Using Negative Reviews on Yelp to Improve Your Business

Written by Zac Johnson
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Yelp is one of the largest and most important sites on the internet when it comes to businesses and customer reviews.

If you aren’t currently listed on Yelp, then you should be. Yelp isn’t just about reviews, it’s also a quick resource for people who are looking for local restaurants and businesses while they are on travel or about to go out to eat. For the many of you that are already listed on Yelp, it’s not just about using their site to gain positive reviews and reputation through their site, but it’s also about spying on your direct competition as well.

How valuable would it be for you if you ran a pizza business and you could find out not only who all your local competitors are, but what their customers LIKE and DISLIKE about their business.

This would be an absolute goldmine for your business and could help any business rebrand themselves or bring their customer success to a whole new level.

How Yelp Can Help Improve Your Business

Let’s take a generic local business example such as “pizza” Here’s how Yelp works and how you might find pizza reviews and locations in your area.

The site is easy enough to use, just think of Google but for local businesses. Use the search box at the top of the page to start your journey through their site.

Yelp will then five you full information, ratings and reviews of local businesses that match your search request.

Using Yelp to Find Competitors Problems

Going down the list and randomly selecting on one of the pizza locations we can see most of the locations already have a few hundred reviews and ratings in the 4-5 stars range. This in itself shows the power of customer satisfaction and how important Yelp reviews really are. Blackbird Pizzeria for example has over 245 reviews and most of them are great reviews.

Blackbird Pizzeria Reviews

Unfortunately it only takes one unsatisfied customer to screw things up for a business and leave a bad taste in new potential customers mouths. While going through the list of reviews for Blackbird I came across the negative review below.

Bad Pizza Reviews

Even though there are 245 reviews and this location has a positive 4 star rating, if the review below was one of the first you saw then you will probably pass over this pizza restaurant.

So how can you use this information to your benefit?

Easy, take a look at all of the different competing businesses in your area and see what people LIKE and DISLIKE based on their reviews.

If people are raving about the atmosphere of one location and not yours, you can use these tips to implement these changes into your business. It’s all about finding what the customer wants and giving it to them.

Yelp is a powerful resource for your businesses and not just for allowing people to find where you are located. Use the information and reviews you have right in front of you and improve your overall brand and customer appreciation in the process!

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4 Replies to “Using Negative Reviews on Yelp to Improve Your Business”

  1. Hi Zac,

    Competitors analysis is so important for any business, as it helps you to improve your services against your competitors and helps you to know what your targeted audience is looking for. I'm from India and here Yelp is not so popular but yes there are other good reviews sites so we can visit there to know the strong and weak points of our competitors. Really great tip Zac!!
    My recent post Mobile Balance Recharge Software

  2. Zac,
    That is a great idea on getting some competitor analysis from Yelp. By checking other sites like Urban Spoon, Trip Adviser and Chow, you can get even more data.
    It really surprises me how many small businesses tend to ignore these sources, then wonder why business is slow. These sites are typically the first interaction a potential customer has with a business.
    With bad public reviews, or even a non-mobile friendly website, I typically would just check the next restaurant on my app.
    My recent post I Think I Cracked the Code

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