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Wine SEO: Local Search and Review Services like yelp

This continues my latest series of posts on local internet marketing for a wine retailer.

There are a number of local search and review services such as yelp.com and Judy’ s Book that offers searchers the chance to assess local businesses

In yelp’s words, “Yelp is the fun and easy way to find, review and talk about what’s great – and not so great, in your area.”

These services are on top of (rather than instead of) Google’s Local Business Center that I’ve written about in previous posts (interestingly Google apparently almost purchased yelp).

It started in San Francisco but now offers this service throughout the US and in Canada, Ireland and the UK. It also has social networking features (adding friends, groups, etc.) to share reviews with their network of friends. The idea is that people generally trust their friends’ recommendations.

You can “unlock” your account (verify by phone) and add/edit your hours and contact details.

It makes it’s money by offering you, the lucky local retailer, the chance to have a sponsored listing at the top of the search results. For example, search for wine in San Franscisco and you might see K&L Wines have got both the top organic and paid listing. They also have 233 reviews at the time I write this which is pretty impressive (well done folks at K&L!). Only 2 of these are poor 1 star ratings and 190 are 5 star ratings. The normal number of reviews seems to be 10-100.

I’d certainly give them a test (you can get reports on page views etc).

The Benefits of yelp (and local review sites)

  • Word of Mouth – the internet way. You get your customer’s reviewing and recommending your store to their friends. Given friends are a trusted source this is valuable.
  • Search engine juice – get links to the search engines for a particular area
  • Reduce those annoying calls about opening hours and location.
  • Provides your location on a google map (highlighted for sponsors).
  • You can interact, privately and publicly, with your reviewers which can be more informative in its own right.
  • Can add photos of course.
  • Have some reports that can give you some great marketing information about your customers.

So give them a test.

What other local review sites do you know of?

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