Best HR Software

Best HR Software

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Human resources can be a tough department to manage. From hiring to onboarding, employee scheduling, and HR compliance, there are dozens of responsibilities being juggled.

What if an employee wants to view an old paystub? How does someone access information about their vacation days or benefits?

Without the right technology, it’s a hassle for everyone involved. 

That’s why HR software has become so popular over the years. Businesses of all sizes across every industry are leveraging these tools to reduce bottlenecks and improve workflows in their HR departments while simultaneously improving the employee experience. 

Interested in getting HR software, but don’t know where to start? You’ve come to the right place. 

The Top 5 Options For HR Software

  1. Namely — Best HR Software For Employee Self-Service
  2. APS— The Best HR Software For Payroll
  3. BerniePortal — The Best HRIS Software
  4. Workday — Best For Human Capital Management (HCM)
  5. Kissflow — Best HR Software For Onboarding and Applicant Tracking

How to Choose the Best HR Software For You

There’s no one-size-fits-all HR software. Products have evolved to meet the needs of businesses that face very different challenges.

Some companies need a system to recruit, hire, and onboard hundreds of people each month. Others just want something dependable for payroll and benefits.

You know your organization’s situation better than anyone else. Which capabilities are going to make the biggest difference for HR and employees?

Let’s walk through the major features of HR software, and how they can make a positive impact.

Employee Self-Service

HR software with an employee self-service portal is a must-have in today’s day and age. This portal will give your staff access to crucial information, without having to call, email, or physically visit the HR department.

Want to access the employee handbook? Log in and look it up. Have questions about your benefits? It’s available in the portal. Need to request a day off? Just a few clicks away.

All of this information, and more, is available 24/7. So if one of your employees is sitting home on a Saturday night and wants to look at an old paystub, they don’t have to wait until 9:00 AM Monday morning to call HR.

As a result, everyone on your team will be more productive, and your HR staff won’t be wasting time answering questions all day.

Mobile Access

The best HR software will have a free mobile app. 

This app can be used on the employee side for the self-service tools mentioned above, but it’s also helpful from an administrative perspective. HR managers and other admins can complete tasks and view important information in real-time from anywhere. HR responsibilities won’t be tied to a physical office.

In some cases, you can even use these apps to communicate with your employees. They can opt-in for notifications delivered straight to their devices, which can reach them faster than an email.

Payroll and Benefits Administration

The vast majority of HR solutions will allow you to run payroll directly through the platform. This isn’t necessarily a make or break feature; it depends on your personal needs.

But since HR and payroll typically go hand-in-hand, lots of businesses look for an all-in-one solution for the two.

If you’re happy with your current payroll solution and don’t want to switch, that’s fine too. See if you can find an HR software that integrates with whatever you’re using for payroll. Your HR team and employees will like having access to everything from a single place. 

Automation

Efficiency is the main concept behind using HR software. Nothing is more efficient than automating repetitive tasks. 

Look for software that eliminates manual labor. For example, some HR tools will automatically track and calculate time-off requests, taxes, government filings, and more. Think about how much money you’ll save in labor hours if you can eliminate even just 5-10 hours per week on these types of tasks. At scale, the savings are astronomical. 

Company Size

Another way to narrow down your choices is by looking for software that fits the needs of your business size. 

A small business with 15 employees won’t have the same HR needs as firm with 150 employees or an enterprise with 1,500 employees. It sounds simple, but so many companies overlook this aspect. 

Larger organizations will have more complex HR needs that some software just won’t accommodate. On the flip side, small businesses usually won’t need all of the features offered by certain HR solutions. 

The Different Types of HR Software

HR software is actually a pretty broad term. As you know, there are so many different aspects and components of human resources. Certain types of HR software have been developed to meet these specialized needs.

Here’s a brief overview of the main types of HR software available on the market today. 

HCM Software

HCM stands for “human capital management.” 

This type of HR software primarily focuses on how individuals are managed within a company in terms of systems and HR policies. Talent management is a large component of HCM software.

It’s common for HCM tools to have features for onboarding, performance management, salary planning, training, succession planning, benefits administration, and more. 

