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SEO For Yelp…What Really Works

Yelp search results are based on a confidential algorithm and while we do not have the exact formula, a few things that may influence search and rankings include review text, star ratings, number of reviews, text that a business includes in their listing in the Specialties/History/Meet the Business Owner sections, key words that a searcher types in and location the searcher seeks.

Yelp functions similarly to the other search engines in that it looks to match the key words that the searcher types in. There are a few reasons why you are not likely to be presented in a search for “…… Agent” near “Mooresville, NC”. Currently, you do not have the key word “Agent” anywhere in your Specialties, History or Meet the Business Owner sections of your listings. You also do not have any reviews from consumers who reference the word “Agent” in their text.

If you perform a search with the key words “Bobcat Locksmith”, “Locksmith” near “Austin, Texas” you will likely find the your listings do show up in the search results because all of the key words typed in appear in your listing. If you would like to increase the odds that you appear in search results for a specific key word, we would recommend that you add it to the Specialties, History or Meet the Business Owner section of your listing. We would caution against what search engines call “key word stuffing”, which is adding key words to game the system and attain better results. Ultimately, text should be written for a consumer as they would be reading it and should have a nice flow – it should not just be a laundry list of words that you would like be tied to your search results. Pages/listings/websites that are suspected of key word stuffing, could potentially see a decrease in traffic over time as the search engines become aware and remove or block you from appearing at all in search results.

Another thing that will help you to appear more often in search results is to receive more reviews. As you receive more reviews, the text from consumers becomes “eligible” to be searched for key words, in addition to the limited character space available in the Specialties, History or Meet the Business Owner sections. Reviews not only help you with searches on Yelp, they also have the potential to show up in search outside of Yelp (on Google, Yahoo, etc.).

One last thing worth mentioning is that adding additional photographs or the agency video from Marketing Package will make a listing more dynamic and interesting from a consumers perspective. Our recommendation would be to add pictures of the agency, of staff, a group photo, of events that you have worked, etc. to further personalize your listing. Certain pictures may be displayed in mobile search (for example the street view may appear for people seeking out directions and maps to a location) to help consumers find the agency more easily. These things may have an indirect effect on search results.

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Step by Step Guide to Finding Hashtags to Use for Instagram Posts

Instagram HashtagsWith over 600 million active users, and 95 million pieces of content daily, breaking away from the clutter and having your message heard on Instagram is no easy task.

Adding to marketers’ woes are Instagram’s algorithms that affect organic reach, unless your content is on point.

So, how do you go about ensuring your content is seen by your target audience?

The answer lies in the strategic use of hashtags.

Here’s the proof – Instagram posts with at least one hashtag generate over 12% more engagement than those without.

Instagram hashtags are like filters that help organize content on the channel. E.g. If you search for #crossfit, Instagram will filter out everything and generate all posts that have the same hashtag attached to them. So, if you’re in the business of selling wine, #(name of wine) will generate content of people (and brands) who have shared related content.

Now that you know why hashtags are essential for Instagram success, let’s learn how you can get started.

Here is a detailed step by step guide to finding hashtags for your Instagram posts:

1. Research your target audience

As simple as it sounds, this is often the most forgotten aspect of any marketing strategy, leave alone Instagram. Ask a marketer friend of yours, who their target audience is and, chances are, they’ll paint a very generic picture without any specifics. Knowing your audience to the minutest detail will reveal what type of content they share and consume on Instagram and what hashtags they use. E.g. If you’re a travel business, you’ll want your content to be mainly seen by those who travel (and wish to travel). In short, your hashtag must be in line with the content you post and also be relevant to what your audience is searching for.

2. Use the “Search” function

Instagram Search is the first, and best place to start for hashtags (both brand and community related). As you type the first few letters, Instagram will auto-populate suggested hashtags and the number of times they’ve been used. These suggestions are all hashtags that you can use on your post. E.g. if you are in the business of finance solutions, related keywords (or hashtags) can be #smallbusiness, #payroll, #invoicing, etc. The objective is to find hashtags that your audience is likely to search for or use on their posts. Clicking one of these hashtags, you’ll open yourself to a wide community of Instagram users for whom your business may be of interest.

3. Pay attention to your competition

Another important place to start looking is your competitors’ Instagram posts. If you have competitors that are doing well on Instagram, with a good number of followers and strong engagement, their Instagram pages should be in your radar at all times. If you look closely, a couple of key things you’ll notice are the type of content they post, engagement levels and the hashtags they use. Carefully study:

● What hashtags they are using
● Which ones generate the most engagement
● Which ones do they use repeatedly

Using a good social media management software like Hootsuite or Sprout Social, you can easily peruse through thousands of competitor posts to identify key trends that you can begin emulating for your posts. Looking at competitor posts will also give you an indication of how their audiences are engaging with the brand.

4. Research key influencers and industry leaders

Influencers and industry leaders tend to perform exceptionally well on social media channels, and there are quite a few in every industry. Do a bit of research on who they are for your respective industry and start following their Instagram channels. As they are speaking to your target audience, why not learn from what they are doing? With a lot of trial and error, these folks have nailed their presence on Instagram, and you can easily emulate what they are doing, by observing the hashtags that they use frequently.

5. Explore related hashtags

Exploring hashtags that are trending and are related to your business is a great way to identify hashtags that you can use on your posts. Just like “search,” this too is very easy. Simply enter the hashtag you want to look for in the search bar and select “Tags.” Instagramwill then generate hashtags that are very closely related to the one you entered. You are now armed with almost all the hashtags that are relevant to your business and with which you can monitor activities in the community that you are keen to engage.

Using the above 5 steps, you can now start using Instagram hashtags in a strategic manner to boost reach of your posts, thus better engaging your audience. What other methods have you tried to find suitable hashtags to do well on Instagram?

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How to Grow an Audience on Instagram In 4 Weeks

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The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Hashtags to Increase Engagement

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5 Highly Effective Habits of Top Instagram Influencers That You Should Mimic

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