Local business review sites are great for SEO and advertising. If you’re not already taking advantage of them, you should be. These are sites where you make a profile and customers can leave reviews. When people are searching for a local business, they find yours. Here are the 6 hottest local business review sites right now.
Google Places – google.com/places
Google Places is Google’s local business listing directory. It replaced Google Local Business Center in 2009. It’s really easy to set up your Google Places listing (and free!) and it will come up in search engines, so it’s important to write a good profile and optimize for keywords.
You can send out real-time updates, post pictures of your business and take advantage of their analytics to see how you’re doing.
Yahoo! Local – local.yahoo.com
Yahoo! Local is similar to Google Places. You get a map, a profile and your own landing page. One of the great things about Yahoo! Local is that listings show up above the organic search results.
If somebody is looking for a business like yours and using the right keywords, they’ll see your listing first. Yahoo may not get as much Web traffic as Google, but it’s still pretty significant and well worth using.
Yelp! – yelp.com
Especially in urban areas, everybody now uses Yelp to find out where to buy stuff, eat stuff, and be entertained by stuff. There are something like 9 million reviews on the site and it gets tens of millions of visitors each month. In fact, your business may already have a Yelp listing without you even knowing it.
Citysearch – citysearch.com
Citysearch is the oldest listings site and it also gives you some tools you can use to promote it. You can make special offers through your profile and it has built-in analytics to give you statistics about your profile’s visitors. They have both a free membership and a paid membership that gets you additional business services.
Insider Pages – insiderpages.com
Insider Pages is a site that focuses especially on businesses for families. Like Yelp, it has an urban and suburban focus. Users can browse by city or service and read reviews from others. Insider Pages listings come up high in the search engine results pages for local searches, so it’s great for geographical keyword optimization.
MerchantCircle – merchantcircle.com
MerchantCircle is a new review site on the scene. It offers a number of bonuses in addition to your listing like your own blog, a question and answer site where you can build authority, and a schedule feature that lets you make appointments.
The really unique thing about MC is that it gives you complete control over reviews. You can even delete them! This is a pretty big disservice for customers, but it’s helpful for businesses.
These sites are user created, which means that customers can basically create your profile by leaving reviews. What this means is that even if you’re not using these sites, you might already have a listing on them.
Each site gives you the option of claiming your listing and taking control of it. I suggest you do it right away!
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Tired of wading through all the “local review” sites on the web? Here are our top 6 worth claiming your listing.