Last month, Yelp announced a series of paid business listing enhancements. Intended to benefit both businesses and Yelp users, the listing enhancements are part of Yelp’s strategy to provide relevant user content and support business growth while better monetizing the review-focused site.
What Are The New Yelp Business Listing Enhancements?
In June, Yelp announced two new paid business listing enhancements:
Yelp Business Highlights
For $2/day (discounted to $1/day for active Yelp advertisers), businesses can select six badges to highlight their features and differentiating qualities. Yelp has 30 badges to choose from. Two of the six chosen badges can be selected to be featured within Yelp search results.
Designed especially for businesses new to Yelp, Yelp Portfolio allows businesses to showcase photos with custom descriptions for $2/day. The portfolio of images is intended to help Yelp users better understand the products and services offered by a business. Yelp believes this product should help businesses generate more relevant consumer inquiries.
Also included in their June announcement, Yelp highlighted their Verified License product that launched earlier in 2019. The Yelp Verified License, shown with a blue shield, is indicative of a business that has had their business license manually verified by Yelp. Yelp claims the Verified License badge should boost consumer engagement within 30 days. The badge is available to qualified businesses within specific categories and states for $1/day.
How Can Businesses Leverage The New Yelp Business Listing Enhancements?
Yelp Highlights, Yelp Portfolio and Yelp Verified License shields are available for individual purchase on the Yelp for Business Owners site. Later this year, Yelp plans to roll out a new self-service advertising tool, and the business listing enhancements, plus Yelp Ads, will be managed there.
Why Did Yelp Introduce New Enhanced Business Listing Features?
Yelp believes their new business listing enhancements address pain points of small business owners currently within the Yelp community by giving businesses more control over their listings and how they present to potential customers. While this is undoubtedly true, it’s also a fact that Yelp’s revenue has recently plateaued. All of the new business listing enhancements represent increased monetization opportunities for Yelp. And though $1/day is not much for a business, Yelp is hoping the cumulative ad spend will push their share of the U.S. digital ad spend (currently at 0.8%) higher.
How Will The Yelp Enhanced Business Listings Benefit Digital Marketers?
Business who adopt the new Yelp business listing enhancements are likely to see increased engagement from Yelp users because their listings should stand out from their competitors. However, as more businesses pay for highlight icons, photo portfolios or verified license shields, these features will do less to distinguish one business listing from another.
Regardless, the new Yelp business listing enhancements are priced right for testing. At $365/year, for most businesses it is worth seeing if the Yelp enhancements drive incremental traffic. In fact, at that price, for most advertisers, the Yelp business listing enhancements will fall in the “set it and forget it” category of digital advertising.
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