Yelp Makes Updates to Cater to Local Search

Yelp has always been regarded as one of the premier review websites on the web and often sets the bar for other social media and search engine companies. In the last few weeks alone we have seen an indication that Google is making changes to their Google Maps interface, Facebook is making changes to their new layout for brand pages, and now Yelp is making changes to improve their systems’ functionality.

The new Yelp changes pertain to the Nearby feature which provides useful suggestions for places that are near to you. Considering that 45 percent of its searches come from mobile apps, the new tools could be particularly useful for businesses that have listings with Yelp. The suggestions from Yelp are based on user location and also Yelp check-ins, Yelp friends, time of day, weather, etc. Here is what Yelp search product manager Travis B. said about the new features:

At Yelp, we have an entire community of reviewers that we rely on to suggest places you might not know about, as well as places that you and your friends love. Maybe you’ll discover something new, maybe you’ll understand what the neighborhood has to offer, or maybe you’ll be reminded of an old favorite.

The new Nearby feature, which will be essentially a page itself, will give users a new way to discover Yelp spots spontaneously. The elements of social sharing will also be incorporated and plays off an idea made popular by Facebook. Many search and social providers are providing or suggesting businesses that are associated with a user’s network, concentrating on the idea that people are more likely to try a business if they know their friends have something good to say about it.

What This Means for Your Business

As Yelp strives to become a better search tool, local businesses have more incentive to be found in Yelp. In fact one local plumber on Twitter was quoted saying that 95 percent of his leads come from Yelp. The key to being found on Yelp? First you must have an account, these are free so no problem there. Secondly optimize your Yelp page as much as possible with robust and accurate descriptions, pictures, contact information and proper categorization and targeted keyword usage. Thirdly, make Yelp a priority in terms of your reviews campaign and ask your customers to leave reviews on Yelp that would help other potential customers.

By now it is evident that there are more players in the local search game other than the search engines. Business owners now have to pay attention to social media sites, reviews sites and all of their citations to make sure they are getting found on all the various places that attract the millions of web users around the world and more specifically right in their backyards.

For more help on optimizing your Yelp business page, contact Tampa SEO today.


Posted in: Blog, Local SEO by on June 23rd, 2013 Comments (0)

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