A Restaurant’s Google Maps Listing is one of the vital elements for online success. It’s considered an indispensable marketing tool that serves as your key for better online ranking with the world’s top search engine.
You should not be a stranger to the terms Google Maps and Google My Business. If you’re navigating into the digital era, these are the technologies that will lead your business to thrive online.
And it’s not just about simple brand awareness. It also enhances a lot of essential factors about your restaurant such as customer reviews, ads and promotions, customer engagement, and the like.
Understandably, you want your restaurant’s name to be popping out on the top search page every time a customer searches for a restaurant in your local area. If so, then Google Maps optimization should be your focus.
Here, we will be sharing useful and essential tips to maximize the use of Google Maps listing for your restaurant. It’s now time to use this tool not just for location purposes, but to improve your online marketing as well.
Google Maps for Restaurants
You may want to consider the sudden boom of Google’s “near me” searches to push your listing. This is if the dependency of consumers on Google is not enough reason to optimize your Google Maps listing.
One of the most popular “near me” searches is “restaurants near me”. Allocating 6.2 million organic online searches per month. This type of search is an online query carried out by a customer looking for a particular establishment or business near their current area.
This also means that location-based searches are getting popular with consumers. With the recent opening of hospitality, you should understand how consumers are trying to be more conscious about their health and safety.
Now, why is this important for a restaurant? Aside from the online competition getting hotter each day, Google Maps allows you to put your brand on the map, literally and figuratively.
By completing your Google My Business profile, your customers will be able to pull up your details using the Maps as well. It’s a great way to market your brand using your location to attract more local markets within your doors.
How does it work for restaurants?
When a customer searches for “x type of restaurants near me” they’ll be presented an interactive Google Map of their area that is marked with clickable pointers to the restaurants that match the search.
They are not shown the traditional organic rating. So regardless of your current SEO rating, if you listed your business profile on GMB under a particular area, it will appear on the Google Map that will be shown on top of the search page.
This is also applicable to searches done through mobile devices. Essentially, it’s wise to shift your focus from traditional ranking positions to trying to rank to Google Maps, basically your local SEO.
How to make it work for restaurants?
To enjoy the advantages of Google Maps for restaurants, here are the factors that you need to consider and work out for.
Claim your GMB Profile listing
Google My Business and Google Maps are complementary tools. If you want to maximize the functions of one, you have to make sure that you have the other one. Claim your business listing with GMB if you want to make use of the features of Google Maps.
Here’s a quick guide on how to claim your GMB profile.
- First, you have to set up a Google account or profile for your business. Worry not as this is just as simple as setting up a Gmail account.
- Then, you must go to the setup page of Google My Business.
- Make sure to fill out the necessary information about your business such as your restaurant’s name, complete location address, business contact numbers, and other required data.
- After you completed the process, Google will then send you a postcard containing a unique numerical code to verify your location. Once received, you can then complete your claim to your listing.
Complete your GMB Profile listing
The process does not end in creating a GMB profile. You also have to complete your listing to optimize it and give it a better ranking among the other business profiles. Keep in mind that Google prioritizes listings that are truthful and informative to users.
To score better with Google ranking, make sure that your profile is complete. Every field should be filled with updated and accurate information including the link to your restaurant’s website, a link for your mobile ordering app, a link to your online menu, and a link to your reservation and other online ordering platforms.
You should also upload high-quality photos of your restaurant and menu items into your profile. Include a short bio or “about me” for users to get to know more about your restaurant without needing to leave the Google page.
Lastly, if you have specific keywords that you want your restaurant to be associated with, better include them on your listing. Relevant keywords will lead more targeted customers into you once you’ve done this.
Publish consistent and relevant citations about your restaurant
Google further confirms your claims about your location and other information on your GMB profile. Its algorithm is programmed to search for other online occurrences of its name, phone number, and address.
Creating these citations is best done on top directory websites such as Yelp, Foursquare, Trip Advisor, and Zomatto. Your listing with the following makes it easier for Google algorithm to confirm the information that you’ve provided them.
Just make sure that you’ll be providing these listings accurate and updated information as well. Ensure that all information coming from you is consistent with every platform listing. Inconsistency with data is a huge no for the Google algorithm.
Increase your Google Map click-through rate
Click-through rate is the term used to refer to how frequently your profile listing is compared to other restaurant’s profiles. Working on increasing your click-through rate signals Google that consumers are seeing your profile more reliable.
As a result, your profile will be given more prominence if Google interprets your profile to be a better fit for the search. It also increases the quality of traffic that your listing will be receiving. This is how the click-through rate helps your listing.
To increase your click-through rating, you must ensure that you will input every relevant link about your restaurant. Make it easier for users to access the information that they need.
It is also ideal to gather as many Google restaurant reviews as possible. Better positive reviews, the more attractive your listing will be for consumers.
How does it work for multiple restaurant locations?
If you operate multiple restaurant chains, Google makes it possible for you to add a GMB profile for each location. Consequently, they are competing for map space in each area. But you must ensure that these listings have different names.
It’s best to include the location at the end of the restaurant name to avoid confusion among consumers and Google’s algorithm. In addition to this, you should not include the same webpage to every GMB listing of your branches.
To make things work out, you have to create a different location webpage for each of your locations. It acts as the landing page for users to be more inclined to making business with your restaurant, therefore you must include all helpful links to that webpage.
Benefits of Google Maps for Restaurants
Google is the top sat-nav application in the UK. And as of 2020, this Google product has been used over a billion times. This just shows that consumers are trying out location-based searches more than ever.
