PERFECTING YOUR PROFILE
When setting up your Google profile, choose the right category of business. Are you a café? Pizzeria? Fine-dining establishment? Use your restaurant’s personality and core offerings to pick the right category, and align with customer expectations to bolster visibility.
Consider keywords customers might use when looking for your restaurant, for example, “sushi,” “outdoor seating,” “family-friendly,” “cocktail menu”, “vegan”, or “woman-owned” and use them to your advantage.
KEEP IT UP TO DATE
Don’t frustrate your customers — update your info often, especially for holiday closings and changes to your hours. You get 750 characters for your description, so use them all. Give customers a taste of your menu, tell them about press or accolades, and give them a heads-up on recurring events (like Taco Tuesday Deals).
UPLOAD IMAGES — A LOT OF THEM
Add great photos of your space and food. Display your restaurant’s facade and signage to make it easier for customers to find your place. Have outdoor seating? Show that off too. Highlight the interior ambiance and atmosphere, including the dining area, lounge, and distinctive decor.
Capture high-quality photos of signature dishes and popular menu items. Emphasize the variety, quality, and creativity of your culinary offerings. If you can, take pictures of your staff engaging with customers or working in the kitchen to add a personal touch to your profile.
Hire a photographer if necessary and upload new images regularly, especially when introducing new dishes.
It’s ok to ask customers for reviews. And you should — reviews speak volumes. Place signs at high-touch areas within your space, like the entrance, asking for feedback. A QR code will help get customers to your Google profile faster, and you can add one to your receipts, too.
Using email marketing? Send a follow-up email to customers to thank them for coming and to kindly ask for a review. Honest comments can help you see areas that need improvement.
REVIEWS ARE AN OPPORTUNITY
Respond promptly to customer reviews and answer questions. Check regularly. But don’t get into disagreements with unhappy diners — simply apologize and offer them a freebie. Customers like seeing actively engaged restaurants and may be inclined to leave one of their own if they know someone’s reading them.
Customers often need a reason to review. While you can’t directly give incentives for positive reviews, you can offer a small token of thanks to anyone who leaves honest feedback, like a free appetizer. Try it out and see how many reviews you can add to your profile.
Use your Google Business Profile data to inform your decisions. For example, you can see what terms people searched to find your restaurant and how to optimize your reach even further. Monitor the number of clicks, calls, direction requests, and visits to your website your Google Business Profile is generating and keep improving on it.