thrive on any negative reviews no matter how old they are are. We have one of their one star reviews dated 2008 and it still is there lowering my average. I have noted several of other shops in my area have all 5 ratings with no negative reviews at all. We contacted Yelp (after signing up a one year ad contract) and they say that Yelp picks up these reviews over the internet, Google and all the search leaders.I even had a discruntled employee on who knows what, degrade our management.How does that degrade our ability to do what we promise on all our advertising? This was on for almost year. We spent a considerable amount of $$ to finally get it off. No help form Yelp.We tracked their advertisement program and felt it was not of any value for us also.
    Some shops may have seen some value here. One good thing is that you can respond to the party that has a negative review and make sure you can come to an agreement for both sides They will print that and keep it on for a long time. We had a brake squeak problem that we took care if at our own expense and the owner made a nice review which was printed next to the bad one.
    My recommendation is to contact the complainer and work it out to make them happy and to respond to yelp the outcome.Most people (some thrive on bitching) will actually want to make it right. Remember it costs at least $100 to get a customer in the door.

  • Jerry Kezhaya

    June 2, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    The Auto Shop had a high number of 5 Star reviews on Yelp before they called and tried to sell us advertising. Their pitch was “You’re doing pretty good but you will do much better when you spend $699 per month with us.” I declined the offer because, like he said, we were doing well on Yelp. Within 2 weeks of declining the sales pitch ALL of our 5 star reviews were no longer “recommended!” High-Tech blackmail.

    There are many articles on the web about Yelp’s practices: and here’s a brilliant solution:

    I believe the Google is the best because not only is it free, you MUST have a Google account and can no longer leave anonymous reviews. We ask all of our clients to leave google reviews. So far we have 115.
  • aureliuspm

    June 3, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    Yelp is a website where customers and competitors can strike you and your business in the back of the head with a club and leave you with no rational recourse. The nature of responding to anything yelp is that first you must sign up as a business to their website. Second you must post a photo of yourself to respond, something that customers or competitors are not required to do. If your response is a factual and cohesive discussion of the customer’s issue it will be rejected by the self anointed of Yelp or be ignored. We have determined that Yelp and similar sites are designed to sate the egos of the emotion driven at the expense of facts and rational procedure. We have placed a comprehensive disclaimer on our estimates that details our procedures for addressing customer disagreements. Our procedures include a statement that all unresolved disagreements must be submitted to binding arbitration, that the use of any internet or other media entities will be met with appropriate legal action. This includes Yelp, Google, The Better Business Bureau and any other possible public location.

  • Alan Ollie

    June 8, 2016 at 3:33 am

    Yelp is tough .we get about 25 new customers a month at a cost of $800   $32 per new customer i will take every day. The customers seem to really take care of there cars and will spend the money in our area South. Fl.  I recommend giving something small away when they arrive for checkin in., 

    This way you make sure you know they are a yelper and check out if they give mostly bad reviews then then talk to them about why they have so many problems bring out your charm and best techs, Or fire the nicely and let them bash other business.

    I always ask what a person does for work and say how would you like it if someone gave you a bad review??  

    Yelpers have to get the white glove treatment . We never let a customer go without making sure they feel satisfied with the value received. 

    Don’t sell cheap deals on yelp that for sure will attract the wrong customers. We found out the hard way. 

    By far the toughest customers to please. It’s like having a new york times food critic checking you out.

    Think of it as a positive it keeps your team on top of there game.  Ollie 

  • acoliajja

    June 8, 2016 at 5:16 pm

      $40 for $50 deal ……. what does that mean ???