improvement

The importance of optimizing Google My Business For Restaurants (2021)

The only way to grow online is by optimizing your Google profile

Why you should focus on Ranking in Google and not social media

I am sure that your social media game is on point. Maybe you have 30k followers on Instagram and 25k followers on Facebook. You receive hundreds of likes and shares on your posts. You may think that your advertising efforts are done and over with. I’m here to tell you that they are not. Just because somebody likes your photo does not mean that they will buy from you. But if someone is searching for somewhere to eat, and your restaurant is in the top three options, you can believe that your probability of making a sale increase. This article will review the importance of optimizing google my Business for restaurants and why this should be your advertising priority.

What does it mean to Optimize Google my Business?

Optimizing means to enhance the content of your profile so that Google can suggest your restaurant to more searches. There are various ways to optimize your Google profile.

All of which is essential to move up the ranks in google. In this article, I will cover a few items that absolutely need to be optimized and sprinkle some statistics along the way so that you can get an idea of the impact that this could have on your restaurant.

Why do you need to optimize your Google My Business profile?

The objective of this game is to appear on the top of the search results. And not just appearing on the top, but also making the Google Local Three Pack. The Google Local Three Pack is the small box with the top three results from your search.

These are usually local businesses that Google identifies as the best search result for that given search. 

So, the question is:

How does Google choose what restaurants should be in the Local Three Pack?

The truth is that nobody knows for sure. The reason is that the Google search engine is controlled by automated Ai, which runs off data. We may not know how Google chooses, but we do know what Google likes.

And this is where Optimization comes in. By seeing what other restaurants are doing to get to the top, you get an idea of what your restaurant needs to do to compete with the top-ranking businesses.

So, we follow the lead and try not to do the same as the top-ranking restaurants, but better. Always raising the bar so that you overshoot your target. It is the only way to rank higher.

Before we continue, you should know that optimizing Google is a marathon, not a sprint. Meaning that Google does not pick up on any optimizations the same day that they are done. There are ways to push your changes, but it is about quantity and consistency at the end of the day.

please note that in some instances I will be referring to Google my business as GMB.

Optimizing Google My Business For Restaurants

What is Google my Business?

Here's my definition:

Google my Business is the world’s largest online business directory. That’s it.

is Google my Business free?

Absolutely.  Google is a completely free service for restaurants that need to expand the reach of their brand.

When you directly search for a restaurant, you will see a small business profile for that restaurant on your Google search’s right hand. Like the one below:

Google My Business For Restaurants

This is your google my business profile. Now, this profile can be created by the actual Business, or it can be made by a Google Local Guide.

What is a Google local guide?

A Google local guide is a user with a Google account that reviews locations in any given city. So, if you opened a new restaurant and a local guide visit. They can create a GMB listing for your restaurant.

In this case, you will need to claim your business and update the information.

There are instances in which a local guide can create a business that is already created. This usually happens if the name is misspelled. In this case, you will need to contact Google to close that listing.

Once you claim your business listing in Google, you can then begin to edit information and add content.

Google vs. Social media

Should you bother with Google if you have thousands and thousands of followers on social media?

The answer is an undeniable YES!

This is an often-misunderstood concept of online advertising, “Just run your business off social media, and drive traffic from your followers.”

And this just might be working for you. Many restaurants that I have worked with have never touched their Google profiles and are killing it with social media alone.

But what if I told you that optimizing your google my business profile a few times a week can increase your Business by 70%?

And this is why I decided to write this blog post.

Most businesses love to use social media because they instantly see what works and what doesn’t. You get the likes and shares, and it pumps up your ego. You can post a limited menu item, and it will be gone by 12pm. And yes, this works just fine.

But what about the people that do not follow your Instagram or Facebook? What about out of towners looking for somewhere to eat but do not know where to go?

Where are they congregating online? Without the name of a restaurant, they will not find you on social media, right?

The only way your restaurant will grow is by increasing the chances that these search users find you in Google.

Without a GMB profile, you will not have a chance against the competition.

There are two ways that your restaurant will appear in a Google local search result.

Either the searcher is looking for “restaurants near me,” or they are looking for your business name.

These are called Discovery searches and Direct searches.

Direct vs. Discovery Google Search results

Google provides great insight tools and features within Google my business. With these insights, you can get a idea of how well you business is performing in local search results.

below is an example of one of the insights tools in Google my Business.

