Online reviews can work wonders for your business. People want to know that a business is reputable and trustworthy before they call.

How can someone tell if a business is trustworthy by going online? One of the biggest signals is online reviews. Reviews are trusted by people almost as much as a personal referral from someone they know.

If you’re developing an online reputation strategy, you’ll find that there are a number of places for reviews, among the top ones are Google and Yelp. When you compare Yelp vs. Google, which one will make the biggest difference for your business?

Read on to discover the differences between Google and Yelp and how online reviews can help boost your business.

Why Online Reviews Matter

Yes, online reviews are important because you need to develop trust and authority with your customers. There are a couple of other ways that online reviews impact your business that you may not be aware of.

Reviews and SEO

How would you like to rank your site highly in search engines for the most relevant terms? That’s the potential that online reviews have on your business.

Google looks at over 200 things to determine search results. These ranking factors can be split into two categories – on-site and off-site factors.

On-site factors are things like site speed, keyword usage, content quality, and HTML tags. All of these issues you control on your site.

Off-site factors are things that happen outside of your site. You can have influence over these factors, but you don’t have full control over them. What are off-site factors? Backlinks, social media shares, and followers, and yes, reviews.

Reviews don’t just influence potential customers, they influence search engine results as well.

Read More: What You Need to Know Before Starting an Online Business

Reviews and Referrals

Do you depend on referrals for your business? The way people ask for and contact referrals has changed over time.

People would generally ask a colleague or a neighbor for a service provider or a product opinion. They’d get a few names and then contact the service providers for more information.

Today, people will go on Facebook and ask for a recommendation. People will chime in with a host of different names and companies.

It’s up to the person asking to look through all of those recommendations and do further research. They’ll look up the companies online, check out their websites, and read online reviews.

They’re looking for information to validate the referral before the call. That’s what online reviews do for people. If your company has more positive online reviews, then you’re more likely to get a phone call or email.

Yelp vs. Google

As you’re developing your review strategy, you want to direct customers to the site that’s going to make the most difference. Directing your customers to Yelp, Google, and a couple of other sites will result in no action because people have too many options.

Fortunately, both sites are free, so it doesn’t cost you anything to have a listing on both sites. Both sites also provide valuable backlinks, which can help SEO.

One place where Google holds an edge is that more people are turning to Google to look for services and products near them. It’s easier for people to find the information they need and click to call.

Yelp is still one of the most trusted review sites, partly because of its strict policy that forbids businesses to solicit reviews or give incentives for reviews.

Yelp will also decline to show reviews that it thinks are too positive or too negative. It will think those are fake reviews and not show them.

What’s the bottom line when it comes to Yelp vs. Google? It’s not a matter of one or the other. It’s a matter of both. You want to make sure you monitor both sites and steer reviews to both sites as much as you can.

Read More: What Are Some Great Online Business Ideas to Try?

Don’t Fear Negative Reviews

Many people don’t have a review strategy because they fear that they’re going to wind up with a ton on bad reviews. They get paranoid and think that their competitors or friends of competitors are going to run rampant, posting negative reviews everywhere.

It doesn’t pay to play small like that.

You have a great business that deserves to be seen. You don’t want to shy away because people may or may not like your business. It’s a part of the territory.

Instead of not having a review strategy, it’s best to prepare for what you can do to respond to negative reviews.

You want to start by learning how to get more Yelp reviews, which will give your business a boost. Your plan to deal with negative reviews shouldn’t be canned responses, but empathetic to what your customer experienced.

The worst thing you can do is to blame the customer for the problem. It makes you look defensive and that you don’t really care about your business. Not only that, but it also opens the door to have a nasty online exchange.

That can come across like drama and turn off people.

An example of a good response to a negative review is something like, “We’re really sorry that you had a bad experience at our business. We’d like to talk to you about it and make it right. Give us a call at 123-4567 and let us find a good solution for you.”

It’s simple, proactive, and it takes the conversation offline where the problem can get resolved.

Manage Your Online Reputation for More Business

One of the missing pieces to getting more business from the digital world is online reviews. People turn to and trust online reviews when they are evaluating whether to use a particular business or not.

There are countless review sites to monitor and track, including Google and Yelp. Should you focus your energies with Yelp vs. Google?

It’s not a matter of one is better than the other. They’re both important, and you need to use both in your online reputation strategy.

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