Yell has a long history of working for local companies in the UK and particularly for small businesses.
The printed Yellow Pages directory was the flagship product from Yell for more than 50 years.
An iconic brand, the Yellow Pages is known pretty much everywhere as a trusted business directory offering information about brands, trades and services to householders.
But as times have changed and consumer demand evolved, Yell's product offerings for small business owners also developed.
The evolution of the Yellow Pages to Yell.com and Yell Business
As the digital world overtook the concept of the printed Yellow Pages directory, Yell pivoted its business model to build on its online directory at Yell.com.
Today, as part of the Yell.com platform, Yell offers a Reviews service for consumers. Yell is also a digital marketing provider and web design company, helping small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to reach more customers online and get the most out of their marketing budget.
Yell offers companies a free listing on Yell.com, the online business directory that replaced the printed Yellow Pages directory.
Yell.com was launched (as yell.co.uk) in 1996 by Yell as a complementary service to the Yellow Pages printed directory.
In 2019, the final printed Yellow Pages was distributed, and all listings moved online.
Since then, Yell.com has expanded to include the contact details of more than 3 million business listings.
Customers can search more than 3,000 classifications or search local companies by name.
Yell.com covers the whole of the UK, except for the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.
An overview of Yell products and services
Yell helps SMEs to grow their online presence, generate new leads and improve their reputation using various products.
With a number of tools and services available for digital marketing, Yell can effectively act as a one-stop-shop for companies looking for assistance with small business marketing and other services.
- One of the biggest Google Partners in the UK.
- A Microsoft Advertising Elite Channel Partner.
- A Facebook Business Partner.
- Working closely with Amazon and Apple to extend the reach of businesses listed on Yell.com.
Yell offers its customers a range of products including:
The No 1 online business directory in the UK for all types of business, according to SimilarWeb. More than 60 million visits happen every month across its network, allowing Yell to help consumers link up with businesses and other services, and businesses to stand out in a crowded field.
- Yell Reviews
Free reviews platform for consumers to give opinions on products and services they have used. This service is offered free to businesses as part of their Yell.com listing, and they can also request and respond to online feedback as part of the free service.
- Smart Performance
Yell's unique blended advertising solution. This fully managed service uses AI to automate the client's budget to deliver the most cost-effective traffic to their own website and calls to their business using social media, search/PPC and display advertising channels across Google, Bing, Facebook, Instagram, Google Display Network and Facebook Audience Network.
- Reputation Manager
As well as Yell Reviews, Yell offers tools for business clients to publish and update their business information across a 40+ strong website and online directory network, as well as manage reviews across a range of providers including Google, Facebook, Trustpilot and Tripadvisor. All of this can be managed through the free Yell for Business app or from a desktop account dashboard.
- Website Hosting and Design
Companies can use Yell to design, build and host a website, including an ecommerce website. These are created using the leading cloud-based web development platform from Wix, and are mobile-optimised, secure and fully managed.
- Display Advertising
Yell clients can promote their services on apps and websites across Facebook Audience Network and Google Display Network as part of the Smart Performance solution for digital marketing.
Boosting company owner profiles through Yell
Yell Reviews is a free online platform forming a major part of what has become the UK's No.1 online business directory, Yell.com. Yell has been connecting consumers with businesses for more than half a century. These years of experience and the longevity of the brand help make Yell a trusted and expert provider of digital marketing services.
For consumers, Yell Reviews provides a vital peer-reviewed, transparent process to help buyers select the best businesses for their needs.
Who are Yell Reviewers?
Yell Reviewers are consumers who want to share their experiences about businesses they found and used via Yell.com.
Reviewers can leave feedback for local SMEs on the platform, which is then published and made accessible to anyone browsing Yell.com.
This helps other consumers decide which local business will work best for their needs.
Do all businesses listed on Yell.com have reviews on the Yell Reviews platform?
All businesses that have a listing on Yell.com can choose to use the free Reviews feature. They can however, choose to deactivate this feature if they wish.
