Nowadays, it is essential to be present on Google if you want to make your restaurant shine on the Internet and to attract new customers. 90% of Internet searches are made on Google and half of these searches are local, it is exactly here that your clients look for you!
It is not easy to boost one’s visibility. Competition is more and more rough among restaurants, especially in big cities, and it is paramount to be accompanied or well informed in order to stand out.
Find here our 7 pieces of advice to boost your restaurant’s visibility on Google:
Create a Google Business Profile and optimize it
Create a business profile
The Google business profile is the digital window of your restaurant. It is the best way to be found by your potential customers: 80% of French people choose their restaurant according to the information found on the Internet.
You can create your business profile by clicking on this link. It must contain basic information like: name, telephone number, category, address, and opening hours.
Optimize your profile’s information
Once your profile is created, the aim is to make it visible, to be found and attractive, to be chosen! To optimize your profile, take the time to select appropriate categories (ex. “cafe”, “bar”, etc) and to specify the services available in the restaurant through the attributes (ex. “delivery”, “outdoor seating”, “click & collect”). This information allows you to go up in the search results. Find more details in this article.
Update your information regularly
Are you closed for holidays? You open the outdoor seating in the summer? It is key to specify it on your profile. First of all, to provide your clients with correct information, but also to boost your ranking. As a matter of fact, Google takes into consideration the date of publication of the information in its algorithm. The more updated your information is, the more your profile will go up in the search results.
The information in need of frequent updating is:
🕐 Your hours: don’t forget to update your opening hours and your exceptional hours (bank holidays, national holidays, etc) never to give your clients the deception to arrive in front of a closed business. If you do not update your hours for a public holiday (even if they don’t differ from the usual), you will be penalized by the Google mention “This day might affect these hours”.
⛱ Your attributes: you can add, for example, the attributes “outdoor seating” and “salad bar” in the summer if you propose this kind of services in this season.
📸 Your photos: do not forget to regularly add new photos to your profile. Upload photos of the season’s menu or of the new restaurant’s layout!
Add your menu
The menu is an effective way to improve your restaurant’s visibility in the Google search and to convince your customers. Indeed, when a user looks for a restaurant, in 75% of cases it is to take a look at the menu!
You can (and must!) add it and enrich it with photos of dishes, prices and descriptions.
By adding your menu on Google, you will simply and effectively:
1 – Go up in the Google search page results which contain terms included in your menu. For example, if a user searches for a business which offers “fish and chips” and this dish is in your menu, you will then appear in the search results and this menu item will be highlighted in the search results via the so-called menu justification.
2 – Give your customers the certainty to find what they are looking for ✅ in your restaurant. If, for example, a customer looks for a pizza margherita near their office, and you offer it on your menu, they will be more likely to choose your business instead of your competitors’ whose menu is not shown.
How to add your menu on your listing? From Google Search (then you will have to go to the Google back office to add the menu photos), or directly from a platform like Partoo.
Your menu will then be visible for all the users who look at your profile from a smartphone. 💡 Bonus: users who have the Google Maps mobile application will even receive a notification suggesting them to take a look at your menu whenever they pass by your restaurant.
Set up your “Reserve a table” button
One out of two French customers makes a reservation online. In order not to miss these potential customers, it is paramount to set up the possibility of reserving online via your Google profile. There are two options:
“Reserve a table” button
To set up this button on your profile, you must be equipped with an online reservation engine compatible with the Reserve with Google feature (ex. The Fork, Zenchef, SevenRooms, Guestonline). Users will then be able to see available hours and to reserve directly on your profile!
This link redirects to your website, if you have included a reservation module, or to an exterior reservation engine. To add this link to your profile, go to the “Info” tab on the Google Business Profile backoffice and click on “Reservation links”. This link will not be operational right away, because Google needs to validate it first. You can also add it at the same time of the Menu from the Partoo platform in order to avoid this delay.
Users are more and more hungry for new experiences, authenticity and humanity. Your restaurant has a story, share it! Present the monthly menu, organize video interviews of the chef or tasting events to communicate and engage your community.
Publish this content directly on your profile thanks to the Google Posts. These are temporary posts visible to all the users who check out your profile! Do not hesitate to include keywords that will help you to improve your position to take advantage of the justifications.
For a greater impact, we would recommend publishing also on Facebook and Instagram, since they are particularly visited platforms by those users who are looking for new places. Over 300,000 users check out at least one restaurant page per day on Instagram in France. On this network the display is king, so do not neglect pictures!
Interact with the customers
The main online interactions with your customers are through reviews and the exchange of messages. They are essential to enhance your restaurant’s visibility, to develop your customers’ loyalty and to build your brand image.
Reply to reviews
You have to reply to all the reviews received on your profile, whether they are positive or negative. Replying to your reviews allows you to manage potential crisis, grow your customers’ loyalty, and reassure all users who visit your profile. 89% of customers state that they would be “pretty” or “very” willing to choose a business which replies to all their reviews, positive or negative.
It is especially important in the restaurant industry, a sector where customers really take into account the opinion of other customers when choosing a restaurant.
Collect new reviews
The received reviews allow you to improve your visibility (the more positive reviews you receive, the more your profile will go up in the search results) and to be referenced on new keywords (as menu justifications, there are also review justifications).
If you want to receive more reviews, do not hesitate to ask your customers to write them. Many of them are willing to do it, but just don’t think about it. 14% of contacted customers write a review every time and 28% write it more than half the time. To simplify the collection of reviews, you can use a platform like Partoo, which allows you to send SMS invitations (your customers will only have to click on the link they received).
Activate an instant messaging tool
75% of users would rather write a message to a business than call it by telephone. Instant messaging platforms such as Google Business Messages, WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, are excellent means of interaction with your customers and potential customers.
We strongly encourage you to activate Google Business Messages first. Thanks to this tool, users will be able to write to you directly from your business profile. No more calls during rush hours, reply to your customers asynchronously, when it better suits you!
Have a profile on different platforms
Even though Google is the main platform to be found on the Internet, you should not forget the others! Having a profile on platforms like TripAdvisor, Apple Plan or Foursquare is really interesting for your visibility. It is also an effective way to go up in the search results, since it strengthens your restaurant’s credibility in the eyes of Google.
Once all these profiles are created, make sure all the information is coherent. All the pages related to your restaurant must be filled in with exactly the same pieces of information (hours, name, telephone number, website, etc). If this information differs from a platform to another, Google will detect an inconsistency and will penalize you in the search results.
To save time (and save yourself some headaches), Partoo proposes the multi-diffusion of the information. It’s extremely simple: you fill in all the information on Partoo and we manage the creation of profiles and the updating of your data!
To sum up:
- Be at the right place at the right time. Use platforms like Google and Facebook and fill them in with appropriate and updated information.
- Ease your customers’ lives. Add your menu and set up the online reservation for a seamless experience.
- Multiply the points of contact. Manage your reviews with a master hand and activate the messages to attract new customers.
We are at your disposal for any questions about these tools or to work together on your restaurant’s visibility! Do not hesitate to contact us here.