These days, online visibility is essential for all restaurants. In the past, you may have already set up social media accounts dedicated to your service. Good news: adding a restaurant to Google Maps is just as easy.
How Important is Google My Business?
In short, very important.
When it comes to getting the word out there, Google My Business is your friend. It basically acts as a tool to display your business via the power of local search engines.
Displaying both your opening hours and other key information (e.g., your health and safety protocols), Google has optimised their platform for hospitality businesses. Read behind the lines and you’ll know that this indicates an increased demand from customers.
They’re many benefits to gain from this. Among other things, Google My Business:
- Eliminates customer confusion, ensuring customers find the right restaurants
- Allows customers to make direct reservations with your venue, quick and simple
- Offers you a strong online presence, in the midst of locals competitors
Google My Business works in tandem with its most popular app: Google Maps. Millions are now using Google Maps for both search directions and travel, so it’s now time for all restaurants to get involved.
To ensure your business appears on Google Map searches, we give you a guide in four steps. Then, we let you know how you can use Carbonara App to add your online bookings to your own Google Maps page.
Step One — Create a Profile
This is super easy. It’s just like any other sign-up process, and only takes a couple of minutes.
To create a profile, go to Google My Business. Next:
- Click: Add a restaurant listing
- Create it
- Fill in information about your business
Don’t forget to add all the essentials — i.e., name, address, and contact number (inc. email address). If you already have a website, you can link it here.
In addition, get straight to it and write a short description, ranging from one to two sentences. This makes it easier for your future guests to learn about you, to attract their attention.
When you’ve done this, you’ll need to verify your account. As a safeguard, Google requests every business to verify the information they’ve entered online.
Usually they send a unique code to the address you’ve provided. Simply enter this code online to complete your registration process and — presto! — Google will finally verify your account. Now anyone can find your restaurant on Google Maps.
Step Two — Update Profile Information
To keep your customers well-informed, you’ll need to regularly update your profile information. Here are our quick tips.
- Update and complete profile information
- Keep your business hours accurate
- Indicate clearly any upcoming events or holidays
Imagery is also important. Use the best images and videos of your business and add them to your listing.
For many people, this will be the first thing they see — especially if they’re travelling from afar. So keep in mind that it’s best to upload images of your services (i.e., indoor photographs, a picture of your team) alongside key information.
Step Three — Insert Online Booking Link
With Carbonara App, online bookings are easy and efficient. So while you’re waiting to verify your Google Business profile, here’s how to take a step ahead, adding online bookings to your Google Maps page. Follow these five steps.
- Find “Info” on your Google My Business page
- Scroll and find, “Appointment links”
- Click the pencil icon to edit the URL
- Paste in your Carbonara App booking link*
- Click “Apply”
*Your Carbonara App link should look something like https://reservation.carbonaraapp.com/United-States/your-city/your-business-name-here. Need an account? Create your account on the App Store or the Google Play Store and enjoy!
Step Four — Generate Connection with Customers
It would be a mistake to just leave your Google My Business page dormant. A little extra kitchen work can go a long way.
When everything is up and running, it’s time to start thinking about getting engaged with your target audience (your main clientele, if you prefer). For example, if you specialise in French dishes, a customer searching “French cuisine near me” should see your business appear.
It’s also a nifty way to inform customers about what your venue offers. For example, you can upload accessibility information, list an online menu, and even advertise your daily specials. This is the sort of thing today’s customers want.
Seventy percent of customers make bookings after completing research online — so staying connected via Google can go a long way.
Here’s how you can make your restaurant appear among search results on Google.
- Ask customers to visit your profile and write quick, honest reviews. This will then appear alongside your restaurant’s profile.
- Request a share or two from customers after their visit. Encouraging online followers will take your restaurant profile the extra step further.
- Respond quickly to reviews you receive on Google Maps, even positive ones. This will give your profile a human touch, a face behind the phone screen, that will engage more customers.
Once you’ve gone through these steps, you can further interact with customers via Google’s features. Since December 2020, for instance, Google added a new feature, allowing restaurants to get in touch with customers in real time. You can answer their questions and queries, all with very little effort on your part, and ensure increased business.
The final aim is to make your business appear organically among search results. On the customer’s side of things, they’re looking at your restaurant sitting among all the others nearby.
Boosting your search value may take a little time; but with patience, you’ll soon rank among the top results pretty quickly.
Don’t forget to keep a lookout for your business’ profiles elsewhere — for instance, TripAdvisor. Customers will often visit these sites as they crop up in top search results. Make sure customers are posting positive reviews elsewhere to keep your Google Maps profile in check.