Yelp has launched three new features which it claims are to “transform the user experience and boost engagement.” While the platform has been failing to find success outside its initial niche of restaurant reviews, Yelp is hoping that at least one of these new features will help change that.
Very similar to the “Google Guarantee” launched several years ago, “Yelp Guaranteed” is a partner program that offers $2,500 insurance on any dissatisfaction with a home improvement project. Partners who opt into the program are given a badge to indicate as such, intended to provide legitimacy to the contractor and peace of mind to any consumer who wishes to use their services. Users will also be able to filter exclusively for businesses that offer this guarantee, incentivizing “request a quote” advertisers on the platform to join the program.
Yelp Guaranteed is available on iOS devices in San Francisco, New York City, Chicago, Seattle, and Washington D.C. The program is expected to be available nationwide on all platforms by summer.
Yet to be implemented but announced to capitalize on AI models, Yelp announced several advanced search features on their roadmap. These include Review Highlights, Search Suggestions, and a “Surprise Me” option, which would hopefully be a more practical instance of the retired Google “I’m Feeling Lucky” function.
As Yelp still does well in the restaurant niche, suggesting potential places to eat over refining down to what the searcher specifically wants may be useful. These new features will not be entirely practical for the other service businesses that Yelp tries to review but it may be a good implementation for business categories that thrive on random discovery.
As Tik-Tok and YouTube shorts have taught us, bite-sized video engagements and reactions outside of text can help boost engagement on business pages. Yelp wants to try and capture a piece of this influencer market and to give general users a way to interact with these higher effort posts. Video reviews will find a place on Yelp and those viewing them will both be able to filter by review topics and give more substantive reactions such as “Cool”, “Funny”, or “Useful” along with the standard upvotes.
These three new features are a much-needed improvement on Yelp’s antiquated user experience. While the platform looks to be playing catch-up with Google and other review platforms, it has at least not yet fallen totally behind. Only time will tell if these road-mapped items will be enough to help Yelp retain its slipping relevance.
Want to be fully prepared for the next round of changes in local search? Start by partnering with the experts on our Local Presence Management team to get ahead of the curve. Let’s talk!