159 – Optimizing your Google My Business account for Fun and Profit

We discuss why your Google My Business account is so important and give you simple steps to grow your revenue with a GMB account that works.

Have a listen and make sure that you are ticking all of the boxes that Google needs to send you all of the customers that your Restaurant deserves.

Don’t forget to check out our free Restaurant Website Audits.  If you think you’re missing out on your fair share of customers, maybe your web developer has made some of the common mistakes.  Book a free 15 minute no-obligation chat with one of our team and get some ideas on how to find more customers.

Why is Google My Business crucial to your restaurant? Do you know what it can do to help you? Do you know how you should be using it?

There are all sorts of shenanigans that happen in the Google My Business space and we see and deal with them everyday. It’s an unclaimed opportunity for many businesses and that’s what makes it fun too!

Let’s talk about your Google My Business account, why it’s important, and what you can do to grow your revenue with it!

Google My Business

If you don’t know what Google My Business is yet, it is a free and easy-to-use tool that helps you manage your presence on Google and help your customers find you and get to know a little bit more about you.

It is very helpful when it comes to optimizing your rankings in search engines, especially if you run a location-based business, like a restaurant. It helps customers understand what their options are and optimization will give you a lot of attention.

You need to make sure you have your Google My Business set up properly and optimized well enough to rank higher and to drive more customers in. If you don’t have ownership of your Google My Business account, that’s where you should begin.

Why is Google My Business important for your restaurant?

In a time where everybody goes on Google to look for anything and everything they need, your goal as a business should be to climb as high as you can in the searches so you’re the first one they see.

Many people make their decisions based on what they find when they do a quick online search and your Google My Business account will help you become the first choice. The way your Google My Business account will not only affect your SEO, but also the influx of customers and orders you’re going to receive.

Why should you take ownership of your Google My Business account?

One of the common problems we encounter in the Google My Business space is when restaurant owners don’t use GMB and they are listed online as “permanently closed”. Business and operating hours are such important factors in your customers’ decision-making process and you don’t want them thinking you’ve closed down when you haven’t.

Google lists your business as “permanently closed” when they don’t hear from you. They will send you emails and if you don’t respond or if you don’t have access to the email address you’ve registered for your GMB account, they will automatically list you as “permanently closed”.

It doesn’t take much to fix this issue if it is what’s causing you to drop down the list in searches. A couple of tweaks and maybe a little back and forth with the Google team can help make your operating hours more accurate for your customers to see.

Optimizing your Google My Business account can also save you from brandjacking. This happens to so many restaurants and other businesses like doctors’ clinics and hotels.

A directory business will likely create a listing, a page, and even a special website for your business. Their listing will then suggest that the website for your business is their website, driving all traffic to them instead of you.

This is a typical situation for delivery services such as Menulog. We’ve seen many restaurants have their businesses listed with websites that point to Menulog, so Menulog gets the orders, the customer information, and the high commission rates.

How can you fix the problem through Google My Business?

Finding out that incorrect information is listed on behalf of your business is never a good thing and luckily, Google has policies in place that will help you correct it.

First thing you need to do is to regain ownership of your Google My Business if somebody else has claimed it. You can’t make any of the changes you need if you don’t have access to it.

Check your Google My Business by searching for your business name on Google. They will then present you with an option to “Own the Business” if it hasn’t been claimed by anyone, and if somebody else owns it, you can contact them for access. Click here for a full, step-by-step process on how you can do this on your own: https://support.google.com/business/answer/4566671?hl=en

Now once you’ve regained access to your Google My Business account, here are a few key things you want to do to make sure you’re maximizing it to your advantage:

1. List accurate information

As we’ve mentioned, one of the biggest problems that turn customers away from businesses with unmanaged Google My Business accounts is the inaccuracy of the information listed. That’s where you should begin if you’re going to optimize GMB to get more customers.

Check the information that’s currently listed – the physical address, phone number, category that it’s in, and other attributes. The information you list in Google My Business is the same information that your customers will see, so you need to make sure that you get them in accurately.

2. Verify the location

Since you’re running a location-based business with an actual, physical location, you need to make sure that Google knows where you are too. The next step after you make sure you get all the information correctly is to verify your location.

Verifying your location will tell Google that you’re an actual business that exists and not some TripAdvisor scam on the internet. This helps Google put you on the list the next time someone looks for restaurants in your area.

Google will be sending you a postcard to the physical address you enter in your Google My Business account. That postcard will have a code that you’re going to enter in your account to verify that you’re a real business.

3. Manage and respond to reviews

Google reviews are by far, the most well-managed reviews online. They aren’t perfect, but they are managed better than any other review engines.

The reviews help Google put you on top of their lists because they want to suggest the best ones to the people who are searching. Having your happy customers leave reviews will boost your search rankings and assure new customers of the quality you’re providing.

Responding to the reviews will let people know that you value what customers say, and that alone will drive a lot more people to you.

4. Fill in the Attributes

Attributes in Google My Business are other things about your business aside from your contact and location information, operating hours, and products and services. Is your restaurant wheelchair accessible? Do you provide on-site services?

These attributes will tell your customers if you are a fit for the products and services that they are looking for. It is an area of your Google My Business account that you need to stay on top of because there are a variety of ways that it gets updated.

Users can suggest products, services, and facilities for your business by pop-up questions that Google shows them when they go to your GMB listing, and if Google gets an influx of the same responses, they will add it to your page automatically.

5. Put content in your profile

Since Google My Business isn’t a platform that many businesses use to their advantage, they don’t usually set time aside to create content to be uploaded to their GMB profiles either. You don’t have to make it big and fancy, it is something you can incorporate in your marketing process so it doesn’t need to take up much time.

When people go to your Google My Business page, the Google Knowledge Pane comes up and that’s going to show the key photo of your profile next to all the other photos. This is what’s going to give customers a better picture of your business and what it is all about.

Google chooses the richer profiles to place on top of their lists and your photos will help you get there. Upload photos of your restaurant and make sure that you get the best angles.

How often should you be checking Google My Business?

Google My Business is a very efficient tool for your restaurant, but it isn’t very high maintenance. You should be checking on it often, but not as often as you should get on social media in general.

There is a function in Google My Business called Insights that will allow you to see how well you’re doing online through analytics. It’s going to show you information like where most searches are coming from, what devices are being used, and many more.

These reports that you can generate from Google My Business can help you implement changes in your restaurant that will last for months, and a safe interval for reviewing the information you have there would probably be every 1-3 months.

Google My Business feeds into Search and Maps. What you have on your Google My Business profile will ultimately show up no matter which service people will use so you have to make sure that it’s accurate and up to date.

Check out the Secret Sauce podcast shownotes for more information on this episode.

 

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