Google My Business Tips

While recently holidaying in New South Wales and Queensland my wife and I visited many restaurants in towns and suburbs that were new to us.  We would arrive in a town or an area then look for a restaurant to visit that evening.

I am telling you this because we didn't look at restaurant websites, we didn't look at any social media, such as Facebook or Instagram.  We didn't go to any of the booking sites or review sites.  We did what anyone looking for a restaurant in a new area would do, we went to Google.  Then we put in the search term “restaurants near me”, or something like “Italian restaurants near me” or “Indian restaurants near me” (this is a great SEO tip by the way).

Basically, to find a restaurant we just searched Google.

When we did this the Google Map came up and suggested the three closest restaurants to us. Beneath that listing there was always a list of other restaurants because they were also using Google My Business (GMB).  To decide where to dine, we would look through the suggestions and make our choice using Google My Business.  

In other words, the ONLY restaurants with a chance of earning our money were the ones using Google My Business – everyone else was excluded from our choice!

So if you're looking for a way to bring in new business (and there's lots and lots of different ways to do it), consider working really hard on your Google My Business listing. 

If you don't know much about it, Google My Business is free. This mini website, (your Google My Business page) is where you can promote your business on Google for free and better than that, if you do it well Google will promote it for you to those people in your vicinity who are searching for somewhere to eat.

The major things that we looked at when searching Google for somewhere to eat were: 

  • Whereabouts is this place?  Is it close to us?

Because they have Google Maps, we could see whether it was within walking distance, or a short drive. And because it was listed with a Google Map, we could get directions to the venue, which made it easy for us to walk or drive there.

  • Are they open today or tonight?

Your Google My Business listing details your open days and opening times. So for example when we were looking on a Monday when lots of people are closed, rather than wasting our time driving around or ringing places, we could see immediately if venues were open or closed.

  • Are they contactable?

On good Google My Business pages, business owners list all their contact details. So, when we thought oh, yeah, that's where we want to go, we could ring immediately and find out if they'd got availability and if so get a booking.

So in short, we got the location through the maps, we narrowed it down to the two or three restaurants that we were interested in, we checked the days and times that these places were open, and we had their contact details.

Next we looked at their menus, because Google My Business has a place for you to display your menu 🙂 Plus we looked at photographs of the food on the menus and the photographs that other diners had taken. The other thing we checked were reviews.  Reviews play a large part in our decision-making process.  We tend to trust the words of other people about a venue, product, or service so it is very important that you have several good reviews about your business on your website, social media and GMB.

On Google My Business reviews are doubly important,

  1. They help people make informed choices but
  2. More importantly, Google us them when deciding who to display in their map when someone searches for a business in a location.  The more 5 stars, volume of reviews, recency of reviews and reviews from trusted reviewers that you have it is more likely that you’ll be listed in that all important “3 pack” of restaurants featured on the map.

The other things that will help your business get listed on the map are:

  • All your contact information is accurate and in synch with what you have listed elsewhere on the internet (such as your website, social media, directory listings and review sites)
  • Your Google My Business page is regularly updated. Which means that you have to update your GMB listing, or you get someone like us to do it, with pictures blogs, videos, offers and any changes to your business circumstances.

So to reiterate; just about every single place that we booked into, we found through Google My Business, not through websites, not through social media, not through review sites, not through any of those booking sites, we actually found them through Google My Business.

If you're not making a big effort to make your Google My Business work, then you must do so.

I know that you're paying attention to running your business and posting on social media but don't overlook Google My Business because it's incredibly important as I found when I was traveling.  

We can guide you on what to do with your Google My Business listing or we can do it for you.  If you are interested in knowing more contact me via our contact us page at www.restaurantprofits.com.au and I'll give you all the relevant information. Look forward to hearing from you soon.