Yelp.com can be really effective in helping you optimize your marketing for local search results. Yelp is a local review website that has more than 30 million reviews, and it now has active communities in more than a dozen countries. These reviews cover restaurants, retail stores, education, real estate and a lot more. In the second quarter of 2012, Yelp had 78 million unique visitors each month.
When we look at the search results in five major cities for travel, retail, auto rentals and other areas, there is a big variation in Google results for the different cities, as a new white paper from BrightEdge points out. The white paper states that a brand could boost traffic and revenue by up to 30% if they are able to close the gap in SEO performance. They can do this by ranking at the identical level as their top city for each keyword across all five of the cities.
This is not easy to do. The first challenge is for a marketer to try to get a good picture of what their site’s visibility is across the multiple locations. But based upon Yelp’s experiences, BrightEdge was able to distill some local search best practices:
- Use a type of software that lets you monitor rankings for multiple cities and to compare both national and local results.
- Look for gaps in performance in different locations. Focus on the cities that get a lower search rank and look for keyword opportunities to improve your results.
- Look for any landing page errors. This is where the highest ranking page for one city targets another city. This can frustrate users and will lose you business.
- Try to understand how the origin location of the person who does the search affects the SEO performance for your most popular pages.
- Make sure that you are using local communities in Yelp and Google+ to claim your listing for your business. You should try to add photos, business hours and other details.
- Come up with landing pages that are specific to a local area. Every page should have area-specific content and it should be refreshed often.
Local/mobile advertising will reach $24 billion in just four years, so there is a huge opportunity to be had for those marketers who embrace local search results.