Yext begins to verticalize local business listings syndication with ‘Yext for Food’

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Business listings with more content see more engagement, tend to rank higher and perform better overall. And as more searches take place on mobile devices (and eventually smart speakers and virtual assistants), marketers will need to expose more local business attributes and enhanced data for discovery and competitive advantage.

According to previous Google research, 50 percent of smartphone users conducting local-intent searches visit business locations within 24 hours. These numbers are even higher and more immediate for restaurants, which often see searches translate into visits within a few hours or less.

TripAdvisor found that “Restaurants with hours of operation on their TripAdvisor listing see 36 percent more engagement than those without them.” Yelp reports, “Businesses who complete their profiles see, on average, 5x the customer leads each month.”

Both sites also point out the importance of images on profiles. TripAdvisor said restaurants with between 11 and 20 photos see “double the amount of diner interaction over others with no photos at all,” and Yelp reports that “a business with 1-5 reviews and at least 10 photos sees 200 percent more user views than a business with the same number of reviews and no photos.”

Mindful of these findings and trends, Yext is verticalizing its listings management offerings. Yesterday the company released “Yext for Food,” which:

  • syndicates restaurant menu data.
  • expands restaurant content distribution across more partners/sites (Postmates, Zomato, delivery.com, others).
  • enables enhanced restaurant data syndication (e.g., price range, meals served, attire, happy hour specials).

There are other entities that offer similar services, such as SingePlatform. TripAdvisor not long ago added new enhanced listings products for hotels and restaurants.

Yext has also launched “Yext Healthcare Knowledge Engine” and “Yext for Mortgage,” both of which focus on distribution of vertically specific data attributes and information. The company has multiple competitors; it will be interesting to see if this sparks more verticalized offerings on their part as well.

Overall, these moves respond to a rapidly changing (local) search environment and the need for more data to satisfy more specific and demanding user queries.

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