YELP is a self service critical review system that reaches out to a base of registered users for every business sector and industry providing registered users a taste of tested and tried products offering rating and review within their system for the benefit of others.
Should you consider YELP in your Marketing Strategy?
That depends? for MM and MC; Yelp was a subject of intense investigation over the last 5 years and we have found that their services in our service sector and region are not beneficial. The decision to not leverage Yelp Marketing is different than claiming your business on Yelp. Definitely claim your business on Yelp and do the minimums to accurately describe your company by name, location, hours and services. Beyond that, keep your money in your wallet unless you are in a highly competitive business sector and region where you must consider being #1 on yelp to beat your competition and the return on investment is accurately calculated.
What is the big deal with YELP?
Over the last few years MM has been monitoring and watching YELP change from a hater's lounge for foodies to something that is more professional for restaurateurs who want existing and future customers to know their value add. Yelp is a great concept that works when applied correctly. It is not perfect nor do they probably purport to being perfect. In all aspects, free enterprise allows Yelp to exist like any other online review rating system.
Who are these YELPERS?
Yelpers are a strange and interesting breed of human beings. I can't wait for AI beings to become registered users and see how Yelp handles them. Most like self driving cars will be the next Yelpers who have an opinion on valet service.
YELP likes Yelpers of a specific type; lots of friends, lots of cross likes and lots of banter about their buying and spending habits; and mostly eating out all the time with pictures of what foodies like to share with their friends both on Facebook and cross share and keep on Yelp.
Yelpers do have a tendency to be mean and thrash a company if the ratings and reviews are bad. A normal company in any other sector outside of food service typically stays away from Yelp unless they are in a Yelpers mini-cosmos like Portlandia, San Francisconia, etc.
How does YELP help your company and it's outreach to customers?
It depends. For some companies and in some service sectors and regions, Yelp is the mainstay and a center of life. For others, Yelp is a hard sell and not even welcome.
What is the YELP trick on Google.com?
At MM, a few years back Yelp approached a client, namely MC and said, we can make you great. The owner of MC who is the owner of MM looked at the potential and is always willing to learn and open up for new ways and methods to reach customers and share success and grow.
What transpired in 45 days was almost leading to an $800 per month Yelp contract, but something was wrong. How could Yelp be #1 on Google.com without following the SEO rules of the Internet? Well, low and behold, after a dozen phone calls and escalations in order to make the contract close; the truth was found.
Yes, Yelp and Google had a contract to put Yelp #1 on Google regardless of SEO meta tag search engine methodology, which to MC and MM was a direct violation of the openness, trust, transparency and acceptable use policy (AUP) that has withstood the test of time since 1993.
Therefore, the 2 month investigative analysis and reporting indicated YELP had a backdoor contract with GOOGLE to put Yelp on Page #1 of any category search based on the word Yelp in the meta-tags. Was it a Ponzi scheme, MC and MM were not sure, yet the contract was not signed and all participants were amiable to not completing the contract.
Morale of the story: Just put YELP in your title and keywords and your company will be page #1 organically. If you find a YELP link to your service industry, like the TOP this and that, just copy the TITLE meta tag to your companies TITLE meta tag and voila. You will arrive right next to Yelp's Google search results link.
The bottom line about YELP
Yelp is a company trying to achieve a certain goal. While many of the shared comments and experiences are specific to MM, not all experiences will be the same.
Contractually, don't get into a contract that a business cannot afford.
Contact other cities in other states in your business sector, service and offerings using Yelp as your guide and talk to the owners and ask for their feedback. MM did that for MC for the same industry, sector and service in both Boise Idaho and Portland Oregon, and the feedback was interesting, different and a true treasure trove of knowledge that even Yelp would not provide.
Do your homework, and if you live in the Truckee Meadows and have a business; do your math and make sure your pencil is sharpened long before Yelp gives you a call and makes promises even before they have done their homework for your business in your competitive market success.
more to come...
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