Yelp Store Visits, which measures online to offline store visits, and Showcase Ads with Video launched Tuesday -- just days before the company is set to report fourth-quarter 2019 earnings.
RBC Capital Markets forecasts that revenue will come in at $273 million for the quarter, in line with consensus and guidance of between $270 million and $275 million.
Yelp Store Visits aims to help brands with multiple locations drive foot traffic from online visitors to physical stores, said Tom Foran, SVP of national sales at Yelp. He says the ads are helping to drive growth in Yelp’s multi-location business.
“Our role is get consumers from online to offline locations,” Foran said. “The Yelp ad unit that sits on top of the search results produces exposure or a click that’s very effective in driving users to a location.”
There’s are a large number of opt-in signals that Yelp uses, such as when people post reviews, check-ins to a store, and GPS technology.
Denny’s, which has been working with Yelp since 2015, now better understands the impact of its advertising dollars to ensure the correct strategy, according to Erik Jensen, VP of brand engagement at Denny’s.
During the pilot, a national casual dining restaurant drove store visits with Yelp Ads at an average of $1.17 per visit. About 91% of those visits occurred within 24 hours of engaging with an ad on Yelp.
Yelp has also launched a video offering. Showcase Ads with Video is Yelp’s first. The Showcase Ads consist of a search ad that features images and text, and a carousal that appears on the profile pages. The ads are bought in the same way that other Yelp ad units are purchased through a cost-per-click, performance-based model.
The targeting system is category-based, Foran said.
For brands looking to measure offline and online impacts, Yelp Store Visits provides a tool to measure advertising success and understand consumer behavior.
Yelp's advertising strategy has grown during the past few year to evolve from a focus on local restaurants to large national chains.
Revenue from these larger advertisers grew 21% compared to the prior-year quarter, with particular strength around national clients like Denny’s according to the company.
At the end of the third quarter 2019, about one-third of the largest 250 domestic restaurants and retailers by revenue were Yelp clients.