Yelp Audiences permits advertisers to succeed in Yelp customers off the platform


Yelp is launching Yelp Audiences, its first offering that enables both location and non-location advertisers to reach Yelp users over the web based on their Yelp search activity, the company announced on Wednesday. Targeting is based on the user’s intent to purchase on Yelp, and the ads do not have to be traced back to the Yelp platform.

Behavioral Targeting. Yelp works with demand-side platforms (DSPs) to serve ads to its users on third-party websites, apps and video streaming services (via CTV). Targeting is based on the user’s Yelp activity. “This includes search, delivery and takeout, search filters and category interests,” Tom Foran, SVP of Yelp and head of GTM, nationally, told Search Engine Land.

“Yelp Audiences doesn’t rely on traditional targeting techniques because we already know what people want to buy and can therefore show more relevant ads based on the unique buying signals that Yelp receives from its users,” he added.

Performance measurement. “The way Yelp Audiences ads are displayed gives customers regular updates on performance metrics,” said Foran. “We also provide regular reports and insights to our clients by providing either raw performance metrics or follow-up reports that provide a summary of the campaign’s performance.”

Yelp also works with select third-party measurement companies to help provide more robust analytics for advertisers who need it, he added.

Yelp Audiences vs. Yelp Audience Network. Yelp has a similarly named offering, the Yelp Audience Network, which enables advertisers to serve ads on third-party websites. The main difference is that clicking ads on the Yelp Audience Network takes users to the advertiser’s Yelp business page.

With Yelp Audiences, the ad doesn’t need to bring consumers back to the Yelp platform, making it useful for advertisers in more industries.

Why we care. Yelp Audiences can enable brands to target Yelp users based on their Yelp searches, search filters, and category interests. Because these ads appear outside of the Yelp platform and can direct users to pages outside of Yelp (such as a product landing page), this offering could target more advertisers than Yelp’s other promotional offers.

“Yelp Audiences can serve as an omnichannel solution or help increase audience reach if a national coffee chain wants to target users who recently searched for coffee and tea as part of a Christmas campaign,” Foran cited as an example: “Yelp Audiences can also support a direct-to-consumer mattress brand that targets users who have searched for a mattress store in their local market and offer those users a free trial to try their mattress at home when they visit other websites or apps search.”

Additionally, according to a Yelp survey conducted by SurveyMonkey, 90% of people make a purchase within a week of visiting Yelp. This may indicate that Yelp users are ready to make purchasing decisions, making Yelp Audiences an effective way to reach ready-to-buy consumers.

About the author

George Nguyen is an editor at Search Engine Land and specializes in organic search, podcasting, and e-commerce. His background is journalism and content marketing. Prior to entering the industry, he worked as a radio personality, writer, podcast host, and public school teacher.

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