Google my business direct discrover

Direct Search Results

This is a direct search when the searches know your restaurant’s name and enter it into Google search. Since they already know what they are looking for, they are only looking for more information about your Business.

If the google my business listing is created, you will see the information on the screen’s right-hand side.

With direct search results, consistency in your information is critical. We will talk more about the importance of consistency further in the post.

Discovery Search results

If a searcher in Google is in the mood for pizza or sushi, they throw a rock in the air to see what it hits. They usually do not know the area and are looking for suggestions from Google. The search result immediately returns a top three section with google maps information, followed by the search results.

Appearing in the top three search results is the goal of optimizing your Google my Business. Because, yes, Direct searches create reliability for your brand, but discovery searches bring you, new customers.

These top three search results are called the Local Top Three Pack.

What is Google GMB Local three-pack?

The Google Local top three Pack are the top local search results that Google thinks match best with what the person is searching for.

The keyword in that phrase is What Google thinks.  

This means that if a person is looking for the best hamburger, google will take data from all of the Google my business listings to see which restaurant has data that is pointing to the fact that it is the best in town.

Just because Google says it is the best, it does not mean it is. It just means that those restaurants have various data points that tell Google that they are reliably the best.

So, what impact does appear in the Google Local three-pack have on your restaurant?

Google my business three pacl
Businesses that appear in the Google top three local Pack get like 48% of clicks

This means that you can immediately increase your business local search  traffic by showing Google that you are the best result for that search.

As you can see, by knowing what Google likes and wants to see, you can significantly increase the chances of moving up the ranks in local searches and expanding your business’s revenue.

OK, but what factors give Google the idea you are the best choice for the search results?

business

Creating consistency in google is critical.

Our GROW (Gain reliable Online Wealth) framework is based on creating consistent information, then driving traffic to your location.

The first step in our framework is to Gain. In Gain, we create consistency online with all of your restaurant’s information to ensure that everything is exactly the same across the internet.

The best tool to research keywords:

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restaurant Name Address Phone (NAP)

To rank high in Google, you need to show that your NAP is the same across all websites that mention or include your restaurant. This detail is crucially essential for google search, as it is for Google maps.

This shows that your restaurant has a reliable online footprint that could not confuse a customer.

After all, we want to make sure that the customer has the correct address on Google maps.

We first run a local citations audit for your restaurant and compare all of the information.

Local citations are the listings (or websites that mention your business) online.

Some example of local citations is Yelp and trip advisor. You would be surprised how many pages mention containing information about your restaurant.

When A person searches in Google, Google crawls through all websites within half a second and compares your information. The closes matching results begin to appear higher on the search page.

Creating consistency in Google with your social media information is one of the first steps you must take when optimizing your web presence.

This avoids having multiple addresses, phone numbers, working hours, services, or other pieces of information that do not match.

our favorite google my business tool: citationBuilderPro to create more listing

When conducting a Google Optimization service for our customers, we always research all of their online listings to verify consistency with their information. You can imagine that if a business has 60 or 70 citations that this could be a headache.

But the team at citationbuilderpro.com does all of this for you. First, you get a free report of all of your listings, and either you can go through the trouble of updating each one, or you can pay a small fee, and the guys at citationbuilderpro.com can do it for you.

They can even create in bulk citations for you. They charge $35 for 50 citations, which is excellent.

So if you are interested, follow this link, and they can help you out.

citationBuilderPro

Quantity

Another factor in increasing your google ranking is the quantity of information.

Yes, you may have a Facebook and Instagram account and think it is enough, but you need to open more doors online.

The more doors you have, the higher the possibility that someone will walk through them. And as more people walk through them, Google will take notice and reward you with higher rankings.

Sounds easy, huh?

Quantity does not only mean to create more social media accounts; it also means to flood the market with your product. Post more and create more content. The more, the better. Always.

Quality

Yes, you should be creating more content, but you also need to make sure that it is on-brand for your restaurant. Your restaurant’s name, logo, and especially menu need to attract clicks online.

Creating a robust online presence will help your customers make an immediate association with your content, and in turn, Google will reward you for it.

But having your Nap consistent and creating good content still isn’t enough for Google to like you. After all, we want Google to Loooove you.

Google my Business Optimization Factors That Make A Difference on your profile

Photos

Uploading photos is the primary way to get Google to notice you in which you have control over. The more photos that you upload, the better.

