Search Scientist recently had a look at Foursquare.com, coming to the conclusion that good local businesses should promote themselves there. But, there’s another big player in this local business promotion market that we could not dare overlook – Lookaly.com.
So What is Lookaly?
You may be familiar with Yell.com, the online version of The Yellow Pages. On first impression, Lookaly is a bit like Yell.com, but much more social and interactive. Yell.com may be a great way of finding business contact details, but Lookaly is a great way of finding things that are actually worth visiting, doing, or consuming. Best of all, Lookaly is just for Northern Ireland. It’s not often that we can say that!
How Lookaly works
Users sign up to Lookaly.com and then review local businesses out of 5 stars, add photos and/or choose to become fans of certain businesses. You’re also free to create new listings for businesses. As with Yell.com, an address and map is provided for each business.
Select your local Northern Irish town and up pops genuine reviews from locals on where’s best to eat, drink, socialise and do business. As Northern Ireland is so small, there is a real community feel when someone reviews your local corner shop or butchers. I think it’s a great way to give local, Northern Irish grown businesses the publicity they deserve. So, if you notice that your local petrol station has better prices than anywhere else, or if you finally find a hairdresser that makes your hair look amazing, make sure to let the locals and visitors know on Lookaly.com.
I must admit, I got a huge kick out of seeing my favourite Mexican place and my favourite bar on the top 5 lists displayed on the homepage. This also compelled me to review a few places that, in my opinion, deserve to be up there on the first page too!
If you get two minutes please go to http://lookaly.com/p/search-scientist-belfast/ and be the first to review Search Scientist! 🙂
Lookaly for your Northern Irish Business
In terms of tools for businesses, I noticed that Lookaly offers a widget for your website that displays the latest reviews. As with Foursquare or Scores on the Doors, this serves as another incentive to keep the quality of your products and customer service as high as possible! As more people become familiar with the service, the Lookaly stamp of approval could become crucial in attracting new customers.
As a business your first step is to complete the very quick registration and then click on the ‘Add Your Business’ link. Within a couple of minutes your business will be listed online for free, in anticipation of reviews. As a business, feel free to encourage your customers to go along and review you. You may have your business listed in the top 5 and enjoy a boost in customers!
Lookaly in Summary
Lookaly is an asset to Northern Irish businesses and well worth the five minutes it takes to add your business listing. It’s also free, unlike many other business listing/review sites. It may take a little encouragement among your customers for them to write reviews, depending on your business, but once the ball gets rolling you’ll receive valuable feedback and receive attention you wouldn’t otherwise have had.
The localisation and usability of the site is great. Like on Facebook, you could easily find yourself whiling away an evening browsing through the site. Instead of discovering old friends, you’ll see places that you’ve been to and deserve to be awarded with a five star review. There’s some places too that could do with upping their game, so now’s your chance to give your opinion. Either way, you get Lookaly points for contributing!
In attempt to be more critical, the only downside I found was that editing posts after they’d gone live had to be done by contacting Lookaly on firstname.lastname@example.org. I was met with a quick and friendly response though and assured that it won’t be long before I could manage all such edits myself.
I think the guys at Lookaly have made a great contribution to Northern Ireland and wish them all the best in the Ireland Web Awards next month.
What do you think?
Go to Lookaly.com and give us your first impression.
Please Reply Below & Share This Article.