There is no question about how much the internet has changed our lives. Not only has it impacted our social lives and how we interact with each other, but it has also changed how business is conducted these days. Nowadays, all you need to get information on a certain commodity, service or shop is the internet.
You no longer have to go through the yellow pages or physically look for shops that sell a particular product you need as you can do all these right from the comfort of your own home or even while walking down the street with your mobile device.
All this has been facilitated by the incredible search engine called Google which is the leading search technology in the world.
Google launched Google My Business( GMB) which is like online yellow pages to help businesses, mainly small ones, market themselves and therefore reach more customers. The main advantage of GMB is that it is completely free and basically the business does not have to spend a lot of money on marketing and advertising.
All you need is a physical address where customers can check through Google maps. The GMB also allows customers to have direct contact with the business by giving reviews and feedback. Moreover, GMB gives a business the opportunity to determine how it is presented on the Google search results.
Creating a good GMB profile will enable customers to find your restaurant more easily and view the products you sell. They will also be able to read reviews that other customers left on your page and if they are satisfied, they will definitely visit your restaurant.
It is therefore important that you set up a GMB profile that will give you so much more than what your website has to offer.
Here are some few tips on how to create an amazing and optimized GMB page for your restaurant:
1. Make sure that your address is correct and consistent
The correctness of the address might be a bit obvious but the most important part is consistency. Due to local search, you have to ensure that the address is exactly the same in all your listings.
This includes websites and social media pages. For example, if you use “Av.” instead of Avenue in one platform, make sure that “Av.” appears on all other platforms. Everything matters at this point.
2. Ensure that the business hours are correct
Always ascertain that your business hours are accurate and updated regularly. Necessary changes should be made to the GMB profile whenever the business hours shift so as not to mislead your customers as they will definitely leave bad reviews. Update them whenever the restaurant closes for example during holidays.
3. Ensure you have your restaurant listed in the right category
It is important to keep in mind that the category should be in line with your business. It should be very specific. For some, this might be a difficult task. The good news is that there are SEO experts who can help you in listing your business in the right category where it can achieve the best results.
Google suggests that you choose only one or two business categories. However, you can have up to five categories as long as they are still relevant.
4. Add some photographs
For your GMB profile to stand out, it is recommended that you add photographs. They pass on a lot of information to potential customers. This will improve your rankings on the search engine.
You can add a photo of yourself, your main staff, your facilities, the reception area, photos of customers being served by a waiter or even at the reception desk and even a photo of your most famous meal or drink. This will surely lure more customers to come to your restaurant.
5. Add a “virtual tour” of your business
This is very similar to Google Maps’ “Street View” which allows you to see a particular street location under 360-degree photography. However, the virtual tour enables potential customers to get a glimpse of the inside of your business.
The customers will be able to know how it would actually feel like being inside your restaurant. You can add a virtual tour by hiring a professional Google-approved photographer and have them take pictures of the restaurant.
6. Include a complete, convincing introduction
This is the point where you describe your restaurant and the services it provides. For optimization, it is important that you choose your keywords very carefully. For example, if the restaurant mainly serves Italian food, make sure to use words that relate to the Italian cuisine. You should also use subheaders, subtitles, bullet points and short paragraphs to make it easier to read.
7. Provide your restaurant’s website URL
Having a website is vital for your business. It is very easy and cheap to create. There is, therefore, no excuse for not having one if you want your business to grow. Including the website’s URL in your GMB profile will surely boost its SEO. Moreover, it will generate more traffic for your website. GMB also enables you to track the number of people who visit your website.
8. Ask for reviews
GMB allows you to request your customers for reviews. These reviews help your rankings and actually persuade more people to visit your restaurant. The more positive they are, the more customers you receive.
9. Respond to the reviews
Customers feel appreciated when you thank them for their nice reviews. They will like your business more and also feel more connected to you. This will make them want to come back again. However, make sure that you also pay attention to the negative reviews as they may be genuine complaints from concerned customers.
Know how to respond to them in a positive way and give your customers the necessary feedback. The negative reviews might actually help you improve the quality of service you offer your customers thereby bringing about positive outcomes.
10. Post on your Google+ page whenever you can
Your GMB profile tends to overlap with the Google+ page. It is therefore advisable to post on the Google+ page on a weekly basis in order to improve your rankings. You can post photos, industry news, events in your area and even questions from customers.
Having an active presence in Google+ can give positive signals to Google and therefore improve your search engine ranking. This will consequently boost your website and guarantee a place on the first page of the search results in Google.
These few tips will make sure that your GMB page stands out from the rest and attract more customers to your business. Later on, you can add some videos to make it more appealing.