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Yelp Audiences allows advertisers to reach Yelp users off the platform

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

Behavior-based targeting. Yelp is partnering with demand-side platforms (DSPs) to deliver ads to its users on third-party sites, apps and video streaming services (through CTV). The targeting is based on the user’s Yelp activity, “This includes search, delivery and takeout actions, search filters, and category interest,” Tom Foran, Yelp’s SVP and head of GTM, national, told Search Engine Land.

“Yelp Audiences doesn’t rely on traditional targeting techniques because we’re already aware of what people are looking to buy and can therefore show more relevant ads based on the unique buying signals Yelp gets from its users,” he added.

Measuring performance. “With the way Yelp Audiences ads are displayed, clients receive regular updates on performance metrics,” Foran said, “We also deliver regular reports and insights to clients by either providing raw performance metrics or wrap-up reports that offer a summary of the campaign’s performance.”

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

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

With Yelp Audiences, the ad does not have to lead consumers back to Yelp’s platform, making it useful for advertisers in more verticals.

Why we care. Yelp Audiences can enable brands to target Yelp users based on their Yelp searches, search filters and category interests. Since those ads appear off of Yelp’s platform and can take users to pages that are also off of Yelp (like a product landing page, for example), this offering may appeal to more advertisers than Yelp’s other ad offerings.

“Yelp Audiences can serve as an omnichannel solution or help increase audience reach when a national coffee chain is looking to target users who’ve recently searched for coffee and tea as part of a holiday campaign,” Foran provided as an example, “Yelp Audiences can also support a direct-to-consumer mattress brand looking to target users who have searched for a mattress store in their local market, offering those users a free trial to try their mattress in-home when they browse other sites or apps.”

In addition, 90% of people make a purchase within a week after visiting Yelp, according to a Yelp survey conducted by SurveyMonkey. This may indicate that Yelp users are ready to make buying decisions, which might make Yelp Audiences an effective way to reach purchase-ready consumers.

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