Hopping on the Yelp Bandwagon: Decide if Yelp is For You

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While we’d never suggest that your business pass up a free marketing opportunity, we do want to make sure you’re making the most of your local business marketing. That’s why today we’re taking some time to explore one of the hot local business listing sites, Yelp, and help you decide how much of your local marketing effort you want to put into this popular local listing site.

Learn the Yelp Ropes

First thing’s first – what is Yelp? Yelp is a local business directory site that has evolved beyond simple directory listings. The profiles are as robust as you’d like them to be, and while the information is mainly user submitted, it has plenty of room for business owners to ensure the information’s accuracy.

Yelp was first and is still foremost a place to find restaurants, bars and clubs. However, pretty much any local business (even chains) can benefit from a Yelp profile. This is due to the extensive user review system where Yelpers can not only leave a detailed written review, but they can also rate factors like parking, kid-friendliness, and noise levels.

The picture galleries are nearly all generated by patrons, and of course there’s the ever-popular star rating system that ranks your establishment from one to five stars depending on the average user rating.

Yelp’s Most Popular Business Listings

Yelp has a neat feature that shows you the top search terms for your area. When we checked it out for Orlando, FL, the top three were restaurants, 18 and over clubs, and Redbox. In fact, it’s not until the 13th most popular search that you find something that’s not a club or restaurant-related search (if you’re curious, #13 was for tattoo shops).

The top 100 searches on Yelp for Orlando are almost all restaurant, bar, club or entertainment related. There’s not a lot on there for retail stores or even professional services. In fact, the first professional service-related search we found was ranked #54 – spa services.

While these rankings will differ from city to city, it’s a sign that Yelp is still primarily a place to go when you’re looking for food or fun, not daily needs.

Should You Yelp?

The answer is still yes. If you run a public business that thrives on a strong in-person clientele, you should still claim and enhance your Yelp profile. By claiming your local business listing you can ensure that all of the information is accurate, as initial listings are user-generated unless you are proactive and claim your listing from the start.

Once you have your listing claimed, the initial setup is easy and requires little maintenance once it’s completed. However, a stagnant local listing profile does you no good, especially if it’s one that could be generating reviews. Hardcore Yelpers will often automatically review your business, but if your clients aren’t the review-happy types, you should consider requesting reviews after a job well done.

Yelp is one of several local listing sites that allow user reviews. Google+ Local and Yahoo!Local both allow for reviews from viewers, and there are other specialty directories that focus on specific business types.

Our advice is to keep a watchful eye on your Yelp listing for reviews to respond as needed, but if you feel your business isn’t standing out much or isn’t the type to benefit from this style of marketing, don’t push too much on clients to review you there – go for the more general sites like Google+ Local to gather reviews.

We Do Web Content Does Local Business Marketing!

Our social media marketing team is ready to help you enhance your local business listings and get your company on the map! To get started, give us a call or contact us on our website to speak with our sales manager about all of the services we offer to help grow your business through Internet and SEO marketing. 888-594-5442.