7 Ways to Get More Reviews on Yelp, Tripadvisor, and Google+ Local

Looking for ways to capitalize your profiles on Yelp, Tripadvisor, and Google+Local? Maybe one more positive review will give you a five-star rating?

Online reviews are crucial to your restaurant’s success. Why? Because when restaurant owners are searching online, they hit review sites first. And you don’t want two stars, do you?

Here are seven ways to get more reviews from the people who are already dining at your restaurant:

1. Include links on your website to all review sites

The traffic to your website is either going to be from new customers or old customers. This means everyone can either read the reviews others have left or write their own. But only if they know what the links are to your review sites. Many of the review sites have widgets you can add, but you may like the icons better. Adding icons to your site gives it a clean look without distracting from your website’s main goal of getting more customers.

2. Put links on the bottom of your receipts

The bottom of receipts are often overlooked. They are prime real estate for a marketing message - not just a simple thank you. Add your review profiles to the bottom to give your customers easy access if they’d like to write a review.

3. Encourage staff to promote review sites

For customers dining in your restaurant, they don’t know about your Tripadvisor page or Yelp page unless you tell them. When the server tells her table ‘thanks for coming in’, get them to add in a plug to leave a review!

4. Give a perk for leaving a review

Sometimes customers only leave reviews if there is a reward. Wouldn’t you? It’s not quite a bribe, but it would be a nice gesture to offer a free appetizer or a coupon for buy-one-get-one-free entrees if they’ve left a review. That way, your restaurant has satisfied customers who are more likely to spread the word because of your generosity.

5. Have a contest for best review

Want to make it fun to leave reviews? Then have a contest to determine who can leave the best review. Here are ideas for criteria? Most entertaining, best lunch review, best dinner review, best item description, etc. You could always have multiple categories, but be creative. A contest will not only get people talking, but it could land you some press for unique marketing.

6. Use QR codes to send diners to your review sites

QR codes are a mish-mash of little squares. They can be read by a smartphone camera and, when scanned, tell your phone to take action. QR codes can direct you to different web pages, a menu, or a video. In this case, they should direct you to a review site to leave a review. How can you create a QR code? This site is free!

7. Cross promote on social media

Lastly, use your social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to point out your review sites. List them in your about section or your profile. Take a picture of the Yelp or Tripadvisor sticker on your front windows. Anything to make your customers more aware of your restaurant and get them to leave a review.

Building up a lot of reviews takes time. It’s not going to happen overnight. But, you should be keeping an eye on when a review hasn’t been added in a while. Stale reviews show no one’s been excited about your restaurant in quite some time. Use these tips to keep your reviews fresh and your customers happy.