What is all the Yelping About?

So what is Yelp? Founded in 2004, it is a social networking site where people can add reviews about businesses that have interacted with, and frankly it’s growth in traffic should make local non-profits/Volunteer Centers think about how to get involved.

This June, more than 1.4 million people visited its site, an increase of 124 percent over June of last year, according to comScore. The site boasts more than million reviews.

So how do you get involved?
Visit yelp.com and type in your Volunteer Center/nonprofit’s name in the “type of business” box, and then fill in your city. You should see your nonprofit listed, and the first step is to claim your listing, by clicking “edit business listing” and check that you are the business owner. You can also upload photos. There is also a help page that will introduce you to how Yelp works and how as the owner of the non-profit, you should interact with your reviewers.

How can Yelp help me get more volunteers?
1. Your nonprofit is probably already listed on Yelp, and you should be aware of any current reviews about your nonprofit posted online. So you should check Yelp out just to see what folks are saying about you.
2. It’s an easy way to create another link to your website.
3. And if that wasn’t enough for you to get excited, Yelp also has widgets that you can add to your existing website encouraging your website visitors to leave reviews. I’m envisioning an easy way to get great testimonials to use on your marketing brochures.…Simply find your listing and click on “link to this page”.

Other local search sites to pay attention to:
Ok. Yelp is one of many local search sites that you should visit and check to see if your local nonprofit is listed. The other big traffic sites you should check are:

  • CitySearch’s (15.7 million visitors this June),
  • Yahoo’s Local Guide (29.5 million unique monthly visitors)

It takes just a few seconds to update your non-profit’s online listing in these directories, and it is yet another way to capture people’s interest in volunteering.

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