Lots of HR professionals consider HCM software to be an advanced version of HR software.

HRMS Software

HRMS stands for “human resource management system.” 

In most cases, HRMS software will include lots of the HCM software features. But there are two characteristics that all true HRMS solutions have in common—payroll and TLM (time & labor management).

Not every HRMS software will have employee scheduling features, but many do. There are standalone software products for time & labor management that are commonly referred to as “workforce management” software. But these typically fall under the umbrella of HRMS.

HRIS Software

Human resource information system—or HRIS for short—is a tool built for managing people, policies, and procedures.   

HRIS software typically includes all core HR features. But this type of software will usually have solutions for absence management, benefits administration, recruiting, compensation management, workflows, self-service portals, training, employee development, and reporting. 

Lots of this can be open for interpretation from software to software, but these are the core components you’ll likely find in an HRIS solution. 

ATS Software

ATS software is an “applicant tracking system.” 

This is a very specific type of HR software. In many cases, ATS software gets branded as a standalone product without core HR features. But with that said, lots of all-in-one HR solutions have features for applicant tracking. 

ATS software is highly beneficial for companies who are recruiting and onboarding at scale. The software makes it easier for you to find top-level talent, qualify them, schedule interviews, and onboard new hires. 

Payroll Software

Larger businesses may have separate departments for HR and payroll. But in most cases, the two go hand-in-hand. Payroll is typically considered to be a component of HR. Some of you might already be using an online payroll provider. 

Not every HR software has payroll features (although many do). And not every payroll software has every core HR feature.

This is another scenario where lots of payroll solutions are branded as standalone products from HR. But there are plenty of all-in-one HR solutions that include payroll processing capabilities. However, this is usually an add-on package. 

#1 – Namely Review — Best HR Software For Employee Self-Service

Namely is an all-in-one solution for HR, talent management, payroll, and benefits. The platform makes it easy for businesses to improve their HR processes while remaining compliant. It’s trusted by 1,400+ organizations worldwide.

The software is actually branded as a “people operations platform.” It includes features for employee management, onboarding, talent management, recruiting, time and attendance, analytics, and more.

I’d say that Namely definitely falls into the HRIS category.

I like Namely because the software is designed to improve employee engagement. It gives your staff access to all of the HR information they could possibly need from an easy-to-use employee portal.

The software can be accessed from anywhere from the Namely mobile app. You can even use Namely to share company news, improve communication, and set up a company directory. 

Namely’s core HR package comes with tools and features like:

  • Onboarding
  • Performance and goal tracking
  • Task lists
  • Time off management
  • Compliance database
  • E-signature
  • Employee self-service and workflows
  • Custom fields

Then there are add-ons and extensions for things like payroll, benefits administration, recruiting, time & attendance, and managed services. 

Overall, Namely is a good fit for midsize organizations. 

#2 – APS Review — The Best HR Software For Payroll

The acronym “APS” actually stands for “Automatic Payroll Systems.” As this name clearly implies, payroll is their specialty. 

But with that said, APS is not a standalone payroll software; it’s an all-in-one solution for HR and payroll alike. 

In addition to payroll, APS has HR features for benefits administration, performance management, employee scheduling, recruiting, onboarding, compliance, employee self-service, and more. They also have industry-specific solutions for healthcare, restaurants, wholesalers, nonprofits, manufacturing, hospitality, financial services, and other unique categories. 

Let’s take a closer look at some of the top benefits of using APS for payroll:

  • Streamline tax compliance with accuracy, timeliness, and wage garnishment
  • Automate your tax system to reduce your burden and risk
  • Reduce time spent processing payroll with paycheck reconciliation
  • Automate federal, state, and local tax filings
  • Improve your efficiencies and reduce costs with paperless payroll processing

The self-service tools provided by APS are outstanding; on the employee end and administrative sides alike. 

More than 2,000 businesses across different industries rely on APS. For those of you looking for an all-in-one solution for HR and payroll, APS should be at the top of your list. 

