How to use "Google My Business" for restaurants

Learn how you can utilise your 'Google My Business' profile for your cafe or restaurant.
Restaurant employee with tablet smiling

In the digital age, having a strong online presence is the secret sauce to getting more hungry customers through your doors. Imagine your restaurant popping up on people's screens when they're searching for a great place to eat in your area—that's the power of local SEO.

Why Local SEO Matters for Your Restaurant:

Local SEO is like your restaurant's golden ticket to being discovered by folks nearby. It's how you show up when someone types "best pizza near me" or "cozy cafes in Glasgow." Being on top of local search results means more people finding you and, of course, more plates served.

Enter Google My Business (GMB) – Your Local SEO Sidekick:

Meet Google My Business (GMB), your sidekick in the local search adventure. GMB is not just a directory; it's your online hub on Google. It helps you shine in local search results and Maps, making sure your restaurant is the first thing people see when they're craving a tasty meal nearby.

In this guide, we're diving deep into the world of local SEO and giving you the lowdown on using GMB for your restaurant. From picking the right keywords to jazzing up your business listing, we've got the SEO tips to boost your ranking in local searches. Get ready to be the star of local search results and build a mouthwatering online presence!

Setting Up Your Google My Business Profile

So, you're ready to make your mark on Google and bring in more hungry customers. Let's kick things off with the essential first steps: claiming and verifying your business on Google My Business (GMB). 

Claiming Your Business Profile:

Claim an existing business profile

Check if your business is already listed on Google. You can do this by simply hopping onto Google and searching for your business name and your city. You can also check Google Maps to search for your restaurant or cafe. If you find yourself, click on the link "Own this business?" on the Google Profile

Follow the instructions presented on the screen. For more info check our Google's official guide on claiming a Google Business Profile.

Create a Google business profile from scratch

  1. Head over to the Google My Business website and sign in with your Google account.
  2. Hit the "Start Now" button, type in your restaurant name, and see if it pops up. If it does, click on it. If not, no worries—click on "Add your business to Google."

Completing Your Business Information

Now that you've secured your digital spot, let's make sure your business details shine:

1. Business Name:
  • Input your restaurant's official name exactly as it is in the real world. Keep it genuine, avoiding unnecessary keywords.
2. Address:
  • Share the physical address of your restaurant. Make sure it matches the information on your website and other platforms.
3. Phone Number:
  • Provide the contact number where hungry customers can reach you. Double-check for accuracy—it's your direct line to diners.
4. Business Hours:
  • Let customers know when they can swing by for a delicious meal. Specify regular hours and note any changes for holidays or special occasions.

Additional Enhancements for Your GMB Profile

5. Social Media Links:
  • Boost your online presence by adding links to your social media profiles. Connect with your audience on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter directly from your GMB profile.
6. Cuisine:
  • Let diners know what to expect by specifying the type of cuisine your restaurant offers. Whether it's Italian, Mexican, or something unique, give them a taste of what's in store.
7. Menu:
  • Upload your mouthwatering menu to entice customers. Make it easy for them to see what delectable dishes your restaurant has to offer.
8. Booking Link:
  • Streamline the reservation process by including a booking link. Direct customers to where they can easily reserve a table, ensuring a seamless experience.

By flawlessly incorporating these steps, you're not just setting up your GMB profile; you're constructing a robust foundation for an outstanding online presence. In our next segment, we'll explore how to optimize your profile with captivating visuals and details that make customers eager to click "Visit." Stay tuned for the next instalment!

2. Optimizing Your GMB Profile

Crafting an Irresistible Restaurant Persona

Your Google My Business (GMB) profile is like your restaurant's digital storefront, and a captivating description sets the stage for a memorable dining experience. Let's dive into how you can make your business description a magnet for both customers and search engines:

1. Keep it Engaging and Concise:

  • Write a restaurant description that tells a story. Highlight your unique selling points, ambiance, and what makes your dining experience special. But remember, brevity is key—keep it concise and to the point.

