Yelp is a social media service that has many characteristics of a business directory. It has been operating in the USA for a number of years but has only recently started accepting listings in Australia. I have no idea if it will be a success here. But I think it is worth registering your business with the service for these reasons:
- it is low-cost (free) to create and maintain a listing;
- it includes a link to your website. (It may not add much link value but it is capable of passing traffic.);
- it includes a description and has the capacity for photos; and
- it is an opportunity for customer comments.
You may find your business is already be listed. In that case it is easy to claim the listing and update any details.
While exploring it recently, I noticed below the location map on their search results page, there is an option to “Browse Nearby”. This is an easy way to search in the location displayed for a few predetermined categories, namely Restaurants, Nightlife, Shopping and Coffee & Tea. If you are in one of these categories, you have an extra incentive to ensure your business is listed and your address and contact information is accurate. What better time to connect with a potential customer than after they have been visiting a business in your location and are looking for their next activity.
Some may be concerned that their business is shown close to competing businesses and see this as an excuse to avoid a listing. Yelp will show these competitors regardless of your choice. Your details may already be listed in this and many other directories. You may have little choice than to accept the situation. Even better, embrace the opportunity to display your details and compete head on.
If you need more incentive, Bing now has an arrangement with Yelp to include their content into Bing’s local search results. [Bing Does Local Content Deal With Yelp]. We also know that, at least for now, Facebook search results are supplemented with Bing results. Bing may be the poor relation to Google, in terms of search volume, but they have a considerable following and are working hard to grow their market share.
This is an opportunity worth pursuing.
- Facebook search - another reason to get involved (blog.midboh.com.au)
- Bing Does Local Content Deal With Yelp (searchengineland.com)