Home Blog Yelp Summer 2021 Feature Improvements and Best Practices

Yelp Updates

With the gradual reopening of society from the pandemic, businesses are emerging with cautious optimism for a return to the new normal. Add the uncertainty of the new Delta variant, business as usual is no longer a guarantee as consumer behavior continues to evolve and shift.

Many business owners, whether large or small, are facing the same problems of how they should reopen or when they’ll need to potentially close shop again. Local marketers must consider the following questions to devise a successful reopening strategy for each of their locations:

  • What challenges does your business face? 
  • What changes can you make to improve and optimize your customer experience? 
  • How can you gain more traction to help your business shine in an already saturated market? 

While Google may be the main contender in the search space, Yelp cannot be forgotten. Yelp attracts more than 100 million unique visitors each month, so learning to optimize your brand’s local presence using Yelp’s latest features will give your locations the upperhand in visibility and credibility while allowing your business to transact with customers better. 

In this post, we will delve deeper into the Yelp summer 2021 new features that will help increase your brand awareness by targeting your customers better so you can find and support your local business. 

Why Should My Business Use Yelp?

The new Yelp features simplify and streamline the setup of your existing Yelp page, so the sooner you optimize the features, the sooner your brand becomes more discoverable. Yelp has now made it easier than ever to increase the efficiency of your business while building trust with your customers. We’ll dive into each of these new features along with their benefits.

Ad Text Tips & Other Yelp Ads Features

Custom Location Targeting

Want to reach a wider, target audience? Try running ads in your geographic region where you conduct your business rather than your physical location. This will target your Yelp ads in specific locations reaching more relevant consumers. 

Budget Design and Infrastructure Updates

By optimizing your Yelp Ads campaign, you can leverage Yelp’s machine learning engine to generate more accurate budget recommendations. This is based on an in-depth analysis of your business profile including information on previous campaigns so you can make an informed decision on whether to optimize your current campaign.   

Guidance on Ad Text

Even though the pandemic has created an unstable environment, you can still use paid advertising enhancements to help pivot and adapt your brand to the ever-changing conditions. Yelp’s innovative ad campaigns can provide greater control of their platform presence by connecting your business with relevant customers, optimizing budgets, and showcasing the company’s values more prominently.

New Yelp Connect Features

Connect Audience Model

Engaging with people has never been easier, especially with the rise of modern technology and an increase in internet usage. So, expanding your reach with effective messaging via Yelp Connect and connecting people with relevant businesses or relevant searched categories is the perfect way to reach a wider audience of high-intent consumers. 

Customizable Call to Action

Update your CTA button to better align your post content with Yelp’s new text list options and associated action buttons. This popular feature allows a customized button that appears on both Yelp and in your regular digest emails to go out to consumers, taking your business one step further towards achieving your goal.

Dashboard Updates

The new and improved Yelp dashboard is available to all Yelp customers, creating new Connect posts that are cleaner, easier, and quicker to navigate. See the new dashboard design below:

Yelp summer 2021 interface updates

Image courtesy of Yelp

New Yelp Features for Restaurant Brands

Yelp Kiosk

Helping restaurants to reduce their front-of-house workload not only allows businesses to improve customer and staff satisfaction, but by integrating Yelp Kiosks’ self-serving seating assistant, will also enable your business to capture useful data like party information without a host, provide automatic and accurate waiting estimates, send automated texts to inform guests their table is ready, and to reduce FAQs from diners, such as how long is the wait or when will the table be ready? 

Yelp restaurant update

Image courtesy of Yelp

Managing Takeout with Waitlist

Even though society is gradually reopening, there are still many who remain cautious about social distancing Therefore Yelp’s Waitlist feature is the perfect system to integrate by allowing restaurant businesses to efficiently manage takeout orders by communicating with consumers via SMS. This useful management tool will not only maximize efficiency but also boost revenue all from behind the scenes.

Yelp summer 2021 waitlist feature

Image courtesy of Yelp

Guest Profiles

Allowing flexibility by adding important guest information like seating preferences and dietary restrictions, businesses can rest easy knowing they are providing the best customer service possible. While also collecting and storing guest preferences, businesses are able to focus on providing a personalized experience for their customers rather than inputting data. 

Point of Sale (POS) Integration

By combining additional diner information with the Guest Profile, provides businesses with a comprehensive digital picture of their guests by allowing them to optimize table management within the establishment. This feature does come at an additional cost but having the advantage of tracking your diners’ history, check size, items, and notes will make all the difference between providing a satisfying experience to an exceptional one. 

Upgraded Analytics

Yelp’s upgraded analytics allows restaurants to view and monitor the restaurant’s performance better by highlighting detailed information about each location. This function can integrate with multi-location, franchise, and chain restaurants,

They can also track trends and view service information, such as the average wait times, table turn around time, and seat conversion rates to give a comprehensive view of the restaurant’s performance within the past 2 years. 

Other Recently-Added Yelp Features

  • Unified Yelp Page setup flow. See a step-by-step guide to help businesses set up their Yelp page quickly and easily. 
  • LGBTQ-owned and Asian-owned attributes. This allows businesses to clearly state their LGBTQ or Asian heritage on their Yelp page so consumers can find and support local, community businesses via this free, searchable attribute. 
  • An upgraded paid experience. To personalize a Yelp business page with eye-catching slideshows, business logo, highlighting the business portfolio, sharing special offers and discounts, and creating a customized CTA, all while saving 15%.  
  • The new Yelp Trust & Safety site is here to earn the trust of Yelp’s community of consumers and business owners. Providing a comprehensive guide on various topics from automated recommendation software to identifying reliable content. Yelp’s community is well-informed on their decision-making.  

Learn more about recent health and safety information updates on Yelp and tips for surfacing popular social distancing terms: