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Yelp enhances advertising offerings to enable business owners to better reach high-intent consumers

As local businesses look to set themselves up for success in 2022, it’s never been more important for them to connect with their communities. For many, this means having a simple advertising platform that helps them find and engage directly with their target audiences. To address this growing need, Yelp is focused on building new self-serve advertising tools and content capabilities that empower local businesses to take control of their advertising budgets and audience targeting, as well as measure the effectiveness and efficiency of their ads and content.

When a user searches on Yelp, they are typically ready to make a purchase or book a service – in fact, on average, 90% of people make a purchase within a week after visiting Yelp. To help businesses reach these high intent audiences, today we’re announcing several new and enhanced features for businesses. With Keyword Boosting, businesses will be able to specify and optimize the keywords that matter most to them – coupled with keyword blocking, this represents a powerful opportunity to target specific audiences using Yelp Ads. New availability of Custom Location Targeting will bring smarter targeting capabilities to more Yelp Ads users, and improvements to Yelp Connect will simplify and streamline business owners’ experiences in communicating with their audiences. With our expansion of budget recommendations, we’ll help businesses fine-tune their ad spend based on new data that will make advertising even more efficient. 

New and Enhanced Ad Features Give Business Owners More Control to Reach the Right Audiences

No two businesses are the same, which is why it’s important that business owners have the ability to tailor their advertising to reach high intent audiences based on their unique offerings. While one local contractor may specialize in kitchen remodels, another contractor in the same service area may instead be an expert in fencing and decks – these two businesses need the ability to emphasize what makes them unique to reach the right audience for them.

To give business owners more control over who they’re targeting with Yelp Ads, we’ve introduced a new feature – Keyword Boosting – and expanded the availability of Custom Location Targeting to make reaching the right Yelp users as seamless and efficient as possible. 

  • Keyword Boosting: Businesses are now able to customize and optimize the specific keywords that matter most to them. This new feature allows businesses to direct more of their Yelp advertising budget to selected keywords to reach high intent audiences more effectively than ever before. For example, a breakfast restaurant could decide to focus advertising spend toward the keywords, “Sunday brunch”, which might provide a higher return on investment than other keywords. When used with Keyword Blocking, an existing Yelp Ads feature that enables businesses to fine-tune their advertising spend by blocking selected keywords, businesses can more narrowly target their ads to audiences looking for the specific service or product that they offer. This is especially helpful for services businesses, which are now able to boost ads to keywords that may return higher quality leads and drive more revenue for them – for example, bathroom remodels or masonry jobs. When applied to reach Yelp’s high intent audience, keyword boosting and blocking are powerful tools that make businesses’ advertising more effective. Keyword boosting is available to new and existing Yelp Ads customers and can be accessed via the Ads Dashboard in their account.

Teri Reinersman, real estate advisor and owner of RLTY GRP in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, who participated in the Keyword Boosting pilot, shared her thoughts on the new feature: 

“I joined Yelp to differentiate my business and get the edge over others in the highly competitive south Florida market. Not only has the tool allowed me to boost my ads to those who will produce more relevant leads, but it’s also provided me with valuable metrics about my audience and created great brand exposure for me. In the real estate business, leads can take a while to materialize, but Yelp’s tools are helping me lay the groundwork for success.”

  • Custom Location Targeting (CLT): We first introduced Custom Location Targeting in 2021 to help businesses in the home and local services categories customize the specific geographic location where their ads appear — a much-requested feature by many businesses who prefer to run ads in the geographic regions where they do their business, rather than around their physical location. We’re now expanding the availability of CLT to all new and existing Yelp Ads customers. 

After years of uncertainty caused by the pandemic, we know how important it is for business owners to be able to reach their audiences efficiently and cost-effectively. This is why we’ve enhanced our Yelp Ads budgeting feature to help business owners get the most value for their ad dollars by leveraging even more data points like rating, category, listing age, region and more to make even more informed budget recommendations. 

Making Business Owner Experiences Even Better

Along with more precise audience targeting and providing smarter budgeting recommendations, we’re also always looking to help businesses connect directly with consumers, which is why we’re rolling out new improvements for Yelp Connect that will simplify and streamline the user’s experience. With this update, we’re making it even easier for business owners to share Connect updates with Yelp users by providing tailored Connect post templates with example text to help them write compelling, engaging and effective content that is easily customizable based on seasonal moments and offers.

We first launched Connect in 2019 to help restaurants communicate in new ways with their existing and potential customers. Since then we’ve expanded the product to all business categories and improved the product by adding new features like Connect Audience Model, which allows businesses to expand the reach of their posts to people who engaged with similar businesses or categories on Yelp, and a customizable call-to-action button to drive additional audience engagement. 

We’re also updating Connect’s mobile experience to allow for streamlined creation and publishing of content through an improved unified setup flow, a simplified step-by-step flow that guides business owners on how to make their page most impactful — from uploading photos and setting service areas, to creating their first Connect post. These new features will simplify the overall experiences for business owners using Yelp’s business tools.

As we roll out these updated features, we’re already continuing to build and iterate on new tools to support business owners on Yelp. We’re deeply committed to helping local businesses – restaurants, home services, retailers and more – find success on Yelp using all of the products, features and tools we’ve created, from Yelp for Business to our self-serve ad channels.