Do You Yelp?

Written: 2-Jun-2008 | | Filed under: Local Search,Social Media

There’s a lot of talk lately about optimizing for local search, especially if you have a locally-oriented service business (such as a restaurant, auto repair shop, day spa, etc.). And there’s probably at least as much talk — maybe more — about using social media type sites to open dialogs with your customers. So have you checked out Yelp? If you’re a local business, you owe it to yourself to give it a look.

Yelp is a user-generated content site that allows local customers to enter their own reviews of local businesses. Even in my small town, dozens of businesses including restaurants, banks and stores are listed and have user reviews. You might be in there and not even know it!

With all that content and business information, the site is important for local business visibility. And with a recent announcement of new features by Yelp, it can now be an important tool for opening the lines of communication with your customers.

Yelp has been known up until now as a consumer site. Now, it appears Yelp is offering some new features to make its service more attractive to small business owners. Simply by registering and claiming your business page, you can:

  • Message people who leave a review of your business.
  • Get stats on how many potential customers have viewed your business page.
  • Instantly update your business information.
  • Receive e-mail alerts when a new review of your business is posted.

Register for free at Yelp to take advantage of these new features. Of course, they’re hoping you’ll be so pleased with the results, you’ll spring for their paid upgrade options. Which, depending on your business and how active the local residents are on Yelp, might not be such a bad idea.

In any case, it does seem like something worth checking out.

Hat tip to the Kelsey Group Blogs for bringing these new features to my attention!

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