By Taz Bareham — 6 Mar 2015
Boasting 135 million monthly visitors, Yelp is a highly popular online review site for local businesses of all kinds, including tours and activities.
TourismTiger reports that
So Yelp is certainly worth a shot. Tour operators (especially American ones) need to start leveraging it.
The main objection we hear about Yelp is ‘it’s not popular in my destination’ or ‘it’s only good for restaurants’. This may have once been true, but now…
It’s true that Yelp is most popular in America, but it is quickly gaining traction in the travel industry around the globe.
Scroll to the bottom of this page to see if Yelp is up and running in your country. If it is, do a quick search for tours in your location and see what comes up.
Here’s what a search for “tours” in Sydney pulls up.
Non restaurants make up over 80% of Yelp listings.
Tours and activities are very diverse and can fall into any of Yelp’s other categories (eg. shopping tours would fall into ‘shopping’, a historic museum tour would fall into ‘arts, entertainment, and health’, and so on).
Go to biz.yelp.com. Claim and verify your account.
Your profile needs to look complete.
Take a look at ziplining provider Flightlinez Bootleg Canyon’s profile:
TourismTiger reports recommends you:
Your profile makes you look active and legitimate. Make sure all of the information is up to date – especially your operating hours.
With 65% of searches being made via mobile, you can bet that Yelpers need this kind of information on the go.
Now that you have your Yelp ready for business, it’s time to build up legitimate reviews!
After your tour, ask customers to check in and leave you reviews in person. Then, ask for reviews in your automated post-tour email.
You can also add a Yelp widget to your website to let people know you’re on there and show off your reviews.
Once in a while, you may encounter negative reviews. Resist the urge to defend or attack!
LocalVox reports that 33% of negative reviews turn positive when you respond to them. Be courteous and respectful at all times. Show you understand and want to amend the situation.
Here’s a good graphic from TripAdvisor that gives you some guidelines for how to respond to negative reviews:
We also have a blog post about complaints handling if you would like to learn more about that.
Yelp works hard to make sure all online reviews are genuine. As such, they have a filter which removes less credible posts from your page.
FitSmallBusiness reports that the following things trigger the filter:
TourismTiger recommends that you follow your reviewers back to help get around this filter.
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