As Social, Voice, And Visual Search Rises, YP Finds That Websites Remain ‘Foundational’ For Locals

'Websites are foundational to connecting local businesses with consumers, and a strong SEO strategy is critical to delivering traffic to their sites,' says Stu MacFarlane.

While the rise of connected intelligence through voice-activated digital assistants like Siri and Alexa may soon call the idea of a brand’s website into question, the fact remains that brands need a central hub for the vital business information consumers need.

Even a Facebook page or accounts on Instagram or Twitter are not enough for local businesses who want to achieve wider SEO aims, says local media and directory services platform YP.

The company’s launch of ypWebsite Pro this week is meant to help local brands create that central internet hub. The new tool promises local businesses the ability to earn top rankings in organic search results and get found on local directory sites.

With ypWebsite Pro, local businesses get a mobile responsive, content-rich website supplemented by a full range of SEO services designed to improve rankings on Google and other leading search engines, YP says in a blog post.

But YP is quick to note that this is not simply another custom website-builder that hosting companies like GoDaddy provide. The YP offering also enables local businesses to claim, update and manage their business listings across more than 60 search, social and directory sites to ensure accurate and consistent information across the web.

“Websites are foundational to connecting local businesses with consumers, and a strong SEO strategy is critical to delivering traffic to their sites,” said Stu MacFarlane, Executive Vice President of Products and Marketing at YP.

“The ypWebsite Pro product is proving to be an extremely valuable SEO solution for our clients, MacFarlane added. “Results from extensive product trials show that over 70 percent of keywords rank on page one of Google after five months or less.”

The new product is also meant to connect the more than 50 million monthly visitors looking for on Clients that combine ypWebsite Pro with a ypLocalAds product get preferred access to this ready-to-buy audience in a way that drives high-value leads to client websites and works as a perfect supplement to SEO efforts.

It is worth noting that YP isn’t just focusing on websites these days. The company recently expanded its partnership with Microsoft’s Bing for the Redmond software company’s artificial intelligence assistant, Cortana.

“YP’s relationship with Bing and Microsoft gives us access to new features and avenues to help us optimize search campaigns to deliver more quality leads for our advertisers,” Rich Maraschi, VP, Advertising Products at YP, The Real Yellow Pages, told us last month. “Voice search is an emerging channel for small businesses to use to connect with consumers. We are working closely with Bing on the strategies for how to use Cortana to get quality, targeted leads for businesses.”

The move is part of an investment by YP to provide “better integrated solutions” that enable local businesses to build their presence, MacFarlane says.

GeoMarketing: Is ypWebsite Pro intended for specific kinds of local businesses?

Stu MacFarlane: ypWebsite Pro is ideal for the kind of local businesses that would be those interested in looking to outperform their competition, are digital market savvy (meaning that they understand the value of SEO and interested in diversifying digital marketing portfolio), and businesses with perhaps a poorly designed website or looking to upgrade or redesign their YP website.

Is there a particular profile of SMB who would benefit from it?

Some of the key customers segments (SMBs) for this product include construction/contractors, dentists, insurance, auto repair & service, plumbers, legal services, medical services, and physicians and surgeons. That said, ypWebsite Pro can be a great fit for a wide range of SMB business types. More importantly, the types for businesses that can benefit the most from it are those who are not currently showing up organically on the first page of search results for important terms in their category and geography and are missing out on potential customers as a result.

What’s the value of ypWebsite Pro generally versus other kinds of pages that SMBs might have, such as Facebook Pages or Google My Business?

First and foremost, a business’ website serves as the digital storefront and is an indispensable piece of their presence in this day and age. A website builds credibility and trust for your business, further building your brand. Additionally, ypWebsite Pro provides the benefit of ownership of your content as opposed to allowing outside entities to own/control the content.

How customizable are ypWebsite Pro pages?

ypWebsite Pro allows for a customized, content-rich, and compelling site with 10-15 pages of carefully researched content that reflects the client’s business. The sites are not templated or “cookie cutter” but rather are customized the client’s needs. ypWebsitePro also offers a new blog post on the website each month that is industry specific (to the client’s business) and relevant information formatted for any device.

About The Author
David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.