With over 91% of consumers relying on online reviews to make their buying decisions, it’s no doubt that online reviews are vital for your business’s success.
While this is the case, the big question is:
Does it matter where you get the reviews? Should you prioritize Google reviews over yelp or the other way round?
This post will take a deeper look at both Google and Yelp reviews and let you know where you should spend most of your efforts.
The differences: Yelp and Google Reviews
Google is the king of search and pulls data from various sources, including social media. Yelp, on the other hand, is similar to a large online bulletin board.
For your customers to leave a review on Yelp, they have to create an account on Yelp’s app or website.
Google allows you to collect reviews without your customers having to create a new account. Any customer with a Google account can leave a Google review.
Unfortunately, before Google allows you to collect the reviews, you must first follow the Google business site steps and claim your Google business listing.
Once your Google Business listing is active, you can now proceed to ask for reviews. The cool thing is you can even send your customers a link asking them for their honest views.
You can’t ask for reviews with Yelp. In fact, Yelp puts it in its policies that you can’t send your clients a direct link asking for reviews.
Google reviews and Yelp similarities
Both platforms provide social proof. You need to get more reviews and the more positive reviews you get, the more appealing your business appears; hence, the higher the likelihood to attract new customers.
Another similarity is that both are free to use. Unfortunately, to get the most from the platforms, you have to put in the time and effort to monitor them.
Yelp reviews pros
Having been around for a long time, Yelp comes with plenty of benefits:
Yelp has been around for more than 10 years and receives more than 100 million views every month.
The platform was primarily designed as a place for people to read and write reviews, which gives it a strong background. Even its algorithm is designed for this purpose.
Yelp is still popular, and people are willing to visit the site and learn about people’s experiences with a given business. So having Yelp reviews will give your potential customers a glimpse of how your business works.
You can easily raise disputes for inaccurate reviews.
It’s not uncommon for people to leave inaccurate reviews. These can be competitors looking to intentionally hurt your business or confuse your business for another you share the same name with.
Due to online reviews’ importance to your business’s success, you should move with haste and rectify the damaging reviews.
Thankfully, Yelp makes this easy. You only need to raise a dispute, and the moderators will remove the review.
Yelp review cons
It’s true Yelp has been around for a long time, and millions of people trust it, but it has its fair share of negatives:
Call it an unpredictable review algorithm or any other name, but Yelp’s filtering policy is one of the biggest let downs. The algorithm suppresses reviews it feels violate its guidelines, are overly positive or negative, or fraudulent.
While this is good, if the customer left a negative review, it hurts you if the customer left a positive review.
Iffy agreement terms
Before customers can leave reviews for your business, you have to go into an agreement with Yelp. Signing the agreement isn’t a problem as you get to know the rules you have to play with, but some terms don’t make sense for a healthy business relationship.
For example, Yelp has the right to end your listing anytime, which isn’t healthy, as this puts your business at the moderators’ mercy.
It’s easy to bring down negative reviews.
While the ease of disputing and removing negative or inaccurate reviews might be a plus on one side, it can hurt your business.
For example, when you have too many positive reviews, potential customers might have the impression you disputed the negative reviews and removed them.
There have also been reports in the past of businesses paying Yelp to take down bad reviews.
Customers familiar with these reports might take your reviews with a pinch of salt, which is harmful to your business.
Pros of Google reviews
In some circles, Google reviews aren’t as popular as Yelp reviews, but they have their positives:
You can ask for reviews
As mentioned above, Yelp doesn’t want you to ask for reviews. This is because it knows you are less likely to ask for reviews unless you think it will be a 5-star review.
This isn’t the case with Google. Google not only encourages you to ask for reviews, but it also gives you a link to make your work easy.
To collect reviews, you need to send the link to your customers, and this way, you can collect as many reviews as possible within a short time.
Google reviews help your business rank higher in search results.
When you have a Google My Business profile with plenty of positive reviews, your profile will have higher search results when potential customers are looking for your products or services.
This means more people find you online, which brings in more business.
Google reviews tend to rank higher on the search engines (obviously as Google owns the platform) than Yelp reviews, and since Google is a reputable company when people see your reviews, they are more likely to trust and work with you.
You can easily bury a bad review.
While a few negative reviews can be good for business as they show your business isn’t perfect (which is attractive to potential customers), plenty of negative reviews are damaging.
