At SMX earlier this year we met the team from YP but we were initially hesitant to talk to them because we wondered what a phone book advertising company could offer a crowd of search marketers. I’m glad we got to know them because it turns out they’ve actually built a very interesting new platform for advertisers to reach local consumers, and made it particularly easy to use for anyone already familiar with AdWords. Because we know many advertisers in the local space are frustrated by the lack of traffic when targeting a small geographical area, and because we think YP can help solve this problem, we invited them to write a post for our blog to share what they’ve been working on. Here’s Melissa Burghardt, Vice President of Search and Yield at YP about reaching consumers at the moment when they’re in need of a local solution…
Reaching The Mobile Consumer
Mobile and local search are playing an increasingly, albeit complex, role in the search marketing landscape. With consumers increasingly relying on multiple devices and channels to research and transact, there is no denying that mobile search is a fast growing segment. It is also a highly valuable audience as studies show mobile local searches have a strong conversion rate. According to eMarketer, 78% of searches on mobile phones for local products and services result in a local purchase.
Tapping into this ready-to-buy audience is a clear imperative for marketing success. However, the historical challenge for advertisers has been how to capture these consumers at the time of their local search queries. Advertisers also want to deliver incremental leads without diluting ROI, and even though local search traffic that converts well can improve overall cost per lead, in the past, it has been difficult to hone in on pure local search traffic.
Now, we’re providing another option: ypSearch Marketplace℠ is an industry-standard, local search marketplace that enables advertisers to reach a valuable local audience at scale. A recent report by analyst firm IDC ranks YP number five in mobile search revenue, behind Google, Microsoft, Twitter and Yahoo! (International Data Corporation, June 2015).
YP has more than 70 million monthly visitors to its digital properties – yp.com and the YPSM app – and much of the audience is the consumer searching for a local business or service. According to a comScore study commissioned by YP, among those visitors, 77% of people who initiated a search on YP contacted a merchant after their search and 66% made a purchase of goods or services from a merchant after their search.
Melissa, how can advertisers connect with all these consumers who need their services?
ypSearch Marketplace provides an easy-to-use interface to manage search campaigns quite familiar to advertisers already running search campaigns on other platforms. Since it is built based on industry standards, using the same guidelines and tools used to run campaigns across Google’s and Bing’s networks, there is no steep learning curve.
Advertisers can apply all the optimization tactics already honed via core Search Engine Marketing across desktop, mobile web and app. We support bidding on keywords, as well as targeting by location, time of day and device. The marketer controls the creative messaging and the destination site and can also include location and call extensions in order to drive the best monetization opportunities whether via ecommerce, store visits or over the phone.
ypSearch Marketplace runs a real-time auction for each local search query and presents optimized offers designed to deliver clicks, calls and conversions.
Can you tell us a bit more about who’s already used this and what results they’ve seen?
The Home Depot partnered with us to enhance its local search advertising results and found that it drove “online-to-store traffic and sales with simple campaign implementation,” according to Umut Dincer, Director of Online Marketing at The Home Depot. Given the local search campaigns we’ve managed for national brands, we’ve seen categories like those in home, financial and professional services have traditionally ranked among the top local search queries on YP, creating quality inventory and suggesting possible use cases for this kind of local search marketplace platform.
How can someone get started with their own YPSM account?
To learn more about how to setup an account, log on to: national.yp.com.