Law Firm Yelp Marketing and How to Make Reviews Stick
Chris Dreyer | August 05, 2015
Reviews from Yelp can be very powerful and the company has developed a reputation1 for being a stickler when it comes to user’s submissions on the site. Can you blame them? Once the power of reviews for SEO2 was realized, everyone gravitated toward consumer-driven communities like Yelp to enhance their presence online.
Now even legitimate reviews can get the axe if a user is new or has only reviewed one business. Below are some tips on using Yelp and ideas that will help ensure your hard-earned Yelp reviews get seen by potential clients.
Make a Plan
If you are sending your clients to Yelp (or anywhere else for that matter), make sure they have clear, simple and easy-to-understand instructions on how to leave a Yelp review. In these instructions you can also mention some of the things that will help ensure the review stays in place. Make a template that you can pass out or email to your reviewers. Make it visually appealing and easy to understand. You can also put a description of how much time it will take them to perform the whole process. For example “Give us a review on Yelp. It will only take you 4 minutes!”.
Below is an ingenious template guiding users on how to leave a Google review. The template’s essential character could easily be adapted for Yelp. You can download the full template here3.
Have Users Fill Out Their Profiles Completely
Yelp strives to provide relevant and useful reviews to their users. Common sense dictates that if an account was just opened, only has a name associated with it and has only reviewed one business; reviews from that account may not carry a lot of weight. Even if the review is from a legitimate user who has actually used a law firm’s services, Yelp may not show it or even delete it.
In order to avoid looking like a software bot or a user paid to create fake reviews, you should direct your users to spend a little extra time and fill out their profiles on Yelp completely. Add as much information as possible and let them know that their review will not get used unless this happens.
Yelp as a Marketing Tool
You will get a lot more bang for your marketing buck to promote your law firm on Yelp4 as opposed to focusing on other maps services. For example Yelp has a partnership with Apple and Bing5 opening up the door to a lot of native app users. The location information on Yelp is far more accurate than on other maps services making it more attractive for users. Here are some other things you can do on your end to make your profile perform better6 on Yelp:
- Add as many photos as allowed on your profile
- List your business hours
- List your law firm category
- Give an accurate and keyword-rich business description (use as many characters as they allow)
Be Subtle with Your Approach
Yelp actively discourages companies from “review coercion”. While you can still nudge your clients in the direction of leaving a review on Yelp, be sure you are only going after ones that will be active on the platform or that will leave thoughtful and/or useful reviews. If you take the shot-gun approach and get dozens of low-quality quick reviews, chances are they will get deleted by the company.
You can supplement your approach by also suggesting other platforms that your clients can leave a review on. Yelp is a great marketing tool for local law firms and you just need to focus on quality over quantity. Do not go overboard on sending your clients to Yelp for one-liner reviews and make sure you approach people who already have an account or that may be more active than just the first-time visit. It is also important to keep in mind that this is a long-term strategy. Stick with your campaign over a 12-24 month period and you will see results.