September 06, 2012

Speak for Yourself on Yelp

By: Andrea Brandon | Director, Marketing Communications

Yelp is known as the online leader in user-generated reviews with Yelp contributors reviewing every type of local business, from restaurants and salons to dentists, mechanics and plumbers. Its platform provides local businesses with a range of free and paid services, which help advertisers engage with consumers when they are deciding where to spend their money.

Yelp boasts impressive usage too with over 78 million unique visitors and 6.3 million unique visitors to their mobile site each quarter. Serious growth is expected after partnerships were inked recently with both Bing—where reviews will display next to relevant search results—and Apple Maps where users will soon read reviews and check into businesses similar to foursquare.

  1. More than just user reviews, Yelp allows advertisers to establish their own presence. Here’s where you come in. Whether you choose to invest in paid advertising or not, step one is to claim your local profiles. This can be done on the site by setting up a free account for an individual location, or for brands with a long list of locations, contract a digital agency like Marquette Group to manage the set up instead.
  2. Promote your location(s) and your services through what Yelp calls an Enhanced Profile. By building more content into the profile to encourage higher user engagement, subtly counter any negativity that may have surfaced in reviews and oftentimes rank higher on the search results page. Enhanced profiles might include special announcements or offers with URL, video and photo slideshows.
  3. Targeted pay-per-click advertising puts Yelp paid advertisements at the top of the page ahead of reviews on the search results page. Another plus for Yelp advertisers is that their direct competitors will be removed from the pages the ad shows up on—whether on a desktop or mobile phone.

Varying ad packages are available depending on the number of advertiser locations and a few other parameters and how aggressive the strategy is.

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