YP Offers Search Retargeting and ‘Audience Extension’ for Brands

Over the past couple of years YP has been investing heavily in its ad platform and offerings for both national brands and SMBs. Last month the company introduced a PPC marketplace for national-local advertisers called “ypSearch Marketplace.”

That same platform also supports a PPC offering for small businesses, which allows them to be featured in search results on YP and simultaneously on third party sites such as Google and Bing.

The newest rollout is an “audience extension” PC display product for national advertisers. Users who come to YP and search but do not convert on the site are later retargeted based on their search queries and intent.

In addition to direct retargeting, YP advertisers can also find lookalike audiences across the internet through a deal with programmatic platform RocketFuel. That lookalike capability greatly expands YP’s overall audience reach. And the first party search data make the retargeting generally more effective than retargeting based on pure browsing behavior.

I asked YP’s Luke Edson about whether this program could hypothetically extend to SMBs. He said that it was possible although it’s currently only available to national advertisers. Part of the reason is that one needs sufficient audience query volume to be able to later retarget or identify lookalike audiences.

Brands and national advertisers are much more likely to get that than individual local businesses.

YP is apparently making an array of “actions” available as billable, conversion events: calls, online booking or other online conversions. I suspect that, eventually, actual offline visits or even sales will be part of the mix of billable “actions” available to marketers.

I continue to be impressed by the investments and approach at YP, as the company moves to compete aggressively with larger players and fully embrace performance-based offerings like PPC and programmatic.

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