Yelp Rolls Out New Features For Multi-Location Brands

On February 11, Yelp announced new offerings aimed at national and multi-location brands. This is not a surprise as the local directory and review platform has been rolling out new features and tools in an attempt to differentiate themselves from Google and GMB offerings.

The latest release follows closely on the heels of recent UX enhancements focused on personalization, and was developed to address common issues national and multi-location brands face when using the platform. Yelp reached out to several national brands, such as Denny’s, to try out the new features before officially making the announcement. Although Yelp did not provide any specifics, the new updates did yield successful results.

Store Visits Attribution

Yelp Store Visits (YSV) track post-ad activity to produce a cost-per-visit figure that brands can use to calculate a more accurate ROI. Yelp defines the metric as “a first-party [opt-in] attribution tool that allows businesses to better understand the impact of their ads.” This new attribution tool relies exclusively on Yelp first-party data, making it both reliable and privacy-friendly.

Showcase Ads

Yelp describes their new Showcase Ad unit as “video-centric”. To ease adoption and multi-media ad creation by SMBs, it allows flexible input that does not actually require video to create an animated output.

This new ad unit was given the title “Showcase Ads” because Yelp sees this as another way for businesses to promote specials, limited time offers, special deals, etc.

These new features are among the latest “major product changes” slated for Yelp. Not only do they follow clear trends and demands in the local media and commerce marketplace, but the updates will also help to combat intensifying pressure from Google and GMB’s increasing transactional functionality. According to recent research from social media and reputation management platform SOCi, Google has more than ten times the number of reviews as Yelp.

However, Yelp continues to be an important consumer destination and ranks very well in Google results. Yelp also syndicates its content to heavy-hitters including Bing, Apple Maps and Alexa, cementing its relevance and importance for multi-location brands and franchises. Differentiation with new features like store visit attribution and Showcase Ads will be key for Yelp to regain growth and momentum in the local-social arena by helping local businesses find new ways to engage with consumers. Stay tuned for more new features rolling out in the future.