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Improving Your Reputation Locally - Yelp

Improving Your Reputation Locally - Yelp


by Hugh Duffy


Back on August 18, 2014, I shared an example of a tax accountant in Northern California in the East Bay area who was doing a great job marketing his practice on Yelp using BYF's reputation management tool. Here are his results after seven months of proactive reputation management work with Yelp.

  • 23 five star reviews in Yelp posted live (23 live, 29 stuck in filter, 52 in total)
  • 2 live reviews in Google

Personally, I would like to see a more balanced approach between Yelp and Google, but have to admire the amazing work they've done with Yelp. Twenty three reviews in Yelp is incredible and will keep his practice busy in the months ahead.

Yelp - Chahal

Here are some tips that Navjeet Chahal shared with me on the phone back in August:

a.) Navjeet has downloaded the Yelp app onto his cell phone so it's easier to post reviews when he has free time. He writes about 2-4 reviews each week and his badge status has been elevated from Rookie to Pro. Yelp has a badge program designed to encourage Yelpers to compete amongst each other and obtain certain levels of status.

b.) Steady does it – Getting lots of reviews in one week will get more reviews stuck in Yelp's filter. Approach this process as a marathon, not a sprint. Make it part of your weekly task list. Navjeet writes 2-4 reviews each week from different locations (many are business clients of his accounting firm) and the Yelp app does look at locations he is posting from. Net, post from different locations, not just your accounting office.

c.) Pay It Forward – Writing genuine reviews for your clients is a nice way to signal that you appreciate their patronage. It also indicates that you might be open to reciprocal treatment. While blatant review requesting is frowned upon by Yelp, subtle hints and making the public aware that you accept reviews is fine.

d.) BYF's reputation management tool makes it easier for your clients to post reviews onto multiple review websites (e.g., Yelp, Google, Intuit,, etc.) from one landing page.

e.) Clients that are not active Yelpers will most likely be filtered out. However, if they ultimately post reviews gradually over time, some of their reviews will move out of the filter and go live.

g.) Yelp reviews are longer and more in-depth than Google reviews. Google focuses on the number of stars while Yelp wants longer, more in-depth reviews. Use a balanced approach to protect your reputation.

At the end of the day, Yelp appears to be making their best effort identifying passionate reviewers who understand the "community" of Yelp and want to share information to avoid bad experiences. Yelp does make an active effort to reward and recognize active Yelpers with their badge program.

Overall, Navjeet realizes that reputation management is a numbers game and is willing to put in steady efforts to receive the love back in the future. You've got nothing to lose by paying it forward with some well written online reviews. Download the Yelp app onto your cell phone and integrate this into your weekly to do list.

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Hugh Duffy, BYF CEO and Co-Founder

Hugh is the consummate marketing coach for accountants and takes pride in the impact that it has on their practice, and lives. Hugh has more than thirty years of marketing experience. Since 2003, he has been teaching accountants on how to improve their marketing and make more money from their accounting practice.