Did you know that Yelp's terms of service expressly prohibit you from soliciting reviews? And that Yelp penalizes companies that do this, causing them to virtually disappear from the Yelp results?
Actually, most review sites have policies that prevent you from directly asking customers for positive reviews (i.e., only asking individuals who've had a positive experience with you) - they just don't enforce the policy the way Yelp does. For example, in April Google updated their terms to say "Don’t discourage or prohibit negative reviews or selectively solicit positive reviews from customers.”
WHAT TO DO
If you're using a "reputation management" company to solicit and display reviews on your behalf, make sure that they're not directly asking for Yelp reviews.
Remove any "leave us a review on Yelp" links or badges you may have on your website. It's fine to have a link to your Yelp profile, just don't ask for a review.
And if you send a follow-up email to customers after they've purchased a product or service (either directly or through a review service), don't include a link to your Yelp profile in that email.
Give everyone an opportunity to leave a review on whichever platform they prefer.
This Quick Read first appeared in the June 2018 GROWth Report newsletter. Want to stay up to date? Subscribe below!