Leverage Yelp Reviews in Your Location-based Marketing Campaign

Location-based services are often associated with the check-in, but people search for places using niche applications too. Yelp is such an application. It is an enormous social network dedicated to helping people find businesses that they will like.

Yelp’s secret is its user-generated content. Users can log in to Yelp; find your business by location, category, or business name, and write a review. It’s free to claim your business at Yelp.

Ratings in Yelp are very important because search results are typically arranged first by type, then geography, followed by rating from best to worst. Other attributes include the phone number, information on reservations if applicable, parking, attire, price range, and whether or not it is good for kids.

A restaurant’s presence on Yelp.
A restaurant’s presence on Yelp.

Most people aren’t taking the subtleties and complexities of your business into consideration when they are making their decisions. Some people just look at the overall score. Others read the top review. Very few people actually dig deep into the reviews and read them all. This is one of the disadvantages of crowd sourced content.

As a marketer, you can’t ignore Yelp. 38 million users are reviewing your business whether or not they are qualified to, and people are using this information to make decisions. The web-site gets about 14 million unique visitors a month and that does not include mobile.

Only Yelp and the users have the ability to make a change to a negative review, so if you see one, you should do what you can to resolve the issue with the customer who had a problem.

Clicking a user’s profile will allow you to send them a message.
Clicking a user’s profile will allow you to send them a message.

Yelp also has an advertising model that allows you to put pictures on your page and highlight reviews that you like. You can also activate Open Table so that people can make online reservations (if you are a restaurant).

The advertising premise is similar to search engine advertising where you can bid to get your business featured in search results. In other words, it will take precedence over anything that would have organically been seen as more relevant by the search engine.

Organic search results are those that would be returned by a search algorithm (program) without any outside influence. Paid results are bought by purchasing keywords from the search engine.

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