How Yahoo’s New Partnership With Yelp Will Affect Local Search Results
Yahoo and Yelp recently announced a strategic partnership whereby local listings and reviews from Yelp will be posted directly on Yahoo’s local search results. Over the past several years, local search results and online reviews have become increasingly important to digital marketing; once fully implemented, this new Yahoo-Yelp alliance promises to increase online traffic for local businesses as well as provide an enhanced search experience for the consumer.
Yelp Reviews Will Appear Alongside Yahoo Search Results
With an average of 78 million visitors each month, Yelp is one of the most important online directory and review sites for local businesses; a recent study by the Harvard Business School has concluded that a one star increase in positive Yelp ratings can increase sales by 5 to 9 percent. Customers can rate their overall satisfaction with a business on a scale of one to five stars and write a detailed review of their experience.
- Be sure to claim your Yelp listing – it’s your best insurance against inaccurate information being returned to searchers. Local businesses can display a business description as well as photos in their Yelp listing.
- Your business information needs to be absolutely identical across all search engine and directory listings. Even a minor difference such as showing your business address as “Main Street” in one listing and “Main St.” in another may be enough to confuse the search engines and cost you rankings and traffic.
- Include your primary keywords so that your business will show up in more searches.
- With an estimated 85 percent of all consumers reading online reviews before making a local purchase decision, the search engines are adding online reputation signals to their algorithm for determining business ranking. A business with positive Yelp reviews will benefit from improved rankings and increased traffic.
Get Started With Yahoo Local for Free
Yahoo Local offers businesses a free basic listing that will appear in the local Yahoo search results. While Yahoo has fallen to the number three position in the search engine market – with a 10.8 percent market share compared to 67.3 percent for Google and 18.2 percent for Bing – local businesses can only benefit from the merged Yahoo-Yelp search results. As an additional incentive, setting up a Yahoo Local account is a breeze compared to the confusing maze of navigating through Google Local.
- Claim your business listing. It costs you nothing to get started, and gives you control over the information that will be returned in Yahoo searches.
- A basic Yahoo Local listing is free, and includes all of the vital information about your business: physical and email addresses, phone number, business hours, list of products and services, and a link to your website.
- An enhanced listing is available for $9.95 per month. With this option you can add photos, coupons for special offers and deals, a 3,000-character description of your company, and a 150-character tagline for your company. You also receive access to reports that show the number of impressions and clicks your enhanced listing is receiving.