Yelp is more than a destination to find great food – millions of people come to Yelp to look for service providers, health professionals, beauty services and more. Hiring the right service professional for a project means relying on content you can trust, after all, you may be letting someone in your home and trusting them to replace your locks, remodel your kitchen or repair an appliance. That’s why Yelp has doubled down on its focus to create a differentiated experience tailored for services categories. We’re connecting consumers with trusted pros to get things done and matching service providers with relevant, high-intent leads through Request-A-Quote and Nearby Jobs. Businesses across nearly 500 categories have enabled Request-A-Quote, with categories such as lawn services, home cleaning, and home appliance repair experiencing 35%, 28%, and 18% growth in Request-A-Quote adoption so far this year*, respectively. In fact, consumers have submitted more than 26.5 million projects on Yelp in the last three years (September 2018 through September 2021).
We know finding a great service pro can be stressful, which is why, today, we’re announcing new features that support users through every stage of their project. New Yelp Project Cost Guides provide local pricing information and expert advice to help kick off a project. Yelp is also making it easier to find the right pro for the job with new search filters that help users better find businesses based on the specific service they need, as well as themed ads that surface businesses that respond quickly or provide special offers. And after the service is complete, we’re making it easier for users to share valuable information through reviews with other potential customers.
Yelp Project Cost Guides
Yelp is helping people make more informed decisions before they decide on the right pro to hire for their next project. New Cost Guides share valuable information on the average cost of services in people’s area, as well as serve as a one-stop local guide that provides helpful tips and cost-saving strategies based on your next project. Today, there are unique Cost Guides available across nearly 20 categories, 90+ service offerings and 150+ cities.
To determine the average prices for services, Cost Guides leverage Yelp’s unique data from tens of millions of Request-A-Quote projects. These guides also recommend local businesses near you to make requesting a quote even easier. For select categories such as movers, plumbers, landscapers and cellphone repair, Yelp Project Cost Guides also include useful information and tips from expert professionals that help consumers through their upcoming project, as well as better prepares them to talk to a service pro. Users can access Cost Guides by visiting yelp.com/costs. Users can also find Cost Guides surfaced in search results in the future.
Optimized search experience for services businesses
We’ve enhanced the search experience to make it even faster and easier for people to find the right professional to hire. Now, when a user searches for popular services, they’ll find new, custom search filters to help them better refine their search — weeding out businesses that may not have the expertise they’re looking for. For example, a search for plumbers now allows users to filter for a fast responding business or one that provides virtual consultations, as well as specific types of jobs or repairs they specialize in such as installations, sewers, faucets, etc. The new filters can be found on Yelp for services such as movers, plumbers, HVAC, auto repair, roofing, real estate agents, home cleaners, painters, electricians, landscaping, pest control and flooring.
We’re also introducing themed ads, a new feature for services businesses that have signed up for search ads, better surfacing them to more consumers in Yelp search results and helping consumers easily find the right pro for their project. Themed ads highlight advertising businesses based on what differentiates them from others. Current themes include highlighting “fast responding” businesses that reply to Request-A-Quote projects within two hours, as well as businesses that provide special offers. We’ll continue to roll out additional themes over time.
Leveraging our rich content, Yelp is finding more unique ways to connect our advertisers with high intent consumers – in fact, in early experiments, businesses featured in “fast responding” themed ads saw a nearly 10% decrease in cost per lead. Businesses are selected to appear in themed ads based on their unique offerings and the types of jobs they specialize in. There is no additional cost for advertisers to be highlighted in themed ads.
Making it easy to write reviews for services businesses
Over the years, we’ve heard from consumers that it can be challenging to review services businesses — what makes a plumber three stars versus four stars? Yet quality consumer reviews can be critical for services businesses to generate new leads and grow their business. In fact, according to a 2020 BrightLocal study, an overwhelming majority of consumers look at reviews for businesses in the automotive services (87%), repairs (86%), and plumbing and HVAC (82%) categories. However, if consumers are unsure of how to review a service it can create a barrier that may lead to fewer overall reviews.
At Yelp, we know that no two businesses are the same, and what works for restaurant reviews may not translate for services businesses. That’s why we’re removing the friction for reviewing home, local, auto and professional services businesses by introducing a more tailored approach that helps inform consumer reviews, in turn helping services businesses receive more high quality, reliable reviews.
Now, when consumers submit a project with Yelp’s Request-A-Quote, we will leverage the information submitted to help encourage and prompt users to write helpful reviews. To help new and existing service businesses generate more reviews, Yelp will prompt users with a series of questions to kick off the review writing flow. These questions assist users in providing more valuable information for other potential customers. For example, if a user recently hired a business to unclog a drain, we might ask them if the service was of good value, if the business responded quickly, or if they were accommodating.
At Yelp, we’re always looking for new ways to better partner with a wide range of service professionals across industries. We’re continuing to develop new machine learning models that better match consumers with services businesses and help bring more opportunities to the marketplace. We’re also focused on accommodating businesses that can easily provide a quote online, as well as businesses that may require more information or a consultation before they can provide a bespoke quote, ultimately making the hiring experience more seamless for consumers. Stay tuned for more updates!
* Looking at Request-A-Quote adoption by category between January 2021 through September 2021