Yelp 

Yelp is a search engine that aims at connecting people with local businesses. Business owners can create a free Yelp account and users then can post reviews about the business and rate it on a 1-5 star system. Yelp also sells ads to local businesses, these ads are labeled “Yelp Ads” when they appear in a user’s search. Yelp can be used on mobile devices such as iPhone or Android and searches are conducted based on keywords and the proximity to the current location (navigational services) or the City, State. Anyone can browse the Yelp website and read reviews about different businesses. You cannot write your own reviews unless you sign up for a Yelp account, which is like signing up for a social networking website.

Yelp ads are a tough sell for someone like a lawyer or doctor in my experience, but for an established bar, restaurant, retail store, or local service like lawn care that can leverage 4-5 star ratings, Yelp ads can work wonders.  If you have an opportunity to utilize some free credit towards Yelp Ads (sometimes as much as $250 dollars) it may be worth a shot for you – just be aware of when you go through it so you don’t get charged.

Google AdWords 

Google AdWords, if you aren’t familiar (you can familiarize yourself more here) is an online advertising program that allows you to choose where your ads will appear depending on your budget and measure the impact of your ad. This is a “pay per click” system, which means you only pay the amount you bid for if someone actually clicks on your ad as a result from a web search. Your ad will appear on the google search result page, either above the organic search results or on the left side. Paid ads are marked by a yellow “Ad” but otherwise blend in pretty naturally with the search results. In order to have your ad displayed on specific search results you need to bid against other marketers on how much you are willing to pay each time your ad is clicked on.

You can get your hands on $100 credit (ask us for a coupon code if you don’t have one available) and you can get a pretty quick idea of how much you’ll have to spend to make it a viable marketing option.  Google AdWords truthfully has become exponentially more expensive in recent years because of the introduction of more “players” into the market system, but if you execute your campaign correctly, you can still see a positive return on investment.  Look to Google AdWords reps helping you make the most of your campaign.

Facebook Ads

A business creates an ad. They choose the type of audience they’d like to reach. If you’re in that audience, Facebook shows you the ad. Ad preferences are based on information that the user has shared with Facebook, pages a user likes or engages on or websites the user visits.  Facebook ads are great because of how specific you can get with your targeting – by age, by gender, by location – but then more specifically by interests your specify.

Whitespark

Whitespark is a local citation finder. Whitespark allows you to check your own citations as well as the citations of your leading competitors.  From there, you will be able to see tons of opportunities to place your website on great directories, possible guest blogs, and opportunities for sponsorships and charities right in your industry.

Moz Local

Moz Local creates and maintains business listings on the sites, apps, and directories that factor most into local search engine results. You are also able to track your impact with the reporting system.  There are other services like this (namely Yext) but Moz Local puts you on some of the core citation generators that sites all of the internet refer to.

Looking for more ways to help market your business? We can help integrate your business into social media platforms with social media marketing from Market My Market.