When it comes to marketing your business through digital, it’s important to look beyond just your website. For local businesses, it can be as important to market your brand through various social media platforms, local directories and review sites.
In our latest blog series, we’ve been taking an in depth look at so-called “fringe” social platforms, with Yelp the focus for this article. We explain what Yelp is, who’s using it, and give you an idea whether it’s worth your while building a presence for your brand.
What is Yelp?
Yelp is a free local business directory that has more than 142 million unique visitors each month. For local businesses, it’s a great opportunity to increase your reach as your free account lets you add a detailed profile with photos, map and opening hours. It’s also an important brand management tool as customers can leave reviews and message business owners directly.
Are my customers using Yelp?
Yelp has been around for more than ten years, so it’s a well-established site. It appeals slightly more to women than men (but not by much) across most age brackets, with it being most popular among 18-24 year olds.
People tend to use the site to look for reviews when trying to find a place to eat or shop. However, Yelp reviews for other businesses can be one piece in the puzzle when looking for a suitable, local product or service. Positive reviews and word of mouth are incredibly influential on our buying decisions.
Is it an effective use of my time?
Certainly you should be aware of Yelp and monitor it for reviews, especially negative ones, so you can respond appropriately. You may find someone has already left a review on your business, in which case, you can Claim Your Business to control and manage those interactions. Either way, there’s no harm in setting up a free account and monitoring usage for a period of time. If you find there’s considerable interest, you may consider upgrading and paying for Yelp advertising.
It’s also worth noting that with Google’s Pigeon algorithm update released in July 2014, you may find that authoritative directory sites like Yelp receive increased exposure in Google search results above even your own website. Having a presence on this and other directories not only improves your chances of being found through page one results for local searches, but improves your own site’s SEO (search engine optimisation) through authoritative backlinking.
What other social channels should I be using?
It’s overwhelming keeping track of all the social media and directory sites out there. In fact, Yelp is just one among several crowd-sourced review sites (aka directories). Here are just a few used here in Australia:
In our latest blog series, we’ve been examining several so-called “fringe” social channels. If you’re looking to learn more about what they are, who’s using them and whether they’re worth your time, you can view the complete list through the iFactory blog.
If you need help mapping out a suitable digital marketing strategy, it makes sense to seek help from a team in the know. iFactory has been delivering targeted digital marketing solutions to businesses for more than ten years. Grow your business further and contact iFactory today on 07 3844 0577.