Businesses can also activate Yell Messaging on their listing, and use the free Yell for Business app to manage both these services.
Companies can invite customers to rate their services by sending SMS (text messages) or email invitations through the Yell for Business app or via their online account dashboard.
There is data to support this as a valid tactic to encourage consumers to leave feedback. According to a Critical Research survey conducted in 2021, almost a third (31%) of consumers who are directly asked to leave feedback by companies will do so. However, businesses should be mindful not to offer incentives such as monetary rewards or free products in return for a review, so that reviews reflect the genuine experience received.
Businesses can grow their online reputation with Yell Limited
Companies and brands that advertise online and take part in feedback platforms generally attract substantially more traffic to their details on their Yell Listing.
According to recent studies by Critical Research (2021), 67% of consumers are more likely to opt to choose to do business with a company that has online reviews than a business that doesn't.
Furthermore, 91% of consumers make decisions as a direct result of reading positive online feedback.
But this doesn't mean that companies should strive to get a 100% rating - apparently half of consumers don't necessarily trust feedback that is completely positive.
Almost two-thirds (62%) will still choose a business even if there isn't a perfect rating online.
It appears that the way businesses respond to online feedback is the most critical aspect, with 78% of consumers saying that it's important for businesses to respond to any issues raised in a constructive way.
Yell Reviews work for consumers and businesses
Yell encourages consumers to share their opinion with like-minded peers.
At the same time, businesses benefit from finding out what aspects of their services are working - or not.
Back in the day, the Yellow Pages could only list basic information. And while that was helpful pre-Internet, today people want to hear the opinions of customers who have actually used the service.
By taking advantage of the opportunity to be listed on Yell.com at no cost, company owners can also access valuable online feedback. This provides them with vital information and allows them the opportunity to engage with any customers who aren't completely satisfied.
This kind of two-way communication serves to build an online reputation, helps drives traffic to their own website and encourages consumer trust.
Company owners can manage their Yell products through the Yell for Business app. This free app allows them to access their Yell.com listing and associated consumer reviews on the go.
Yell also offers a free online scan to build a Reputation Report, which shows what consumers will see when they search that particular business online.
Businesses can also get a free report of how their current website performs in the eyes of Google and Bing, along with other measures of online success.
What do customers think of Yell.com?
Just as the reputation of companies on Yell.com is important, so is customer opinion of Yell as a whole.
Yell clients can head to Trustpilot or Google to review Yell or Yell.com, with some recent reviews from businesses including:
The consultant listened carefully to learn what my business was about and my aims/goals. He was knowledgeable and helpful with advice and found a good, affordable solution on how to upgrade my listing and improve search engine results. Another digital consultant helped with my specific online information. I will monitor the results through the Yell app."
13 September 2021 from Julie C.
"I found the team very helpful and knowledgeable. Happily talked me through it all so I understood, there was no pressured sale just information and support in advertising my business and genuinely wanting to help me gather more customers."
9 September 2021 from Harriet M.
How do reviews on Yell.com work?
Consumers can submit a review of any small or local business on Yell either as a guest or by creating an account.
People can use the platform to leave an online record of their experience of a company for others to read. The idea is for as many people as possible to rate companies so that they're aware of others' opinions and can find more information from the community.
This includes for any company with a Yell listing, including pubs, shops and service providers across all sectors.
New Yell reviewers can search for the name of the business they wish to review on the platform and compose their thoughts on the service they received from that company. By writing honest feedback on the company without a business paying for it, the hope is that consumer ratings will be fair and unbiased.
This isn't necessarily something that can be achieved directly from company websites, as reading information in that way could be biased. Yell can independently bring consumers and businesses together in the same way it has for many years and act as a conduit for building trust and ongoing customer relationships.
Yell policy for platform content
Of course, to provide a valid platform, Yell must also ensure it's trusted by consumers and companies alike.
Yell is a well-known brand in the UK, building on its Yellow Pages directory legacy.
This has simply switched to online services, which allow consumers to find and connect with the product or service providers they need. Part of these are tools and information for digital marketing purposes, such as how businesses can improve their SEO and boost website traffic.
