How to manage your restaurant's presence on Google Search, Google Maps, and Google Reviews
🙋🏻Hands up, how many of you have uttered the immortal words, "Ask Google lah"? It's our go-to response when we have a burning question. Or more likely, when faced with the eternal dilemma of deciding where to eat.
Hungry prospective patrons are searching for their next food haven online. And you don't want your restaurant getting lost in the sauce. So, how do we ensure it's your name they're calling when the dinner bell tolls?
Well, let us introduce you to your new best friend, Google Business Profile.
In this guide, we'll do a quick rundown of what you need to know about this digital marketing gem:
- What is Google Business Profile?
- Why should your restaurant use Google Business Profile?
- How to claim your profile
- How to manage your profile
What is Google Business Profile?
Google Business Profile is a free tool that allows you to manage your local presence on Google. It lets you list things like your shop address, operating hours, photos, reviews, and more. You can use it to
- increase your visibility online
- make it easier for customers to find you in the search results
Think of it as your own personal billboard on the highway of the internet. You can create an enticing online presence that attracts hungry diners. It helps customers to find you and order online from your restaurant.
Why should your restaurant use Google Business Profile?
Let's put it this way - when was the last time you used Google to find a great place to eat? Yesterday? This morning? Five minutes ago? Exactly! Your guests are doing the same.
Having a Google Business Profile increases your restaurant's chances of getting found. Depending on their search terms, you might even appear at the top of their search list. Like a perfectly risen soufflé in a sea of undercooked pancakes.
It also puts you in control of how your restaurant appears across Google's platforms. For example, Google Search and Google Maps.
Benefits of using Google Business Profile
Google Business Profile does more than help your restaurant get noticed. It's like a multi-tool for your online presence. Here's what it can do:
• Showcase your restaurant
Upload photos of your best-selling dishes and your stylish interior. Let people see what they're missing!
• Share updates
Got a new special offer? Hosting a live music event? Let your customers know with the click of a button.
• Manage your reputation
People talking smack about your restaurant? Not on Google Business Profile! Manage and respond to reviews; show your customers you care about their experience.
• Link to your online ordering
Customers these days prefer to order everything online. So take advantage of this and include your direct ordering site to drive more orders.
How to claim your profile
- Go to google.com/business.
- Click on 'Manage now' to claim your profile.
- Follow the instructions step-by-step!
And that's it. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
If nothing else, take away this one thing today: claim your profile. It's the single most important task to do right now. By doing so, any information on Google about your restaurant comes from you. Otherwise Google gathers "suggested info" from random people, which may not be accurate.
How to manage your profile
Set aside time to check in on your profile, say, once a fortnight or so. It's like tidying up your restaurant for that crucial food critic's visit. Only this time, the critics are your potential customers. And your restaurant is your online presence. So how do you make sure it's as spick and span as possible?
Keep your information up-to-date
The two most crucial are:
- Your operating hours
- Your menu
Take care to update it whenever you close for public holidays or renovations. As for the menu, it's a no-brainer. You don't want to get your guests excited about a steak tartare, only to find out it's no longer available.
Respond to reviews
These can make or break your online reputation. So, how do you handle those pesky negative reviews? Embrace them! Responding to negative reviews with understanding and a willingness to improve. This can turn a bad situation into a customer service win. Like adding a dash of balsamic glaze on a somewhat overcooked steak, it adds a touch of class. Never argue back, even if you know you are in the right.
Post regular updates
You don't have to treat it like Instagram. Post about important changes that are happening. For example, a new menu item, a special event, or a change in opening hours. It shows your customers that you're engaged and active. Nobody likes an absent host!
Use photos to your advantage
A vibrant photo on your Google Business Profile can pique a customer's interest. Showcase your mouth-watering dishes. Draw attention to those cosy dining areas. It's like displaying your restaurant's best dishes in the window - a feast for the eyes!
So there we have it, a few nifty strategies to manage your Google Business Profile. It's not as hard as you thought, right?
Like running a restaurant, it does take a bit of work. Add a pinch of patience and a dash of dedication. You'll have an online presence as appetising as your signature dish!
We use the term 'restaurant' throughout the article for consistency. However this guide can be generally applied to any type of food shop, including but not limited to: bakeries, bars, bistrots, boulangeries, butcheries, cafés, caterers, coffeeshops, delis, diners, eateries, food trucks, patisseries, pubs, etc.
Maynuu is free for merchants in Malaysia and Singapore.
If you would like to use Maynuu outside of Malaysia and Singapore, please contact Aaron at this email address: aaron [at] maynuu [dot] com