More and more of your customers are turning to Google when deciding where they’re going to eat next, and you should be doing everything you can to make sure your restaurant is best represented when they do. By verifying your ‘Google My Business’ listing through their simple and free process, Google gives you the power to control the information your customers will see when searching your restaurant’s name. This is part of what’s called Search Engine Optimization (SEO), the process of improving your restaurant’s appearance online and ensuring that its descriptive information is accurate and to your liking - creating a fast track between you and your customers.
The effects are seen in the resources Google provides for consumers when it comes to finding information on local restaurants. Most common is the unique box that immediately appears in the search results for a restaurant Google recognizes, highlighting the business and its basic information.
You may already be familiar with the box Google provides in their results for local businesses, shown above on the right.
For unverified businesses, the site automatically tries to fill in information here but this can be difficult for Google to do given the size of the task. Because of this, Google actively encourages restaurant owners to claim their business presence on Google My Business and manage this information, and other perks, themselves. This is a win-win for small business owners and Google alike, as you get to control your restaurant’s information in their search results and they get to make their users happy by providing accurate and thorough information on local restaurants. The best part is that it’s all free and simple to do. Simply register online and request one of their methods of verification.
Keep reading to find seven benefits of verifying your restaurant with Google My Business, something every small business owner should be doing in 2018.
1. Instantly get your business on Google
Immediately appear in local search results when consumers are looking for restaurants in your area, as well within other Google services across the web like Google Maps and Google+. Your verified content will also be promoted in their results when users search for your name, such as links to your website or social media profiles.
2. Ensure your Google business listing is accurate
This includes your operating hours, phone number, address, and other details about your restaurant your customers are looking for online. If you don’t verify your business listing Google will often try to complete this information in other ways, without your input. Guarantee the accuracy of this content by controlling the information yourself.
3. Communicate with your customers online
Your customers may already be leaving reviews or asking questions about your business in Google without your knowledge. Begin an online conversation with them as your verified restaurant. Respond directly to customer reviews and let other users know you take their feedback seriously.
4. Prevent others from using your listing
There are various websites that attempt to gain control of the information within your listing to redirect your customers to their own services. Get there first and claim what’s yours.
5. Increase traffic to your own site
If you’re going to put all the effort into making a website to represent your business, which you should be doing in 2018, you want to make sure your customers are being better directed to your site when they search for your name. By verifying your business listing you’re telling Google that this is the site associated with your restaurant and they then know to promote your site in their results.
6. Embrace the free tools your competitors are
Seeing businesses with unverified listings is always a shame knowing there is a free and massively popular web presence out there ready for them to claim. According to Google and Oxera, users are twice as likely to consider Google verified businesses reputable 1. More and more of your customers are making confident decisions on where to eat based on who has provided the most complete and accurate business listings. Don’t risk losing an order to a restaurant that looks better online. And it’s free!
7. It’s GOOGLE!
The majority of your customers are regularly using their search. You probably are, too. Be there when they do.
The benefits listed above are only some of the features Google provides for you as a verified business. As you continue to explore Google My Business you can become more familiar with the other offerings of Google, such as Google Analytics - a collection of more advanced information on your business and website. It’s also free and gives you a more educated idea of what your customers and not-yet-customers are doing online and on your site.
Wondering how to get started?
Verifying your business is easy, most businesses begin the registration process with Google My Business here and then simply request and return a postcard by mail to finish the verification process. For select businesses verification by phone and email are possible, as well as bulk verification and instant verification. More information on the process can be found here. And if you’re thinking of signing up with Ontray, we assist our restaurants in verifying and understanding Google My Business and Google Analytics for free as part of our registration and management process.
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