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Local business owners need to be watching their presence on Yelp.  Earlier we looked at how small business owners can claim their business page on rating/review/check-in services.

For some time Google Places aggregated the reviews on other systems into Google Place Pages.  Google’s Place Pages and their reviews matter in terms of search engine results. As the other systems, like Yelp, insisted Google stop aggregating their data into the Place Pages, Google finally ended that integration.  Many businesses focused efforts on how to stand out in Google Place Pages higher, and neglected Yelp.

The “check-in” geolocation culture is growing, but that isn’t the important part.  What is important is how other systems are integrating reviews from non-Google sources. Most notable for a brick & mortar business owner is that Yelp reviews are now a determining factor on what iPhone 4s users will find.  Apple has unveiled Siri, a voice activated assistant.  By simply speaking to the app a phrase like “find Mexican food”, Siri will fetch results based upon the user’s location.  Those results are now collected from Yelp, with an easy link to see Yelp ratings and reviews.

As a business owner, it matters greatly to monitor your entire online presence.  Especially important is to kindly ask outstanding clients and happy customers to give you great feedback around the web.  Consider making a specific focus on your standings in Facebook, Yelp, Google Places, and Foursquare for starters.

 

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Google Place Pages have once again made some massive changes without making it clear to business owners what they can do to help their ratings. Since the YellowPages is quickly becoming outdated, and people are instead rapidly turning to searches either on their computers or mobile devices to find business contact information, it becomes important to be discovered in the dominant search engine. Google Places Updated The new emphasis in the most recent changes is on reviews, while eliminating citations. Citations are simply directory listings across the internet that were aggregated into your business’s Google Place Page. However, sites such as Yelp and TripAdvisor were not thrilled with Google scraping the reviews and listings into the place page. As a business owner, whether brick and mortar or servicing a local region, it is important for you to claim your Place page and complete the information.  It is important to still be discovered on many directory listings across the internet, but it is unclear if Google will still factor these citations into the search ranking algorithm. It is still important that you encourage happy customers to review your business on Google especially, as well as also Foursquare, Facebook, Yelp, and a few others. In the meantime, I’m hoping Google can give business owners a bit more direction on best practices for Place pages (and hopeful that somehow this could integrate to Google Plus).

Want to learn more about what your business needs in Local SEO marketing? Learn here.

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