#3 – BerniePortal Review — The Best HRIS Software

BerniePortal isn’t as well-known as some of the other HR solutions available on the market today. But that shouldn’t be a reason for you to pass up on considering it. In terms of HRIS software, BerniePortal really has everything you could possibly need.

For those of you who want to use technology to improve the total lifecycle management of your employees, BerniePortal should be at the top of your list.

BerniePortal was founded back in 2008, so they have over a decade of experience in the HR software space. The software has been deployed in 5,000+ HR departments in all 50 states, and it has 210,000+ active users.

Why BerniePortal? Let’s take a closer look at what this HRIS software has to offer.

  • Attract and retain top-level talent with benefits administration
  • Compliance, custom enrollment, and payroll reporting
  • Improve productivity and engagement with seamless employee onboarding 
  • Collaborative hiring decisions with built-in applicant tracking features
  • PTO tracking, time-off management, and custom policies
  • Tools for time and attendance tracking with detailed reporting
  • Mobile access with employee self-service tools
  • Performance management and compliance features

You can even use BerniePortal for things like IRS filings. While the software doesn’t have built-in payroll features, it can seamlessly integrate with your existing payroll system. 

Most of the BerniePortal features start at $5 per employee per month, with a $15 base fee.

#4 – Workday Review — Best For Human Capital Management (HCM)

Workday is a popular HR software with a unique twist. Every component of the tool is focused on finance. It helps you manage your HR processes while always keeping your bottom line in mind—all from a single platform.

The software is used by industry leaders in a wide range of categories. Some of the well-known companies that rely on Workday include Visa, Toyota, Salesforce, CE, Target, Charles Schwab, and Adobe.

Overall, Workday is pretty versatile. The software has solutions for human capital management, talent management, enterprise planning, payroll and workforce management, spend management, and more. 

Workday is robust, but also really easy to use. You’ll benefit from features like:

  • Automation to eliminate manual work and improve productivity
  • Advanced analytics to guide decision making
  • Improve communication and engagement
  • Machine learning to identify employees’ skills
  • Time tracking tools
  • Compensation, payroll, and benefits administration
  • Employee directories and self-service tools

The software can also adapt as your HCM needs evolve over time. 

Another reason why Workday ranks so high on our list is because of its industry-specific HR solutions across a wide range of categories. Some of these include healthcare, government, hospitality, insurance, manufacturing, professional services, energy, and more. 

#5 – Kissflow Review — Best HR Software For Onboarding and Applicant Tracking

Kissflow is one of my favorite tools for managing HR processes. It’s a top choice for businesses that want to improve the talent management aspect of human resources.

The software comes with features for applicant tracking, employee onboarding, attendance management, absence management, leave management, and employee offboarding.

With Kissflow, you’ll benefit from features and functionality like:

  • Get open jobs in front of top-level talent at the perfect time
  • Improve employee engagement
  • Employee self-service tools
  • 360-degree feedback and evaluations
  • Customizable HR solutions

Kissflow is definitely designed for larger teams. Pricing starts at $690 per month, which includes 100 users. Enterprise rates with unlimited users start at $1,290 per month.

The downside of Kissflow is that it’s not a true all-in-one HR solution. It focuses on certain areas but lacks functionality for things like payroll. With that said, Kissflow does have a wide range of integrations, so you can sync it with your existing tools. 

Summary

Every business can benefit from HR software. This statement holds true regardless of your company size or industry.

But before you finalize a decision, make sure you go through the process explained in this guide. Figure out what type of HR software fits your needs the best, then follow the methodology that I explained earlier. 

The five solutions recommended in this guide will be the best place for you to start your search.

How to Pull More PPC Ad Data

How to Pull More PPC Ad Data

We’re losing PPC ad data.

While it used to show you almost all terms, Google AdWords now only offers specific keywords that meet a certain volume threshold. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has limited data from European traffic, and more restrictions could be on the way.

This lack of visibility makes it harder to know what’s working and what’s not in PPC. Whether you’re seeking increased conversions, more organic traffic, or a surge in referrals, it’s your PPC data that should tell you if you’re on track or if you need to adapt.

How can you navigate these limitations and overcome limited data?

