A call for yelp


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Yelp - With the search trends moving the way they are to favoring local search results from authority sites, businesses who want to be found by the consumers looking for them need to invest the time it takes to create and manage your local listings.

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A call for yelp

  1. 1. A Call for Yelp Yelp has established itself over the years as a powerhouse for local businesses getting their information in front of the people looking for their services. As local searches go, any business, regardless of the industry, needs to have a presence on local search sites. Recent statistics are showing that 85% of consumers searching for a local business read the online reviews before making a decision about purchasing. And much of this 85% goes beyond the first review – they will read between 2 and 6 before forming an opinion. So in order to tap into a highly targeted consumer base that is already looking for YOU, you have to have a presence on the major local listing sites. We already know that local listings help your organic search results, as the major search engines are automatically delivering results tailor-made to the searcher’s location. Yelp and Bing have recently teamed up to take a piece of Google’s search pie. As of June 2012, Bing uses Yelp to power local search results, which has left businesses not listed on Yelp clamoring for any quality position in search results. Yelp is more than just a directory of business listings – it involves social interaction as well, creating a nice hybrid of information and outreach. In addition to having the basics like hours of operation, physical and web addresses, phone numbers and photos, customers can leave reviews that you can respond to, and also allows you to offer specials or coupons for Yelp users. People can also “check in” at your location, which can be shared as well on Facebook and Twitter, putting your business’s name in front of thousands more people instantly. Creating a listing is simple, it just requires some dedicated time to optimize and brand. It is important to make sure all of your business info is correct and completely filled out. Include as much information as you can, like accepted payment methods, cross streets, parking, special occasions (like live music or happy hour for local bars & restaurants) and photos. You may get someone from Yelp contacting you to upgrade your listing – which has benefits like not listing your competitors near you, but it is not at all a requirement to get good visibility on the site. Once you create your listing, your customers can leave reviews. Yelp has very strict review standards, and people who leave reviews must be a registered user, and their names are public. This helps reduce the amount of spam reviews from competitors claiming to have had a bad experience. In addition, any yelp user who signs up once, leaves one review and never interacts again will have their review taken down, again to help reduce spam or fake reviews either good or bad. It is against Yelp’s policy for you to offer incentives for reviews, but any merchant listed on yelp can have a window decal sent to them advising customers that you are listed, which can be a nice gentle “nudge” to your customers to help you by leaving a positive review. Creating special offers is another useful benefit to being listed on Yelp. These offers often carry over onto search results in Google and Bing as well, and are a free way to entice customers to contact you over your competition. You have full control over what you offer, and how long it stays on your profile. It is also a
  2. 2. good way to measure the amount of customers you receive from the listing, and can help you determine how much time and effort you should be putting into local listings on other sites. With millions of visitors a month, Yelp is considered to be a high authority site, and any clicks to your website from Yelp are extremely valuable in terms of search engine marketing, and boosting your organic search results. That being said, it is worth looking into several high authorities local search sites for the back links alone. Google Plus, City search, Yellow pages and local map listings on Google, Yahoo and Bing are free to create and maintain, and can be highly beneficial to your business in the emerging localized search market. With the search trends moving the way they are to favoring local search results from authority sites, businesses who want to be found by the consumers looking for them need to invest the time it takes to create and manage your local listings. If spending days creating profiles on the hundreds of local listing sites out there doesn’t sound like a good use of your time, just start with a handful of the major players we mentioned, and sift through the others as needed. The investment of your time and effort will improve your visibility on the web and lead to a positive change in your cash register.