Yell moves into contextual advertising

More than 200,000 businesses on Yell.com can now extend their reach thanks to a new online advertising tool unveiled last week by the business directory.

Companies advertising on the site which pay for ‘netReach’ will see their ad pop-up on third-party websites that are in the same coverage area and are relevant to their business offering.

Six such websites, including the Manchester Evening News and Multimap, have so far used the system, in which they display the business listing in a ‘Yell’ branded capsule.

These ‘partner’ sites, which benefit by boosting the experience of their users by providing them relevant ads, can choose which listings appear, thereby eliminating competition issues.

In a salvo against Google, Yell said partner sites which use the marketing tool gain a level of control “not available from general search engines” over the ads they carry.

Moreover, thanks to each business paying an annual fee for the wider promotion of their service, the partner site carrying the ad receives a share of the revenues, calculated on a pay-per-click basis.

In return, the marketed business gets “great exposure and more leads”, Yell says, without having the headache of having to regularly monitor a pay-per-click programme.

Businesses can also gauge if the service is worthwhile for them by receiving monthly reports on how many times their advert was displayed and clicked.

Peter Boler, head of digital sales at the Manchester Evening News, explained that the content of the promotions during its trial of the tool were ideal for its audience.

“We needed an advertising syndication programme which always serves adverts which are contextually relevant and appropriate for a news website,” he said.

“The sophisticated filtering…avoids any potential problem and ensures we retain the high levels of reader trust we enjoy. This gives us great peace of mind.”

Ian Bowen-Morris, head of ad syndication at Yell.com, explained that the trend of web users blocking irrelevant content is driving web publishers to find a reliable ad syndication product.

“Your advert will appear on a variety of local and national sites,” Yell said in a message aimed at its 207,000 advertisers, rather than its 2m listed firms.

“To ensure the best quality of leads for you, your listing will be shown in the same coverage area as your Yell.com advert or when user searches match your business.”

Explaining netReach to website owners or publishers, Yell said: “Within a capsule on your site, we will serve relevant Yell.com listings to enhance the user experience. Every click on listings within the Yell.com capsule will generate revenue for you.

”A full range of capsule sizes are available to allow you to make best use of your site without compromising design or positioning.

“The content served within the capsule can also be tailored to your site, ensuring that each listing returned is relevant, either in context or coverage. This also means that adverts can be pre-defined so as to ensure listings complement your site and are not competitive.”

Like the advertisers, partner sites get regular reports on the number of times the capsule has been viewed and clicked, along with the revenue generated, on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.

Micro-businesses seeking to boost their presence on the Web can access netReach today. Existing advertisers on Yell.com pay an annual add-on fee, or new customers create an advertising package to include the tool, which was co-developed by tech start-up Mirago.

 

1st April 2008

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