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Preparing to fully reopen: 7 free Yelp Page updates you should make

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto

As pandemic-related guidelines and regulations continue to evolve, it’s important to keep your customers in the loop with basic details like how you’re currently operating and what safety measures you’re taking. Here are seven updates you can make to your Yelp Business Page to communicate that information, help you complete your profile, and appear more frequently in searches.

Within Yelp for Business, you can update COVID-19 related information all in one place. These details will then be displayed on your Yelp Business Page for consumers to see. Just log in to Yelp for Business (Business Information tab), and click edit next to Updates during Coronavirus or click Go to COVID-19 updates.

Update (August 5, 2021): There are two new Yelp Page attributes available for businesses to choose from: “Proof of vaccination required” and “All staff fully vaccinated.”

Remember to also review other parts of your profile to ensure previously set details are still applicable now. For example, if you temporarily paused a certain part of your business—like indoor dining, for example—be sure to log back in to update it based on your current operations.

Indicate if you are operating right now and how

If your physical storefront is closed, but you are still offering services—for example, takeout, delivery, or virtual services—you should keep your business marked as open on Yelp and update your COVID-19 banner (more info below) to inform customers about your available services.

If you are not currently open for business—in person or online—you will be prompted to mark your business as temporarily closed. This information can be updated as frequently as necessary. If you mark your business as temporarily closed, you will still be able to fully access and update your business account as needed. You also have the option to mark your business as permanently closed.

Share more about your current operations

The “Currently offering” section allows you to highlight specific operations of your business, like if you are a barber with in-person visits; if you’re a bakery offering takeout, dine-in, and/or curbside pickup; or if you’re a chiropractor providing virtual consultations or classes. This helps consumers know what options they have—on and offsite—if they’d like to use your services. Offerings vary by business category.

For restaurants, add a current online menu

With digital and disposable menus become more and more popular, it’s important that customers can access an up-to-date menu easily from your Yelp Page (plus it saves paper if less guests are using disposable menus onsite). If you are in the restaurant or nightlife category, you can add in the website URL where your menu is displayed.

Show what additional safety measures you are taking

List what precautions you are taking to assure your customers that they’re engaging with a safe and sanitary business. Choose from:

  • Proof of vaccination required
  • All staff fully vaccinated
  • Masks required
  • Staff wears masks

Update your hours of operation

You can update your regular hours of operation as well as your Special Hours. We recommend changing your Special Hours so that customers can see any temporary changes in your hours of operation. You can edit your Special Hours by adding each day where your current operating hours are different from your regular hours listed on Yelp. Special Hours are set on a day-by-day basis and can be changed at any time.

Provide the most up-to-date information on your COVID-19 banner

Updating your COVID-19 banner on Yelp gives you a prominent place to display a direct message about your current operations and how customers can transact with your business—like if contactless, curbside pickup is being offered or what special safety and health protocols are in place.

As consumers modify their behaviors based on the fluid climate, you’ll want to continue to update what your business is doing to address those evolving needs.

2. Complete your profile with discoverability in mind

Having a complete business profile is the first step in getting visibility on Yelp. Beyond your hours and basic business information, you’ll want to write a detailed business description. Describe the services and offerings you provide, while also hitting on the key words or phrases that your customers are often searching for.

This is also useful beyond Yelp—writing a great business description can help you become a more relevant option for consumers in your area and can help drive natural SEO on your website and social media platforms.

3. Add photos and captions, especially showing safety and health protocols

Photos are a must to illustrate your offerings, and they also help consumers find your profile. We recommend a minimum of 10 photos on your listing, but you are able to have an unlimited amount, so don’t be shy. When thinking about the best types of photos to upload, consider showing your sanitization and safety precautions. This sets the customer expectation for how their interaction will be with your business, and it can be appealing to consumers who are thinking about their safety and health.

Piece of Cake Mover
Photo from Piece of Cake Moving & Storage on Yelp

Be sure to also add captions to your photos. The words and phrases you use to describe the images will help you appear in search. 

If you’re worried about having photos that look professional, don’t. It’s not necessary to have a professional photo shoot in order to have images that work effectively to promote your business—you can take high-quality, well-composed pictures with your smartphone.

4. Add a service area and specific offerings

If you are a service-based business, you’ll want to have your service area and offerings indicated on your Yelp Page. Setting a service area shows consumers how far you and your team are willing to travel for service. Adding specific offerings shows customers exactly what types of jobs you do within your business category. For example, if you only install new windows and don’t offer repair service for existing windows, you can specify that on your Yelp listing. This will not only impact the searches you appear in, but it also helps consumers determine if you’re a good fit once they land on your business page.

Be sure to keep these details up to date and relevant based on how your business may change, whether that is an expansion of services or virtual offerings. Plus keep an eye out for newly added service offering options.

5. Create an ongoing plan for responding to reviews

Take the time to create a plan for responding to reviews of your business. If possible, you should set aside a specific block of time every week to respond to both positive and critical comments. This helps you show off your customer service skills, while keeping you top of mind to consumers and a step ahead of the competition.

If you receive positive reviews related to the COVID-19-related services that you’re providing or the changes you’ve made in your operations, use that as an opportunity to elaborate on or reiterate what you’re doing well. If you’re receiving critical feedback, take it as an opportunity to evolve and improve.

6. Keep talking about your virtual services and contactless payment options

Even as physical storefronts continue to open up, it’s important to keep your online services running and ensure your customers know they are still available. This will help you appeal to a wider audience, especially as many have gotten comfortable with virtual options, from classes to consultations.

Add virtual service offerings like “Virtual classes” or “Virtual consultations,” and they will appear on your Yelp Business Page within the Services Offered section. Search results can also be filtered to show businesses that have selected virtual offerings.

For onsite visits, consider offering contactless payment options which keep things safer for your customers and staff—they’re also more efficient and secure methods of payment. If you offer Apple Pay specifically, add the “Accepts Apple Pay” business attribute to your Yelp Page, and order a free signage kit from Apple for your shop or restaurant.

7. Check messages in your Yelp Inbox

There is no doubt that you have a million places to keep up with customer communication, but be sure to also check your Yelp Inbox to see if customers have reached out to you directly and privately. Note that you can also turn on/off the Yelp “Message the Business” feature at any time.

Now, as seasoned businesses recover and more than half a million new businesses open their doors, the lessons they learned this year will live on well past the pandemic. Check out these top five pandemic survival strategies that helped businesses weather the storm and prepare for success in the world ahead.

The information above is provided for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and may not be suitable for your circumstances. Unless stated otherwise, references to third-party links, services, or products do not constitute endorsement by Yelp.

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