Yell Reviews is at the centre of this build-up of trust between Yell and consumers, and as such the company is committed to ensuring that all review content posted on its platform is valid.
By devising simple processes and clear policies, Yell Reviewers know that not only is the platform legitimate, but that all other content follows the same guidelines.
Yell guidelines for consumers
Yell is keen to ensure that every single piece of consumer content review on its website is written directly from a customer's first-hand experience.
Fake feedback can obviously be unfairly damaging, and Yell works hard to mitigate this as a possibility through the following:
Consumers can only leave feedback on a business that they have had first-hand experience with. This means their opinion can't be based on second-hand reports from friends or relatives who used a service or business.
Active engagement with a business is defined by Yell as a consumer buying a product, process or service.
The reviewer can only contribute based on their own direct experience. So, someone who gets a quote from a business but doesn't then use it can only comment directly on the experience of getting the quote and nothing else.
Reviewers can't rate any business that they or any family member has a financial interest in, that they're employed by, that is a competitor to either their business or a family business, in exchange for money from the business or if the active engagement took place more than 12 months before the content is written.
The minimum that can be left about a business is a star rating between one to five.
Yell advises consumers who are leaving a negative review of a business to give as much detail as possible and explain what went wrong. Yell encourages all consumer feedback, whether positive or negative, as long as it's valid and genuine.
How honest can Yell reviewers be?
Yell is very clear that reviews of both positive and negative experiences are encouraged from consumers. But they must all be real and truthful, and if possible, include constructive criticism rather than a quick rant!
On Yell.com's support pages, the company says that it encourages free speech and the right to share what may be unpopular points of view on its site. However, the company is just as clear that any abusive reviews aren't permitted, whether the offensive behaviour is directed at other users or the companies listed.
This is explained further in Yell's Reviews Policy.
How to write a review on the Yell platform
To post feedback on Yell Reviews, consumers can use the Yell consumer app or by visiting Yell.com via a desktop computer or mobile device.
To start, the consumer should head to Yell.com and search for the business they want to talk about. On the listing page, they should click the Write a Review button.
After writing a relevant title, giving a suitable star rating and including any other comments, they can then submit their review for publication.
Reviewers must create or log into their Yell Reviews account to publish the review, but if they don't have a Yell account, they can post it as a guest, or by logging in via their Google or Facebook profiles.
Yell advises consumers to be descriptive so that the business itself can understand exactly what has gone right or wrong. Reviewers are encouraged to be honest and ensure that any negative feedback is as constructive as possible so that the business can use it to make positive changes.
Changing and editing online reviews on Yell
It's possible to edit and change feedback left on Yell about a company. Here's how:
- Log into your Yell Reviews account and navigate to your profile.
- Click on the small pencil icon next to the review you wish to edit.
- Edit the content and click Save.
The updated information will be published straight away if you have a Yell Reviews account, or if you posted it as a Guest, you will receive a verification email of your changes which you will need to confirm before the edits are published.
If the feedback was initially posted as a Guest, then it's necessary to create a Yell account in order to change it. They should head here and select Create an account to do so.
Does Yell monitor all consumer content on its platform?
Yell does not specifically edit, or read any third-party opinions left on its platform. Instead, consumer feedback is published immediately, unless the business in question has decided not to allow reviews.
Yell encourages anyone using the platform to flag up and report any reviews that appear to be unfair, untrue or go against Yell's policies. Reporting is as simple as clicking the 'report review' link next to the specific content.
Yell will then assess the reported content. If it isn't in breach of Yell's policies, but the person who reported it believes that it's posted by someone who hasn't had a genuine interaction with the business in question, then Yell will contact the reviewer within two working days.
Yell gives the reviewer a further three working days to provide proof that it's genuine. Should they not provide this information then Yell will remove the review entirely, as it cannot be substantiated.
Content can be reported as defamatory, and in these circumstances, the reporter will be informed by Yell of the outcome of the investigation within 10 working days.
Importantly, if Yell can establish that the content is verified then it will remain online, even if it is negative. Reviews must meet Yell's policies and will not be altered for any other reason.
The only exception is if the business being reviewed decides to remove the functionality from their Yell listing. If this is the decision of the business, then all reviews are removed from their listing, whether they're positive or negative.
How can people be assured that reviews on Yell.com are genuine?
Reviews should always be genuine and based on the customer's first-hand experience.
As the UK's leading online business directory, Yell does not allow consumers to write feedback under any of the following circumstances if:
- They've been paid to do so either by the business in question or a competitor.
- It's not factual.
- It doesn't accurately reflect their experience in dealing with the business.
- It breaks any laws regarding discrimination, harassment, racism, sedition, blasphemy, bullying, contempt or defamation.
- It's abusive, indecent or obscene.
- Their experience of the business was more than 12 months ago
- It's false (intentionally or unintentionally), deceptive, unreliable or inaccurate aimed at giving the company an edge over the market or to damage it.
- It discusses any illegal activities.
- It infringes IP rights, such as third-party copyright.
- It compromises the data protection or privacy rights of anyone.
At the same time, business owners are under contract and cannot do any of the following:
- Pay a reviewer to leave a review about their own business or a competitor, either to improve their market position or damage it.
- Incentivise reviewers by offering things like discounts, free products, coupons or gifts when asking directly for reviews
- Write feedback on their own business or a competitor's business.
- Request the removal of negative reviews so that only positive ones remain.
How to write a great Yell Review
Yell lays out their recommendations on how to leave constructive and useful feedback, whether positive or negative.
They say that great Yell reviews should include:
- Plenty of detail about the customer's genuine experience with a business. It should always be first-hand and not based on someone else's experience.
- Accurate facts about their experience with the business.
- Any constructive feedback that the business could use to improve.
- Be respectful about the privacy of anyone in the review. For example, they shouldn't include people's names or any other personally identifiable information.
These measures aim at avoiding the possibility of fake reviews and avoiding accusations of defamation.
Does it cost money for consumers to leave feedback on Yell reviews?
It's free for consumers to leave feedback for businesses listed on the site.
Businesses can list their details on Yell.com for free. They can also respond to reviews on their Yell.com listing with no added fees.
There are charges for other add-ons to these services for businesses, such as web design and digital marketing.
So, from the consumer's point of view, Yell.com is a totally free platform where they can leave their own ratings of a business and benefit from the experience of their peers' opinions too.
What is a Business Response?
Yell proactively notifies business owners by email and a notification in the Yell for Business app when a review is left on their Yell.com listing. They can opt out of these notifications although Yell encourages them not to as they help to build a positive dialogue with consumers.
Businesses respond through the Received Reviews page on their online account dashboard, or via the Yell for Business app, and it's always made clear to the consumer that the business is addressing them via a 'Business Response' flag.
Comments from either party must always be constructive and non-biased. All of this is in real time and is visible to everyone using the platform.
Yell Reviews for business owners
For business owners to get the most out of their Yell reviews, they should:
- Directly request a review
For businesses to get useful and regular customer feedback through Yell.com, the easiest way is to invite people to do just that. Business owners can use the built in "Request a Review" feature in their online account dashboard, or on the Yell for Business app, and can choose between sending email or SMS invitations to their customers.
- Activate email and app notifications
Businesses can monitor their reviews via the free Yell for Business app. By turning on notifications, they can be sure that they'll see any content that goes up about them on the site in real time.
- Respond to feedback
Using Business Response, business owners can interact directly with their customers. This builds trust because it shows businesses are willing to reach out and discuss feedback, and that they are appreciative of the reviews.
The bottom line
There is a symbiotic, mutually beneficial relationship between business owners and customers through verifiable and trustworthy review platforms.
Yell.com is the ideal site for customers to rate local businesses of all kinds. The setup is simple, and it's free to go ahead and leave reviews, if they comply with the simple policies listed above.
The benefits for customers and business owners alike are many and varied.