Yelp Inc. (NYSE:YELP), the company that connects people with great local businesses, today announced Yelp Verified Licenses, as it continues to innovate in the home and local services category. The Yelp Verified License is a new paid product designed for service providers, and is available for $1 per day to qualified providers within eligible home and local services categories, including contractors, plumbers, movers, and other high-trust businesses like medical, childcare and esthetics.
People who visit a Yelp Verified provider’s page, identified by a blue shield Verified badge, will now have more information about the providers qualifications before making a spending decision. To be eligible for a Yelp Verified License badge, a business must have a valid trade license to perform their advertised service within the state they serve. To become verified, a business must apply through Yelp, which will manually verify the license.
Building on the significant growth of the home and local category, weve been partnering closely with business owners across the category to better understand their needs and build products that allow them to better tell their story and increase trust with consumers, said Alon Shiran, Director of Product at Yelp. Were excited to announce this program in response to feedback from business owners who want the ability to display that they are properly licensed. This is only one of the many products that were building to help business owners take control of their presence on Yelp and differentiate themselves.
In early experiments with contractors on Yelp, the Verified License badge helped both consumers and businesses. On average, having a Verified License badge on a business page increased consumer engagement, including clicks, calls, quote requests and other actions, by 24 percent.
More importantly, having a Verified License badge helps level the playing field for businesses that are newer to the platform and may not yet have a large presence on Yelp. In early experiments, contractors with zero reviews saw growth in engagement on their pages after becoming Yelp Verified.
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Having a Yelp Verified License badge on our business page assures customers that we’re a capable, trustworthy company. Since becoming Yelp Verified, we’ve seen a noticeable impact on the number of jobs we receive, said Oleg Hryshyn, owner of Gentlemen’s Moving Company. During busy season, there are a number of uncertified movers promoting themselves as competitors and, with the help of the Yelp Verified License, consumers have peace of mind that they’re hiring movers that are properly licensed.
The product is currently available to qualified businesses within specified categories in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, New York, Texas, and Washington and will continue to roll out to new states. Yelp Verified has been well received by business owners in early tests, with thousands of businesses on Yelp currently purchasing the badge.
The introduction of Yelp Verified Licenses builds on the momentum of the home and local services category on Yelp. In the fourth quarter of 2018, Request A Quote project volume on Yelp, which allows consumers to request project pricing directly from businesses, increased 41% over the fourth quarter of 2017, growing to 1.6 million projects, representing 4.4 million service requests that consumers chose to send to individual service providers. In the fourth quarter of 2018, Request A Quotes annualized attributable revenue more than doubled to $38 million compared to the fourth quarter of 2017. As a result of these and other successes, the company grew 2018 revenue in this category by 29% year over year.
Yelp Inc. (www.yelp.com) connects people with great local businesses. With unmatched local business information, photos and review content, Yelp provides a platform for consumers to discover, interact and transact with local businesses of all sizes. Yelp was founded in San Francisco in July 2004. Since then, Yelp has taken root in major metros in more than 30 countries.