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Sometime last week, online reviews aggregator Yelp updated its application for Apple iOS devices. The changes are most evident to users of the Yelp app for iPad. Let’s break some of these changes down and check out what’s new.

Clearer, more streamlined biz pages. Yelp says it has given iPad business pages a whole lot of love. Visually, these pages look a lot clearer and more streamlined, with heavier emphasis on your business photos. Browsing is also much smoother thanks to a sort of carousel view that lets users swipe quickly through the images.

More social features. In a manner similar to Foursquare’s latest updates, Yelp is adding more social features to its platform in general and mobile apps in particular. For example: every time users perform a search, they’ll see which friends have checked into the businesses that appear on their search results.

(Check out: “100 Million Visitors: Yelp Records All-Time High in Traffic for One Month”)

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More business information. To prevent Yelpers from visiting stores just after closing, Yelp added a nice little indicator for showing whether a business will be closing soon or is just about to open. Also now shown are the Yelp Deals posted by a business as well as a neat new “Explore the Menu” feature.

Updated reviews. Like all other updates, the Yelp update includes several bug fixes and enhancements. This means that your Yelp business page will display an updated list of reviews on the iPad app. So you better be responding to and monitoring online reviews and making sure users see how much your management cares about customer feedback!

With these changes, what’s a business owner to do? Here are some helpful tips to help you maximize the potential of the updated Yelp as a business tool.

Optimize your Yelp listing. Add as much info as you can, insert relevant category keywords and phrases, and ensure that your contact information and address on your Yelp page are all accurate. That way, it’s easier for users to find you whenever they perform a search query. (Click here for a more comprehensive guide on optimizing your Yelp business page.)

Add high-quality photos. With the new Yelp update, you can make a bigger visual impact than ever on the online reviews platform. To catch the attention of Yelpers (especially Yelpers who own iPads), add plenty of high-quality photos: of your storefront, your interior, your employees, your products and services, and (if you’re a restaurant owner) your most mouth-watering dishes.

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Monitor online reviews. As always, reviews play a big role in influencing the decisions of potential customers. The new Yelp update makes these reviews even more prominent than ever. That’s why it’s important to regularly monitor online reviews, manage what people are saying, and respond to reviews (positive or negative) whenever necessary.

(Check out: Case Study: Responding Promptly and Professionally to a Crazy Yelper”)

Create Yelp Deals. Just like everyone else, Yelpers love a great bargain. So feel free to create and run Yelp deals. These will be placed front and center thanks to the new iOS update. It’s definitely a great way to get new customers to your doorstep.

Chris Campbell

Chris is the CEO of ReviewTrackers. He has helped tens of thousands of businesses hear, manage, and respond to what their customers are saying online.

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