Doing More With Less: How to Cope With Google’s Changing Data Transparency

More than 80% of U.S. consumers are worried about sharing their data. The EU has passed stringent laws regarding what information websites can gather—and what they can do with that data.

When you consider this, it’s easy to understand why Google and other organizations restrict data access.

The problem is that data is crucial to understanding how effective your PPC and SEO campaigns are.

What terms drew in the most users? Where are people finding your website? These answers are a lot less evident today than they were in the past.

So what do you do? Throw in the towel, give up on PPC ads?

I mean, you could.

Or, you could adapt to the new normal and find ways to work around the current restrictions.

Here’s the thing—PPC ad data is going to get less clear over time. You could wait, use what you have now, and hope for the best.

You could also figure out workarounds that help now so you are in a better position in the months (and years) to come.

Today, I’ll share several methods that could help you find the data you need for effective targeting and potentially make up for the shortfall in information left by PPC ad data restrictions.

Use Tools to Pull More Data

Google wants to give you less data—but they aren’t the only sheriff in town. There are plenty of other places to find PPC data. You just have to dig a bit.  

Here are a few tools where you can get your hands on more data, including a few of their top features and the data you’ll find.

Ubersuggest

If you need reliable keyword data, our Ubersuggest platform is an all-in-one tool allowing you to research individual keywords, track competitors, and adjust your PPC strategy accordingly.

Here’s how to use Ubersuggest to uncover PPC data.

Head over to Ubersuggest and enter your URL, a competitor, or a keyword you want to research. For this example, we’re going to use the term “PPC data.”

Take a look at the left sidebar. You’ll see Keyword Overview, Keyword Ideas, Content Ideas, competitor reports, and SEO Explorer.

We’re going to start with the keyword ideas.

Ubersuggest offers 36 keyword ideas, 18 related terms, and questions, which we could use in SEO or maybe address in our ads — those might be key pain points.

Focus on a specific term, and you’ll see search volume, cost per click, paid difficulty, and SEO difficulty.

As you can see, PPC data has a pretty low search volume, CPC volume, and paid difficulty. That’s likely because people searching “what is PPC data” are unlikely to convert—it’s not an ideal term for paid ads.

But, if you saw this same data for a high intent key term, like “buy SEO course,” it would indicate a great opportunity.

Other features Ubersuggest offers include:

  • Top SEO pages reports
  • Domain overviews
  • Backlink data
  • Content ideas

Individual plans start at just $29 a month, but you can see limited data for free.  

SpyFu

SpyFu is an Arizona-based search analytics company founded in 2005. So, they’ve been around the block a few times. For $33 a month, you can access unlimited SEO and PPC data, keyword research, and competitive analysis tools.

The competitive analysis feature is their core offering, and it’s worth the cost on its own.

This tool will help you see what types of pages your competitors rank with, where they’ve lost ranking, what today’s top keywords are, and more.

This data is useful data for SEO, but it can also help guide your PPC campaign. And they have a lot of other features that are useful for PPC, including:

  • Most successful paid keywords
  • Adword history
  • Top AdWords buy recommendations
  • PPC keyword grouper
  • Ad history and ad templates
  • PPC keyword research and suggestions  

Google Trends

You might think of Google Trends for looking up ideas for blog posts, but it can be used for PPC information as well. Google Trends analyzes the top search queries across geographical areas—and over time.  

Want to know what people in Florida were searching for in October 2020? Google Trends will tell you.

However, you may not be so familiar with it as a PPC tool.

With Google Trends, you can identify:

  • Valuable PPC keywords
  • Historic popularity
  • Keyword search trends

You can use Google trends for keyword expansion by finding key terms related to those you’re already using. Then, use those terms in your A/B testing or to improve relevancy.

Another area wherein Google Trends comes to the rescue is budgeting. You can compare year over year search volume and see monthly or seasonal spikes in interest for key terms, then appropriately adjust your ad budget.

For example, searches for “gift guides” tend to peak in December. It wouldn’t make much sense to dump a ton of ad budget on ads promoting a gift guide in June.

