How Google Can Up the Ante for Your Restaurant

How Google Can Up the Anti for Your Restaurant

Google plays a pivotal role in your restaurant’s internet marketing.

Your restaurant website is the pivotal piece of your online marketing. Everything you do funnels back to it.

This makes your website vital to the success of your online marketing.

Think of Google as the gatekeeper to your restaurant website. Google decides whether searchers find you and where you land on search engine results pages.

What’s more, Google provides you tools to manage and fine tune your restaurant website, so you can succeed on their platform.

Your job is to befriend Google, understand how the search engine works, and learn more about Google analytics so you can get more people to your website and ultimately into your restaurant.

Here’s how Google can up the ante for your restaurant.

Leverage Google My Business

For many restaurants, organic search on Google is the first place someone will learn about you.

The search results pages are integral to your marketing strategy. Why? One study shows that people view less than two percent of searches below the top five results.

For example, you serve Italian food. A family of four leaving a baseball game on the other side of town is looking for Italian food, and they search for “Italian food near me.” You want to be what they find.

To make sure they do, the first thing you want to do is sign up with Google My Business.

Google merges Google+ and Google Places into this one tool that was designed for the purpose of helping people find you easily online.

You can claim your business on this platform for free. You simply have to go through a few steps to verify you are the owner of the business.

Here are a few benefits of Google My Business for your restaurant:

  • Your restaurant becomes more visible on Google Maps and in search results. Key to your success is keeping your Google business page updated and making sure it’s complete. This includes your location, phone and hours (even for holidays) information. You also want to ensure your listing is verified. It’s good practice to add photos to your listing including ones that show your restaurant, menu and people.
  • When you have a complete listing, your Google page has all the information it needs. So, visitors to your Google business page can either move on to your website, or they can go straight to your restaurant.
  • You learn more about your customers because Google provides you with insights about the people looking for your business. Some things you learn include how they found you and what they did once they saw your listing. This might be call you, visit your website or ask for directions.

Use Google Analytics

Another powerful tool in your Google arsenal is Google Analytics, and it can up the ante for your restaurant.

Google Analytics is a free tool you can use to see who is visiting your website, their demographics, where they’re coming from, what they do when they get to your website, and much more.

Some of the most powerful tools for your restaurant include:

  • Learning more about the location of your website visitors. This is especially helpful if you live in a large city with people from smaller outlying cities visiting your restaurant. You learn whether your website traffic is from people near your physical location or further away. This allows you to plan your marketing strategy accordingly.
  • Viewing traffic patterns on your website. It’s always helpful to know when your website visitors are on your website. For example, is traffic heavier at lunchtime or before dinner? If you don’t serve lunch, but you notice there are more people on your website during the lunch hour, you might consider adding a noon meal shift.
  • Gauging what device people are using to access your site. Are they on a desktop, tablet or phone? You probably already know your website needs to be mobile friendly. But, have you looked at your mobile usability? Are your bounce rates higher for mobile traffic? If so, you might look at your site to see where you can improve.
  • Learning more about your site speed. Your site speed is integral to how Google sees you, especially on mobile. You want a quick loading site, and you can learn more about this under the “Behavior>Site Speed>Overview” section.
Google and Your Restaurant

Up the anti by leveraging tools within Google.

Respond to Google Reviews

You know how important reviews are to your restaurant. Whether they’re word of mouth, or online, they are powerful drivers of revenue.

When people are searching for a place to eat, they are often looking at reviews. They want to know what people think of your restaurant. They’re checking their written word as well as the numbers of stars you have.

You can bet that a four or five-star restaurant gets chosen over a two or three-star restaurant nearly every time.

It’s also worth noting that Google reviews play a role in how you rank with Google. In addition, Google pulls together reviews from other sources in your listing because they know social proof matters. (tweet this)

So, if your restaurant has more reviews and better ratings, the likelihood that you show up higher is a definite possibility.

You want to put a plan in place for getting more online reviews for your restaurant, so Google knows you are worth showing people on search results pages.

When it comes to reviews, you also want to respond to each of them. It doesn’t matter if they’re positive or negative, you want to interact with customers and respond.

This shows Google and potential customers that you care and are willing to respond to both positive and negative comments.

Be kind and empathetic when responding to the negative ones and do your best to diffuse the situation, and remember, people are watching your responses online.

Final Thoughts

One of the most important things you can do for your restaurant is to make sure Google is your friend. You do this by taking care of the things the search engine finds important.

It takes some work to stay at the top of Google search pages. If you put in the time, effort and strategy on an ongoing basis, you will see results. (tweet this)

Stay on top of your Google tools and your website and be consistent to make sure Google can up the ante for your restaurant.

At Restaurant Engine, not only do we create great, responsive websites, but you can count on us to create a website that drives business to your restaurant and edges you above the competition by using mobile-friendly design with a terrific user experience. Ready to take the plunge and create a website with an online menu, blog and beautiful photos? Get your free website consultation today!

Image: Edho Pratama on Unsplash and Soragrit Wongsa on Unsplash

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