If you are a consistent social media posting machine, include Google my Business into your routine. I guarantee you that you will begin to see an increase in traffic to your restaurant by making this small change.

But why do photos make such a big difference for businesses?

If we take the analogy from before about opening doors, instead of opening one or two doors with social media accounts. Consider each photo a door that you open. So that means that the more doors you have, the more possibilities you give customers to walk through.

See the below study about Google my business images.

Google photo optimization chart

You can see that the businesses with over 100+ photos get a larger quantity of interaction than those with tiny images.

To put the above chart in percentages:

Businesses with more than 100 images on GMB get 520% more calls, 2717% more direction requests, and 1,065% more website clicks than the average Business.

Now what kind of impact do you think that GMB could have on your restaurant?

When we set out to optimize GMB profile, the first thing that we do is upload over 100 photos.

If you have social media, you already have these photos lying around. All you have you do is do a little manual work to create the foundation in google and upload these.

Although social media may feel more organic or spontaneous. At the end of the day, you want to grow your business. Sharing creative love with Google is the only way to see the fruits of your creativity.

Posts

Like social media, Google my Business gives you the option to post information about your restaurant. This can be a daily special or a simple informative update.

they appear under your Google my business information in Google search.

At Island Dwellers, we use a tool that syncs your Instagram account with GMB. This way, all of your content is automated to google.

Google my business posts

At Island Dwellers, we use a tool that syncs your Instagram account with Google My Business. This way, all of your content is automated to google.

The more often you post to your Google profile, Google will highlight your post to searchers and give your business more visibility.

Local resturant Google my Business Reviews

Earlier, I said photos were the most critical factor in optimizing your Google profile that you have control over.
Reviews are the most critical factor in optimizing that you do not have control over.

When a person searches for a restaurant directly or by discovery, the first thing that they notice is the stars.

Your restaurant's online reputation speaks in volume, and especially to google. A Good review page goes a long way.

Remember that Google is always trying to give the searcher the best result possible. The same goes for the quality of the search results.

When results appear in the Google Local Three Pack, they are usually 4.5 stars and higher. Of course, this depends entirely on the search conditions and options.

Google takes excellent and negative reviews very seriously. Also, they take interaction very seriously.

With google my Business, you can easily manage your reviews and respond to your customers effectively.

Google My Business For Restaurants

You must engage with your customers and respond to a review—the good, and especially the bad.

When optimizing a Google profile, we always ensure that the reviews are being managed and actioned accordingly.

Another factor that Google notices about reviews is the quantity.

We encouraged always having a “Rate Us” campaign on social media to increase the number of google reviews.

Like I mentioned before, the more, the better when it comes to content. Reviews are no exception.

The more reviews that your restaurant has shown google that you are receiving traffic and love your product. This, in turn, will give you higher rankings in search results.

 Google my Business gives you an option to post your menu on your profile.

I cannot say how many times I have searched for a restaurant’s menu online and cannot find anything.

This allows you to give your customers a reliable source for your products. Google, in turn, will love you for it and make sure that you rank higher.

 When we apply the Reliable fundamental for restaurants, we first must identify their Perfect Customer.

Insights for your GMB restaurant Listing

A beautiful feature that GMB provides is complete insights and visuals to see your restaurant’s progress and performance. You can see how often your restaurant is appearing in search results and much more data with insights.

To recap: Why should you optimize your Google my Business profile?

Before I jump into these reasons, I want to reveal what’s behind the curtain of Google and social media.

The number one reason they would give your profile priority over others is to increase the time customers spend online.

Yes, it sounds simple, but the more customers find your content enticing and want to keep looking at it, Google will reward you for it.

Google and social media are all about increasing online viewing time for customers to sell ads.

Did I just say that?! Yup!

Optimizing your Google profile will give customers more of a reason to visit your content, and in turn, visit your restaurant.

So, as you can see, this is a win situation for you and Google. They get to increase the number of people who see their ads while you grow your business traffic.

By optimizing your google my business profile, you increase the possibility of ranking higher for Google searches and growing your business with new customers.

Everything mentioned before is ways to optimize Google My Business effectively to increase the traffic to your restaurant.

So, I hope that you enjoyed this post about the importance of optimizing Google my Business for restaurants, and if you have any questions or comments, leave them below.

If you would like us to help you optimize your Google profile, reach out to us for a quote.

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