Google Trends is also an excellent resource for geographical targeting, as you can see the exact terms people use in specific areas. For example, terms like “pool cleaning” are likely to be more prevalent in Florida and Arizona than in Alaska.

Geographical areas can impact words used when searching for specific things. For instance, people in New England might use a different word to talk about carbonated beverages than people in Georgia. 

AdWords Grader Plus

The free tool from WordStream allows you to compare how well your ads are performing against competitors.

WordStream analyzed over $3 million in Google Ads spend to set benchmarks and find the most accurate KPIs out there.

It also provides a “Performance Tracker,” which tracks and measures your Google Ads performance over time so you can see which metrics are going up—and which are going down.  

Additional features include:

  • PPC Mobile Readiness Score
  • Quality Score tracking
  • Tracking and calculating wasted PPC spend

The best part is that this PPC audit is free, and you can have it in your hands in about five minutes.

Follow Search Query Patterns Instead of Individual Search Terms

As a marketer, you are likely familiar with individual search terms. However, Google’s announcement may mean it’s best to emphasize search queries.

What’s the difference? Rather than focusing on a single word, you’ll want to concentrate on patterns or real-world queries from searchers. Then base your ads around them.

How is this different from long-tail key terms? Long-tail keywords are phrases that include key terms, like “buy warm running socks.”

Search query patterns go a step further by helping you find the underlying reasons why people are performing those searches so you can use that same language in your ads.

If we type “warm running socks” into Ubersuggest, here’s what we get:

What do those searches tell you? People are looking to keep their feet warm while running. That’s the search query pattern.

As Kacie Gaudiose of Search Engine Journal writes, search query patterns can help to:

  • Highlight trends
  • Discover new search behavior nuances
  • Assess opportunities in your chosen category
  • Better understand intent

Gaudiose adds:

From those patterns, we can further categorize our queries into buckets of interests specific to our target users…With enough data, this categorization helps us create detailed topics and subtopics that we know interest in our searchers.

Get the Most Out of Imperfect Data

You might have heard the term “imperfect data” before. However, perhaps you’re not sure of the exact definition. It’s data that isn’t perfect, right? Sure—but it goes a bit deeper.

Here’s a definition from data scientist Lewis Beischer:

Imperfect data is a generic problem in which the information extraction and decision making is a very difficult task as that particular datasets have faults and is not exactly as you would like it to be.

Common imperfections can include:

  • Incomplete data sets
  • Corrupt data
  • Biased information
  • A lack of stability
  • Fraudulent data

This probably sounds pretty familiar. So what do you do about it?

The first thing to remember is there’s no such thing as perfect data.

Beischer suggests the keys to overcoming imperfect data are:

  • Monitoring errors
  • Standardizing your processes
  • Validating accuracy
  • Using a third party to analyze, clean, and compile data
  • Introducing machine learning

In the PPC world, that means aggregating data from several tools, deleting any duplicate data, and watching for patterns. (Pivot tables are your friend here.) How does your performance change over time? How do search volumes impact your costs per click?

Imperfect data is here to stay. It’s up to you whether you dig into the data and learn how to make it work or just guess at what might work. (And waste thousands of dollars until you figure it out.)  

Modifying Your Reports

Although you’ve got decreased PPC ad data visibility, you can still tweak your Google search terms report to better suit your needs. This enables you to determine which search terms triggered your advertisements.

You can access this feature in your Google Ads dashboard. Click on Reports, then select Predefined reports (Dimensions) > Basic > Search Terms.

 Then you can see a bit more detail:

Understanding and Using Google’s “Quality Score” Metric

As Brad Smith makes clear in a Hootsuite post, Google’s Quality Score is vital to marketers, as it:

  • Increases ad rankings
  • Lower cost-per-clicks (CPCs)
  • Reduces cost per action

But what is it exactly? In Google’s own words, Quality Score is:

“An estimate of the quality of your ads, keywords, and landing pages. Higher quality ads can lead to lower prices and better ad positions.”

