January 13, 2021  

Do you want the best results for attracting more local customers to your restaurant or café? Then ensuring you’re getting the most out of your Google My Business listing is absolutely essential!

For the uninitiated, Google My Business listings provide a snapshot of your business, much like a synopsis. These listings are officially known as Knowledge Panels and apply to anything of interest.

GMB provides anyone who searches your business with a full and customisable (by you!) listing, which can include pictures, ratings, phone numbers and a brief overview of the restaurant. You also want to get your full menu on there too, with accurate pricing. It’s important to continually go back and update your business listing. Don’t make one and just forget about it!

A great addition to GMB is that it provides analytics, such as the number of clicks, calls and bookings. Make sure you connect your map address to the listing too!

Special Event Posts

A few years ago, Google created the option for businesses to create content which could be displayed on their GMB listing. This ranges from news, promotions and events, to special offers. If there is an upcoming event, the listing can be altered to reflect that and provide a quick place for customers to make a booking. Like the standard listing, there is an option to add images to the events, as well as start and finish times.

Ensuring Social Media Profiles Are Up to Date

Businesses sometimes make the mistake of neglecting one social media account, while updating another, or leaving their website to chance. All social media platforms should be kept up to date and share a consistency with one another, including your GMB listing.

Google allows you to connect all your social media accounts and if one is structured differently, or providing inconsistent information to the rest, it reflects poorly on your business.

Reserve with Google

Reserve with Google allows customers to book restaurants and other nearby businesses directly through Google Search and Google Maps. The Reserve with Google button will appear directly under the business name. Instead of seeing the standard contact details that customers notice via a Google My Business listing, they will see a ‘Book Now’ button, working as a call to action.

Photos and Videos

Adding high quality images and videos increases the appeal of your Google My Business listing and gives people an indication of what to expect. The process for adding images/videos is simple, just click on the addition sign and adhere to Google’s recommended image sizes. Google My Business and Google Maps also offer the ability to upload 360-degree images of your business address.

Use Google Q & A to Answer Customers’ Questions

There’s another section of the Google Business page which allows customers to submit questions about the business. If you scroll down on a business listing, you will see a selection of questions which can be asked and answered by the community; it doesn’t have to be responded to by the business. It is recommended however, that the business owner answers all questions that come through on the platform.

Businesses can utilise this feature by asking the questions themselves and then providing the answer. This is no different than having a FAQ page on a website, as it allows all general questions to be covered.

Taking Charge of Your Reviews

Reviews play an important role in swaying the decision of potential guests - they always have and always will. Most customers read reviews to decide whether a restaurant is worth dining at, if it’s not positive, chances are they’re not coming to eat at your restaurant.

It is therefore a necessity to manage your reviews effectively. This means that you approach any negative reviews by trying to provide a solution to their experience and apologising, rather than completely ignoring them.

This demonstrates to any new or potential customers you are doing everything you can to provide top quality service. More importantly, it encourages those who were happy with the service, or are regular customers, to leave a review.

Get the Google My Business Mobile App

If you have the app, it simplifies the whole process of keeping the listing up to date.

Furthermore, you’ll be able to respond to any of the issues that have been mentioned so far. Like all apps, the GMB mobile app for both Android and IOS provides notifications which can be customised. The app provides the ability to make changes from anywhere and respond in real time to online queries.

Getting Operating Hours Right

Many businesses make the mistake of listing the wrong operating hours on their GMB page, or fail to update any changes in hours. Much like the ability to change the listing for events, GMB allows businesses to add ‘special hours’ for certain occasions, such as public holidays.

Real-time Messaging

Similar to the messaging system on a Facebook business page, or a real time messenger service on a website, GMB also provides this ability. This feature requires your business to have staff ready to respond to any queries via the internet.

If a business chooses to use this method, a messenger icon will appear underneath the business name, next to the number, directions and save buttons. The feature can be deactivated at any time, in the event someone isn’t likely to respond. When real-time messaging is being used, ensure a swift response time as Google shares this information with customers.

Configure Your Service Area

Your GMB page provides the ability to customise your service area. This means the listing will provide details of which locations you provide services such as deliveries to. Like everything on your listing, this can be changed at any time, such as in the event you begin delivering to more locations.

There you have it, 10 ways to optimise your Google My Business listing. Remember to consider all these elements when you make your listing and continue to revisit for a refresher on how you can attract more customers to your business.