Unlike with Yelp, it’s tough to remove a negative review. When you see an inaccurate comment, you have to contact the support line, provide evidence, and argue your case. This process is tiring and time-consuming.
And even after all the hustle, the moderators might reject your plea.
The best way out…bury the negative reviews.
It’s easy to bury the bad reviews as all you need is to earn more positive reviews. Speed up the rate of acquiring positive reviews by sending a direct review link to as many customers as possible.
Google is less competitive.
Although Google is quickly dominating the online review scape, it’s still less competitive than Yelp, Facebook, and other online review platforms.
This means if you put more effort into it and collect many positive reviews, you will easily rank high in the results pages hence be more visible to potential customers.
Google reviews don’t get filtered.
It’s no doubt Yelp has a confusing algorithm that filters out even the valuable positive reviews. With Google, you don’t have to worry about this. Google doesn’t remove reviews at any circumstance.
So, when a customer leaves a review, you are sure you and other potential customers will see it.
It’s easy for customers to leave a review.
To leave a review on Yelp, you need to have a Yelp account. You also need to have established a reputation (such as having a few friends), so your reviews aren’t filtered out.
With Google being a dominant online player, almost everyone has a Google account. Since anyone can leave a review from any account, your customers have an easy time reviewing your business.
To add icing to the cake, they don’t need to have a reputation for their reviews to show up.
Google reviews are more likely to generate clicks and calls.
Before you can start getting Google reviews, you have to fill in your basic details. These include your business name, address, website, phone number, business hours, photos, and other relevant information.
Fortunately, this information shows up when potential customers are looking for your products or services. With your phone number, website, and photos on display, potential customers are more likely to call or visit your site.
Google reviews are more trustworthy.
While Google reviews haven’t been around for as long as Yelp, people tend to trust them more.
One of the reasons for this is because it’s hard to dispute and remove negative reviews from Google. This means there are fewer chances of businesses or people manipulating the reviews to appear perfect.
Due to this, a Google review carries more weight as it’s more believable.
Google review cons
Like Yelp, Google, too, has its fair share of negatives. They include:
Slower updates on reviews
Like in Yelp, where a review shows up as soon as a customer leaves it (if it’s not filtered out), Google reviews take slightly longer to show. This issue stems from Google reviews being less popular and less trafficked.
Thankfully, with Google reviews increasing in popularity and traffic, Google is putting in more technical muscles in the reviews section and working on its algorithm so that reviews can start showing as soon as customers leave them.
Google algorithm prioritizes location.
When you search for a business, Google will show you the businesses that are close to you. As a local business owner, this can hurt you as businesses with a loose connection to the initial search might show up above you only because they are closer to the person searching.
It’s hard to remove negative or inaccurate reviews.
As motioned, removing negative or inaccurate Google reviews isn’t as straightforward as in Yelp. Thankfully, you can collect more positive reviews and bury the bad ones.
Google reviews vs. Yelp- Which one matters the most?
From reading each review platform’s pros and cons, you will agree that Google reviews carry the day.
Google reviews are still not as competitive, they can lead to more clicks and purchases, and your business is more likely to be visible on the search engines.
That being said, it doesn’t mean you should ignore Yelp reviews. With Yelp having a solid reputation as the go-to online review site, you should still collect Yelp reviews.
To stand out from your competitors, encourage your new customers to leave you more Google reviews.
How to get more reviews
Whether on Google or Yelp, positive reviews are a good thing, and you should strive to get as many as possible. If this is the first time using the online review platforms, you might be wondering, how do I get more reviews?
To help you out, here are tips to follow:
- Make the process as easy as possible. With Google encouraging business owners to ask for reviews, send a direct link to your customers, but don’t stop there. Give them instructions on how to leave the review.
- Ask for the review while the customer is still thinking about you. This can be a few days after the customer has used the product or service.
- To nudge your customers to leave a review, give an incentive in exchange for a review. This can be a gift, a small discount, or anything else.
- Most people are using mobile phones, so ensure the page you are sending them is mobile friendly.
- After the customers leave a review, thank them and let them know you appreciate their business.
Negative reviews are inevitable, but you should reduce the number that shows up on the review sites. At Score My Reviews, we help you capture these reviews before they get to the review sites and hurt your business.
By capturing the reviews, you have better control over what people are saying about your business. You also have the opportunity to have a one on one conversation with the discontented customer, so you can resolve the problem and recover their business.
Would you like to have more control over your reviews and dictate what shows up on review sites? Try out Score My Reviews.