Google rates your Quality Score between one and ten. There are three factors to Google’s Quality Score:

  • Relevance
  • Landing page experience
  • Predicted click-through rate

Improving Quality Score = better optimized PPC campaigns. Now, I could write an entire post about how to improve your quality score (and I did), but here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Boost your mobile performance
  • Leverage A/B testing on titles, images, and copy—but only one at a time
  • Optimize landing pages and make sure they use the same language as your ads.

Conclusion

Limited data is nothing new. We’ve been dealing with this way back since Google rolled out the “Not Provided.” The question is no longer “how can I replace this data?” but “how can I work around the increasingly limited amount of data at my disposal?”

Consumers’ concerns over data privacy remain high, and governments worldwide are locking down marketers’ access to a ton of data we’ve relied on over the years.

So, what are you going to do about it?

The methods above can help overcome the gaps in PPC ad data and create targeted campaigns to keep those conversions coming in.

How has restricted PPC ad data affected your campaigns? What strategies are you using to replace that data?

Why Your Local Business Should Work with Yelp Elite

Why Your Local Business Should Work with Yelp Elite

If you own a local business, be it a restaurant, bar, retail store, or even a local service provider, you might have heard of Yelp Elite. This coveted group of “expert reviewers” gets more exposure on their reviews from others.

The Yelp Elite Squad reviews can have a positive or negative impact on your business’ reputation, even though negative reviews can help your business seem more trustworthy.

What Is the Yelp Elite Squad?

Yelp offers “Yelp Elite Benefits” to anyone considered a role model on the site. They achieve this crown by meeting some of the following qualifications:

  • Well-written reviews
  • A large quantity of both positive and critical reviews
  • A complete profile with plenty of high-quality photos
  • Detailed personal information
  • A background of responding to criticism positively

To become a member of the Yelp Elite Squad, it’s clear that you can’t simply hop around from restaurant to restaurant offering negative reviews in exchange for free meals. These people are usually food bloggers, photographers, and digital nomads who spend most of their time traveling and sampling the wares at each location.

Why Your Business Should Work with the Yelp Elite Squad

There are a couple of important reasons why you might want to work with these individual reviews:

Their Status Matters

Obtaining the Yelp Elite status isn’t as easy as you think.

These people need to write as many as 40-50 high-quality reviews per year, maintain a large social network of other reviewers, interact with people on the platform, as well as a bunch of other factors to achieve and maintain this status.

What does that mean for you?

It means a lot of exposure if you can provide an excellent experience.

You Could Become the Local Expert

Does your business specialize in something? Elite members love going to places where they can get something that isn’t available everywhere. It gives them something to talk about in the review.

It’s the difference between reviewing a hamburger shop and reviewing a vegan gastropub.

If your business does something a little unique or can generate attention for a specific product, it’s worth it to invite a member or a group and knock it out of the park.

How Your Local Business Can Get Involved with the Yelp Elite Squad

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There are a few simple ways to work with the Yelp Elite Squad.

Host Elite Parties

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Hosting a Yelp Elite event could be a way to set yourself apart from the competition. Yelp makes it easy to do this because you can message your local Yelp community manager, and they’ll work with you to host an event if it’s a good fit.

No matter what type of business you are, you’ve got some positive reviews under your belt and a unique product to offer, consider reaching out. There’s no harm in giving it your best shot.

Participate in Forums

Commenting on local forums on Yelp is an excellent way to get your name out there, and you can leapfrog over the competition pretty easily this way. Let’s say you own a ramen restaurant in downtown Knoxville, and people are posting in a forum trying to find something unique to eat in the city.

If you’re staying up to date and checking in regularly, you can chime in on the thread to let people know you opened a ramen restaurant, provide the address, and give a little background on the place.

Bear in mind you most likely won’t have access to communication with Yelp Elite members, but discussing this with regular Yelpers might be a great way to get your foot in the door.

Direct Message

Sometimes you might just have to go all-in and message someone directly. If you find there are specific Yelp Elite members in your local area that you really want to get into your business, you can try this easy method.

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You’ll want to filter based on location and your type of business. For example, if you own a day spa, you wouldn’t want to message a member who usually reviews restaurants.

