I’m from a small community in Southern Ontario that some may refer to as farmland, and when I try to explain where it is to others, I tend to say the middle of nowhere, out of frustration. This isn’t very descriptive but I can now say that you can find businesses in my area on Yelp. Companies in my community are now being found higher on search results because of Yelp’s increase in SEO.
What is Yelp?
Yelp is a rating and review website that has been around since 2004. Businesses from restaurants, farm equipment dealers (in my area), finical help and many more can be searched on the site. It uses a word of mouth like technique to promote local businesses. At the same time it is also able to tear them down. Since it is a customer based site it can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Customers are able to write good or bad reviews depending on their experiences.
A large reason that business use Yelp is because customers trust it. They know that it isn’t a paid advertisement. All the reviews and ratings cannot be deleted once they are on the site unless the original poster does so, or if it is false. It the case that it is false Yelp will take it down them self. Meaning there are no biases on the site.
Businesses are able to post events and reminders to their page for customers to see. It also allows customers to like and follow your page just like other social media sites. A two-way communication feature is available on the site in the form of a message board. Customers are able to ask questions for others to reply to and start a conversation on topics such as the best bars for soccer fans in an area. It also can increase your SEO.
Yelp’s SEO Strategy
SEO or search engine optimization is the process that affects the visibility or ranking of your website on a search engines search results. Yelp uses this in the most successful way that has been seen on the web.
A SEO can be improved by using different tricks and Yelp uses them all.
- They use a large amount of backlinks in all of their business pages. A backlink is a link for one website on another website. An example of this having a link from your Facebook to your yelp page.
- Yelp uses UGC (user-generated-content) and a large quantity of it. Every time a customer writes a review on a website they are adding to the SEO.
One of the great benefits of Yelp is that it has a very distinctive search strategy that most search engines don’t use. When using a national search for a type of business or company, such as movie theaters near Ottawa Ontario, you get a large list of results starting with highest ranked business to lowest. When you narrow a search down to a city, like movie theaters near 441 MacLaren St, Ottawa Ontario, the search result will be different. It’s more customized, giving the highest ranked business closest to the location you gave first and lower ranked along with farthest distance lower on the list.
Have you used Yelp? Do you find it a benefit for businesses to sign up or do you feel like it is too much of a rick?