Saturday, August 18, 2012

Yelp! Most Searches Are Local

This is the first of a multi-part post series on Yelp

Studies show that most online searches are local in nature. People go online to search for products and services that they're interested in and more than 80 percent of them take immediate action based on their online search efforts. That's why local businesses not only have to have a robust website presence, but they should also pay particular attention to what consumers are saying about them. Social online reviews are one of the most popular ways for consumers to express their opinions about a local business and Yelp is one of the most robust platforms they use. In the last eight years, Yelp's influence has grown significantly with the advent of social media sharing options. With more than 60 million registered users and 20 million reviews posted on the site, consumer reviews can be "liked", shared or recommended to others within their social circles on
Google+, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and many other platforms. That's why monitoring social review sites like Yelp should be just as important to business owners as maintaining the right levels of product inventory in their stores. Unfortunately, many local business owners are still stuck in the local business directory frame of mind, where just being listed in popular local reference suffices. A shrewd Rainmaker knows that's just not the way to be successful in business these days. Restaurateurs especially know the value of increasing their star rating on Yelp, because more than 66 percent of Yelp users search for reviews and ratings on local restaurants. In my next post, I'll share tips on how local business owners can maximize the use of Yelp as a lead generating and customer loyalty tool.

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