Yahoo Launches Lead Gen Biz

Yahoo Small Business on Monday will launch Yahoo Localworks to help companies generate leads and become more visible through search query results, directories and map applications such as Mapquest and Bing Maps.

The tool aims to drive new leads to businesses by combining a local directory with reputation management features, according to Tom Byun, vice president of Yahoo Small Business. He says brand marketers want to know how Yahoo can help clients secure the next customer.

The feature, which took about three months to build, checks directories and pushes business profiles and content to more than 40 online directories across the Web -- such as Yahoo Local, Yelp, Citysearch and Bing -- to increase visibility through more than 150 million local searchers monthly.

Yahoo engineering, marketing, and internal analysts had input when designing and creating the platform. Listings serve up on desktop, mobile and GPS navigation devices to help potential customers find information. Videos, photos and other social content help listings stand out.

The system checks for errors in profiles like "Website not mentioned," "Does not have Description," or "No Videos." When changes are done, it takes a few days for the information to go live as it goes through a human editorial review to validate the listing quality. The information then gets published to the network.

Reporting provides specific data about reviews. The reputation page shows the number of clicks, time spent with the content, average rating scores on participating publishers and total number of reviews. It also allows marketers to click through to the recent reviews to read them on the original site.

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