Getting Your Restaurant's Business Listings Right (Yelp, Google and Trip Advisor)
Getting Your Restaurant’s Business Listings Right (Yelp, Google and Trip Advisor)
When tackling your restaurant's online presence, it can be a little bit difficult to figure out where to start. After helping many clients address this issue, we feel like there is one very clear starting point that should be every restaurant’s priority: your business listings. This means: Google "My Business" profile, Yelp, Trip Advisor, and other review sites.
When people search for your business online, these profiles often sit right below (or sometimes even above) your restaurant website. In fact, if set up correctly, your Google "My Business" profile should appear on the right-hand side of the search results page when someone searches for your business. These profiles contain a lot of helpful information for guests. It makes it easier for them to find your business hours, phone number and address for example.
Having your business listing set up correctly can make it easier for potential customers to find out about your restaurant, but these listings can also affect your search rankings. And while it's important to SEO your website, it's also important to SEO your business listings.
Here are a few tips on how to correctly set up your business listings:
This is step number one. If you haven't claimed your profiles, get on it! Usually, this process is simple. On the Google profile, just click "claim" or "verify." They will typically send you a postcard or call you to verify that you are indeed the owner of the business. Without verification, you won't be able to make edits.
This is huge. Your name, address, and phone number (NAP in SEO speak) need to be consistent everywhere they are listed. Google evaluates your business using tons of different variables, this being one of them. Your site will get downranked if you aren't being consistent here. What does that mean? Obviously, you want all of the info to be accurate, but you also want it to look the same. This means if you are listing your address as "123 Main St." on your website but as “123 Main Street” in your Google profile, your address is not consistent. Updating little details like this can go a long way.
Filling out business descriptions is critical. People use these descriptions to make decisions, and the more descriptive you can be the better. Beyond that, these descriptions contain keywords that will be used to generate search results. The more keywords you have that are relevant to your business, the better it will rank. But keep in mind that this description will be the first thing many potential guests will read about you. Think about how to make sure your business will sound appealing at first glance.
Google loves profiles that are updated regularly – especially with images. From a search ranking perspective, this is a no-brainer and is relatively easy to accomplish. However, (and this is important) you have to use high-quality images. While Google may not care about the quality of your images, consumers do. When it comes to food especially, you should want the absolute best quality images possible to use on these profiles.
On all platforms (Yelp, Google, Trip Advisor, etc.) you will receive reviews and questions. Make your best effort to respond to these. Consumers love to see engaged owners, and so do these platforms. If you respond, you're more likely to receive a higher ranking. By responding to reviews, you can often mitigate the negative impact of a bad review (especially if you handle it with grace).