To Yelp or not to Yelp? That is the question. As a gym owner, you probably already know how important it is to get your business listed in the right online directories. And when it comes to having your gym on Yelp, there’s a ton of controversy out there that makes it hard to decide whether or not to get listed.
So let’s break it down.
PROS of Having Your Gym on Yelp
- Traffic – As of September 2020, Yelp received an average of 32 million unique visitors per month. That means your listing would be shown to a ton of people, which is awesome.
- Easy to use – Customers can view gym reviews and data on Yelp without needing an account. This simplifies the entire process and makes it more likely that people will look you up.
- “Yelp Now” – When people search for a gym using Yelp, they can book an appointment directly from there.
- Trustworthy reviews – So many potential gym members rely on Yelp to check out member reviews on a gym. Yelp has over 142 million reviews, so there’s a lot of feedback that people seek.
- Easy to find and reach you – Yelp’s layout is super easy to navigate. That means prospects can find your gym at the click of a button. And once they do, all of your information is listed which means they can easily call you.
- It’s expected – Prospects expect to find businesses on Yelp. So if you’re not listed there and someone looks you up, this could signal a red flag. They might assume your services and credibility aren’t that great and they’ll go to a competitor.
CONS of Having Your Gym on Yelp
This is definitely the #1 con for Yelp. There’s nothing more frustrating for a business owner than to work so hard to build up their gym reviews and have many of them end up with no impact on their overall rating.
Filtered reviews become virtually invisible to the average consumer who doesn’t know where to look.
You have to scroll ALL the way down to the very bottom of the page. In light gray, you’ll find “# of reviews that are not currently recommended.” These are the filtered reviews, and they’re the worst.
Yelp claims their algorithm determines which reviews are real and which are fake based on certain activities that the company and/ or reviewer performs.
Rumors have also been unfolding that Yelp does this to grow their user base and user activity.
Here’s what I mean:
Let’s say Johnny’s Fitness has 25 reviews, and they’re all 5-star rated. The owner probably won’t work as hard to ask people to review him on Yelp anymore. Even if he gets a bad review, it won’t really mess up his overall average rating.
But let’s say that Yelp decides to filter 18 of those reviews. Only 7 of those reviews show. If he gets a bad review now, it has a bigger impact on his overall average.
Gym owners like to keep their average rating at a 4-star or higher. If you get one or two 3-star or lower reviews, the only way to keep your rating up is to keep getting more 5 star reviews.
And, the only way to do that is to keep asking people to go onto Yelp and do so.
Bad reviews ever hardly seem to get filtered. So, this assumption does make a lot of sense to internet marketers who have tried to solve the algorithm points.
I’ve had many clients and contacts tell me how aggressive and “car salesman-like” their sales reps can be.
They make deals and negotiate a way for you to use their sponsored ad sections (Yelp’s source of revenue). Then, if you do decide to buy, they have long-term contracts.
However, sponsored ads on Yelp do work well for the right gyms. I met a gym owner who said it’s his best lead source. I’ve also met other gym owners who said it didn’t work at all.
For the most part, service-based industries that have a bad rap do well on Yelp if they have good reviews.
So, to have your gym on Yelp or not?
Whether you love it or hate it… you need to get your gym on Yelp.
There are just too many people using Yelp to not get listed. Yelp is one of the most popular places potential members look for gym reviews.
It’s a huge indicator of your gym’s credibility and whether or not members enjoy the experience you’re offering (and the results).
So get reviews, get your rating average up, and start collaborating with Yelp in a positive way. And remember – don’t get too down on yourself when reviews get filtered. It happens to all of us.
If you have any questions on how a Yelp listing affects your gym, don’t hesitate to ask us. It’s what we’re here for!
To encourage people to review your gym on Yelp and other review sites like Google, check out Referrizer.
Referrizer helps you own and control your reputation on major review platforms – 100% automated. Their system incentivizes your members to post reviews, protects you against malicious posts, and lets you address negative feedback before it goes public!