You can then filter your competition by reviews, and there should be an “elite” status on there. You can collect all the people who review businesses in your niche and message them one-by-one.

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Before you do this, be choosy about who you message. Don’t invite someone who is overly critical. Also, as with marketing of any kind, you need to understand your audience.

Take a look at their profile, see what they like and what some of their personality traits are, and don’t be afraid to butter them up a little.

Don’t just talk about your specials or what you do at your business; talk about the benefits of coming to visit you and how it could potentially be mutually beneficial for both of you.

Businesses That Have Found Success with Yelp Elite

Here is a brilliant example of how local businesses can find amazing success through the Yelp Elite program. In this scenario, six different businesses came together to provide a unique and extraordinary experience for all Indianapolis members.

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In this “Friendsgiving,” Elitists were brought together for dinner, dessert, and drink tasting in a unique setting in the Tomlinson City Market Catacombs. They created an unforgettable experience, and if you look, the five-star reviews are endless. This will likely have a positive impact on their business for years to come.

In a different scenario, we see how you don’t need to own a restaurant, bar, or food brand to benefit from Yelp Elite. In Cleveland’s Playhouse Square, Elite members toured 1920’s construction, received information on the city’s past, and learned all about the mystery behind their city.

This resulted in several amazing reviews, positive experiences, and publicity for the city’s art district in exchange for a little bit of their time.

How Does the Yelp Elite Squad Compare to Google Guides

If you’ve heard of Yelp Elite, you’ve likely heard of Google Guides as well. That platform debuted around 2015, and it’s a way for Google to offer incentives for people who regularly review local businesses. It encourages those people to write more reviews so Google can provide a more pleasurable experience for its users.

Local guides receive a badge on their profile, social media features, and even an annual thank you gift of unknown value.

The one issue I see with Google Guides compared to Yelp Elite is that anyone can receive this badge on Google when they surpass a certain number of reviews. Many of these people only write reviews when they’ve had a poor experience. The reviewers aren’t manually reviewed like they are in Yelp.

The program seems to be a lot more “open” and less coveted than Elite status, but they’re still important because of the visibility a badge can bring.

It also doesn’t seem like Google creates much of a community out of their Google Guides as Yelp does. There’s no way to create events or persuade these reviewers to visit your business other than scouring the internet to try and find their contact information, which might come off as weird to the individual.

Other Ways to Work with Influencers

We live in the age of the influencer. While we tend to focus on Instagram and TikTok today, Yelp Elites were the original influencers, and they’re still relevant today. As a business owner, you should not ignore these people or Yelp in general.

While it might seem painful or even torturous to appeal to “professional reviewers,” it’s beneficial for your business. Though it’s not guaranteed, one great event or a few positive reviews from well respected Elite status members can give your business more visibility in Yelp search results.

If you’re looking for a few different ways to work with influencers, here are a few quick tips to help:

Instagram

Just like on Yelp, send DMs to people in your local area by searching relevant hashtags that apply to your community. Find influencers in your niche and location and send a bunch of DMs asking for them to reach out in exchange for a free product or service.

The good thing with Instagram is you don’t have to follow the Yelp community guidelines stating you can’t exchange goods and services for reviews. You may be able to find a new Elitist looking to conduct more reviews, and this could be a great way to get your name out there!

TikTok

On TikTok, you can become an influencer yourself. The platform is ripe for people who are interested in making a name for themselves. Post some of the most interesting aspects of your business, and be sure to follow trends.

Post whatever is currently trending on TikTok and try to get attention from local influencers. Once you do, find a way to contact them by searching for them on other platforms. If they’re on TikTok, they’re probably also on Instagram, and it’s much easier to get in touch with them there.

Conclusion

As much as we like to keep our pride intact, sometimes it’s beneficial for us to set it aside and do what we know we need to do for our business. Yelp Elite members are the first influencers, and they’re more than relevant for brick and mortar businesses.

If you’re trying to get some attention and become more popular in your local community, Yelp Elite can help. If you’re having trouble managing your reputation, my team can help with that.

Do you think Yelp Elite is an important part of a local SEO strategy?