This Google tool not just allows local consumers to access useful information about your restaurant. But it also helps out with consumers coming from a different area to locate you easier.
With the clicks coming through your profile, your online visibility is now stronger. Your GMB profile will be appearing in more searches as it’s given more prominence, again due to the increase of click-through rate.
It helps consumers to choose your restaurant if you’re offering them the service that they’re looking for. For instance, if they’re looking for a restaurant offering curbside pick-up service, and you included that particular service on your profile, then you should be part of their options.
Tips to Optimize Your Google Maps Listing for Your Restaurant
Here are the most practical ways to improve and boost the performance of your GMB profile and Google Maps listings. Keep in mind that creating and completing a listing is just the first part of the job, this is a continuous process that needs to be updated every once in a while.
Do not be concerned about this being too much work for you. Google and its different tools are programmed to help business owners, like you, to incorporate technology and automation in its simplest yet useful form.
This tool is straightforward and intuitive, allowing you to create a profile easily. You can also make adjustments without a hassle since its interface is easy to use. There are also lots of community forums should you hit a conundrum.
Collect reviews to demonstrate your trustworthiness
Online credibility is an essential part of success for any restaurant business. Online reviews, especially the positive ones, strengthen your legitimacy on the internet. Not just with the consumers, but with algorithms as well.
Google Maps is displaying restaurant reviews, even though a customer does not particularly ask for them. Google then categorizes the reviews by topic for customers to conveniently access these reviews according to certain keywords.
Keep in mind that customers are always actively looking for online reviews. Even though they are not concerned about it, they’ll be subconsciously looking at how other customers see a brand or a business, especially if it’s their first time trying it out.
But don’t let the idea of online reviews discourage you. You should treat it as a learning tool that can help you improve your current operations and management. If you received a rather negative review, make sure to acknowledge and investigate.
If you find that your system is at fault, apologize and look for ways on how you will improve to prevent receiving the same review. After working it out, make sure to make up to that customer by offering a better service and dining experience.
There might be a great chance for them to update the said review. Listening to your consumers makes them feel appreciated, thus they are more motivated to support you and your restaurant.
Keep your GMB profile listing updated
Again, as we’ve mentioned earlier, creating and completing your profile is just the tip of the iceberg. You have to constantly update the information about your listing especially if there are significant changes such as on your address, contact information, and operating hours.
Consumers are more likely to view an active listing. Moreover, it conveys to others that your company is reliable and trustworthy. Since posts are only visible for a week, it is a good rule of thumb to post at least once each week.
Include updated photos of your menu items and establishment. If you have a new takeaway nook for your customers, let them see it through your listing. Consider encouraging your customers to upload their photos as well.
This will increase your credibility with your potential customers. Keep in mind that your customers are our best brand ambassadors and they can market your restaurant brand effectively with their fellow consumers.
Your online menu should be updated as well. Make sure that your top menu items are included on your listing, plus some high-quality photos of the said menu items. Adding menu descriptions should be helpful with your listing as well.
Utilize the right keywords
Keywords remain an essential part of your online business journey. The right and appropriate set of local keywords will bring you quality traffic. With the proper keyword formula, you’ll be able to lead users into your profile as soon as they enter significant keywords for your restaurant.
A great tip for identifying the keywords for your restaurant brand is to search your restaurant on Google. From then, consider scrolling down and look into the “related searches” section. You can get an idea or two on what are the keywords being associated by users with your brand.
Incorporate these keywords into your listings, bio, descriptions, and the like. Strategically place it to avoid keyword spamming, which will negatively impact your ranking. Provide your users with a sense of satisfaction when they discover your listing.
Integrate Google Maps into your restaurant’s website
Embedding Google Maps into your “contact us” or “locate us” sections of your website will help you increase your ranking on this platform. Remember that every click on your link sends a signal to Google that you’re a reliable brand, leading to a more optimized listing.
Additionally, it’s a way to provide added resources for your customers to help them locate you faster. And this process will only take a minute or two of your time. If you’re unsure about this, talk to your website personnel and ask them to do it for you.
But if you’re considering doing it on your own, the process is simple. To begin with, you just have to look up your business on Google Maps. This should be easy since you already have a GMB profile.
Next is you select the “share” option, then choose the “embed a map” tab for your website. You just need to copy the link provided and link it to your website. Again, if you’re not that familiar with your website properties, it is best to ask an expert for help and guidance.
A broken link is not something interesting for customers. If you provide them a broken link on your website or even on your listing, it’ll hurt your brand entirely. They’ll lose confidence in your brand which leads them to skip your GMB profile.
Select the right business category
Often ignored, categories play a huge role in your GMB profile ranking. And if it affects your GMB listing, it should affect your Google Maps listing as well. Choosing the right category for your business is a must to gather the right quality of traffic for your profile and website.
As a tip, Google suggests that if you’re going to select a category, make sure that it will describe your business as a whole. For your primary category, it’s ideal to be specific as much as you can.
If you’re a cafe-restaurant, then choose that as your category. If you’re a bar or a bistro, then state it on your profile. Broader categories will do more harm than benefit your ranking.
The secondary category should be used for the extra services that you’re offering. Although, you have to be careful when choosing a secondary category as it may defeat the purpose of categories.
To conclude, you must limit your categories to at least three. The more you add, the more it leads to confusion with users and Google’s algorithm. Choose only those that explain your business fully and effectively.