Online it’s all about being talked about. If nobody is talking about you there is no way to get noticed. The most common question my web design clients ask me is, how do I get listed higher in the search engines. Contrary to popular belief, just having a website will not rank you in the top and being on the second page is just as bad as not being listed at all in my opinion. There are many user driven websites out there that give voice to the consumer. Here are a couple of websites that do a good job of letting people talk about you and your business.
Yelp is a user driven website that allows for business reviews to be posted. Yelp is most commonly used to review restaurants but there are many reviews on Yelp for professional services, health clubs, churches and more. Go to Yelp and if your business is not listed, LIST IT NOW! Once your listing shows up, contact some of your previous customers or clients and have them go on Yelp and write reviews. Ask them to be as specific as possible, include photos if they have any and of course, give you a 5 star rating. Once you have a few reviews and your business listing has been crawled by the search engines, Yelp should help you climb a few notches up in the search engine listings. Yelp has an iPhone App that allows you to search for near by businesses by category. People like me could find your business just because I’m in the area.
People trust the opinion of others.
Why do we read reviews before we buy something? Why do we watch a movie review before we go to the theater? We want to make sure we are informed before we make a decision. Sites like Yelp help people make good informed decisions. You can not afford to pass up listing your company on Yelp.
Yahoo purchased a social calendar site called Upcomming a while back now located at http://upcoming.yahoo.com. Upcomming is a social calendar that allows you to post events on a calendar for others to search by geographical location. Upcomming is most commonly used for conferences, concerts and social events but it can also be used for a Wine Dinner that your restaurant is putting on or a Soccer Clinic your sporting goods store is sponsoring. Getting the word out there about what you are doing gives people a vehicle to talk about it with their friends. I may not be interested in a Soccer Clinic but I would tell my friend who has a son that is getting into Soccer.
If you have information to give people, why not start a Meetup group for the topic. If you are a real estate agent that specializes in first time home buyers, why not put together a First Time Home Buyer Meetup? Bring people together that have an interest in what you are offering and teach them how you can help them. People love free information. The Tag Line for Meetup is great: “Use The Internet to get Off The Internet”.
Meetup put together this great video. Check it out.
There are many tools like this that are catalysts for people to talk about you and your business. I highly recommend that you figure out how you can use tools like these to grow your business and benefit people who are looking for your services.