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Local Business and Yelp

Oh, no, not another application for marketing, you must be thinking if you’re new to the whole online marketing realm- but the truth is, Yelp is a very useful site for local business.

See what I mean? Now, I mention this because I was reading recently that Google’s been thinking about buying Yelp- remember, I have also talked about how Google knows how to make money. That much is obvious, and if the search giant is looking at Yelp, you should be, too. Though Google did in fact end up declining to purchase the review site, the truth of the matter is- it’s growing. And it is growing fast, and becoming quite possibly one of the superstars of local business search.

From small towns to big metro areas, you will find almost everything on Yelp, and not only will you find it- you will also find out what people have been saying about it. As a business owner, you can, then in turn respond to those things either publicly or in private, and this is a really interesting way to interact with your target audience on a deeper level. David Mihm had a really in depth blog about Yelp a bit ago, if you want to check that out you can find it here:
http://www.davidmihm.com/blog/seo-industry/yelp-comes-of-age/

This very detailed article goes through quite a bit of the history behind Yelp, both good and bad, and at parts you may be sitting there wondering why on earth I’d recommend using this service- but keep reading. It’s very interesting to note the way that Yelp has grown and progressed since its inception but also, the benefits it can have for very savvy business owners. Personally, I’ve looked around Yelp a bit and been on the whole impressed- some of my absolute favorite haunts are on there and have a number of reviews.

I have talked a great deal here and there about how you can increase trust in your company, or your brand. This is something I feel pretty strongly about- and it seems to me that Yelp could be a way of doing just that. Boldly facing the opinions of your target audience, and interacting shows a thought and caring about the things that matter to your client or customer base- definitely something that improves trust. Particularly I think many get concerned about the negative reviews- but from what I have seen, having a look around, it seems that constructively negative reviews as opposed to just people being like they’ll be on the internet sometime can actually benefit businesses. How a business owner handles such complaints is important, but having a public venue in which to do so? If you take a constructive complaint, and turn it in to something positive- that can only mean good things for your publicity and is a great marketing asset. In doing this, you show that you not only listen to your customers, but you take their needs and opinions into account and can and will make changes. Does not seem like a bad thing to me.