Yelp announced Custom Location Targeting, budget recommendations, and also new features to increase reach for local businesses.

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Yelp has now rolled out Custom Location Targeting, machine learning-generated budget recommendations, and several other new features to give business owners more authority over their presence and ads on the platform.

1) Custom Location Targeting (CLT). Businesses on Yelp can now select specific locations for their ads to appear. Earlier, they could only advertise in a radius nearby their location.

CLT is now available to new self-serve advertisers and will be completely rolled out in the upcoming weeks.

2) New budget recommendations. The platform has also re-designed its budget editing experience, combining machine learning-generated budget recommendations for advertisers.

Yelp’s machine learning model examines the business’ profile, historical campaign performance, and lookalike audience data to produce budget recommendations.

3) Connect Audience Model. Businesses that utilize Yelp Connect, a publishing tool not unlike Google Posts, can market to a wider audience to communicate with their customers. This development, known as the Connect Audience Model, allows businesses to show their posts to people associated with similar businesses or searched for relevant categories. Earlier, Yelp Connect only permitted businesses to target people who’ve bookmarked or followed their Yelp profile.

This product was specially designed to make Yelp Connect more helpful for service-based businesses. “Since our initial pilot, Home and Local Services businesses have seen consumer engagement with Connect posts increase by 3 times on average, compared to previous engagement levels,” the announcement states.

Additional announcements. The company also executed several minor updates, including:

  • A step-by-step guide to assist business owners set up their profiles and handle Yelp to market themselves.
  • A renewed ad dashboard for the Yelp for Business mobile app, incorporating some previously only available features on the desktop version.
  • Guidance on ad text to support business owners write more compelling copy.

Why we should care: Yelp’s statements are all about increasing the reach and making advertising more manageable for local business owners. The new Custom Location Targeting can be a valuable tool for service-based businesses that work in a geographic area different from their physical location. With the new consumer behaviors introduced by the pandemic, this might involve real estate businesses, online tutoring services, and several other service providers.

The Connect Audience Model assists businesses market to potential customers based on their interests and search history, allowing them to reach higher-intent audiences. And, Yelp’s new budget recommendations may be able to tap into data that the platform has access to. Still, individual business owners do not, which may assist them in running more efficient campaigns.

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