Upgrades help small businesses highlight their unique qualities and showcase their work.
- Yelp gives businesses more control over their presence on the platform with its paid products: Business Highlights and Portfolio.
- Officials believe the paid products will help users "address pain points specific to local business."
- The upgrades each cost an additional $2 per day.
Since its launch 14 years ago, Yelp has been used by entrepreneurs and consumers alike to bolster local small businesses and democratize how people seek out those companies. Earlier today, the platform introduced two new paid products that it says will help small businesses upgrade their profiles and stand out from their peers.
For $2 each per day, Yelp's Business Highlights and Portfolio options give small business owners more control over the way their company is presented on the platform. Officials said the two products are available for purchase today on the Yelp for Business Owners site and will be major parts of a new self-service experience.
"Yelp has always been a place for consumers to discover hardworking business owners who've earned their great reputation over the years," said Vivek Patel, Yelp's chief product officer.
How SMBs can use Yelp business page's new features
These two new features will be of particular use to brand-new small businesses that have fewer reviews than their longer-running competitors. Officials said these new additions "demonstrate Yelp's focus and continued investment in business product innovation to bring even more value, beyond search ads, to the millions of businesses on the platform."
Business users who sign up for Business Highlights can select up to six badges from more than 30 options to add to their profile. Each badge highlights a unique attribute of the business, such as "veteran-owned and operated," "free WiFi" and "walk-ins welcome." Two badge icons will also appear in that business's search results on Yelp, allowing them a chance to stand out while giving potential customers an easy way to determine if a business lines up with their values or needs.
Portfolio lets businesses showcase their work to "build consumer trust and attract new clients." With this service, business profiles display photos of past projects to illustrate the process and results, and captions to expand on the details. Officials said Portfolio could help small businesses generate leads.
"With these new business page upgrades, we're making a commitment to helping the entire business owner community, especially those who are newer to the platform, address key pain points by giving them the tools to stand out and acquire new customers," Patel said.
New additions part of ongoing strategy
Yelp officials said Business Highlights and Portfolio work in tandem with the Yelp Verified Business program that went live earlier this year. That feature gave verified small businesses a blue shield and a check mark next to their names within the app. The icon, officials said, makes it easier for consumers to find businesses near them with a valid trade license.
"After 30 days of having a Verified License badge on their business page, businesses saw a meaningful increase in consumer engagement on Yelp, including clicks, calls and map views," Yelp officials said.
To earn a verification badge, businesses must apply through Yelp. The company then verifies each license. Depending on their specific category and location, qualified businesses pay $1 a day, on average, for the service.
All three services will be a part of a new Yelp for Business portal that lets SMB owners customize their pages with the upgrades. Haily Pistacchi, marketing manager of Lemon Remodeling and Services in San Jose, California, said these three additions have already benefited her company.
"After signing up for all three of Yelp's new products, we saw a 200% lift in activity on our business page, which led to a noticeable increase in leads,” she said. "Products like Portfolio and Business Highlights have helped us demonstrate our expertise to set us apart from other contractors and share what matters most about our business right from our Yelp page, the way we would if we were face-to-face with a customer. Yelp Verified License helps us instill confidence with potential customers who now have another reason to trust us with the job."