2. Sprinkle in Keywords Naturally:

  • Infuse relevant keywords seamlessly into your description. Think about terms customers might use when searching for a restaurant like yours. This helps boost your visibility in search results.

3. Showcase Your Personality:

  • Let your restaurant's personality shine through your words. Whether you're known for friendly service, a cosy atmosphere, or innovative dishes, make sure your description reflects what sets you apart.

4. Highlight Specialties and Offers:

  • Use the description to showcase your star dishes, special promotions, or unique offerings. Give potential customers a taste of what they can expect when they choose your restaurant.

Now, Let's Add Some Visual Spice!

5. Importance of High-Quality Visuals:

  • A picture is worth a thousand words, and in the digital age, it can also be worth a thousand customers. High-quality photos and videos create a visual feast for your audience, enticing them to step through your doors.

6. Showcasing Ambiance, Dishes, and Staff:

  • Capture the essence of your restaurant with a mix of visuals. Feature the warm ambiance, mouthwatering dishes, and friendly staff that make your establishment a must-visit.

7. Tips for Uploading:

  • When adding photos, choose the best shots that highlight your restaurant's strengths. Ensure good lighting, clarity, and variety in your visual content. Aim for a balance between showcasing your space, signature dishes, and the people who bring it all to life.

8. Regularly Update Visual Content:

  • Keep things fresh by regularly updating your photos and videos. Feature seasonal specials, events, or any changes to keep customers curious about what's new at your restaurant.

By combining a compelling business description with visually stunning content, you're not just optimizing your GMB profile; you're creating a digital experience that resonates with customers and boosts your visibility in search results. Stay tuned for our next instalment, where we'll explore the power of customer reviews and how they impact your online presence!

3. Leveraging GMB Features

Bringing Your Menu to the Spotlight

Your restaurant's menu is more than just a list of dishes—it's a story waiting to be told. Let's explore how you can use Google My Business (GMB) to showcase your culinary masterpieces and elevate your online presence:

1. Adding and Updating Your Menu:

  • Navigate to your GMB dashboard and find the "Menu" tab. Click on it to add and update your offerings.
  • Use this space to display your full menu, including appetizers, main courses, desserts, and beverages. Be as detailed as possible to help hungry customers make informed decisions.

2. Highlighting Specialties and Varieties:

  • Create sections or highlights for special dishes, promotions, or any unique offerings your restaurant boasts. This not only helps customers discover your specialties but also signals to search engines that your menu is rich and diverse.

3. Regular Updates for Freshness:

  • Keep your menu up-to-date by promptly adding new items and removing discontinued ones. Regular updates not only assist customers in making accurate choices but also contribute to improved search rankings.

Now, Let's Dive Into the World of Reviews!

4. Encouraging Customer Reviews:

  • Happy customers are your best promoters. Encourage them to leave reviews on your GMB profile by incorporating subtle calls-to-action in your restaurant and on social media. The more positive reviews you gather, the more appealing your restaurant becomes in local searches.

5. Responding with Care:

  • Timely and personalized responses to reviews are like the secret sauce of customer engagement. Thank customers for positive feedback, address concerns in a constructive manner, and show that you value their opinions. This not only builds trust but also boosts your credibility in the eyes of potential customers.

6. Importance of Responses:

  • Google considers your responsiveness to customer reviews when ranking businesses. Engaging with reviews—both positive and negative—demonstrates your commitment to customer satisfaction and contributes to an improved online reputation.

7. Turning Negatives into Positives:

  • Use negative reviews as an opportunity to showcase your dedication to customer service. Respond professionally, acknowledge the concern, and offer solutions publicly or encourage the reviewer to reach out privately. This proactive approach turns negatives into positives.

By leveraging GMB to showcase your menu and actively engaging with customer reviews, you're not just managing your online presence; you're crafting a digital dining experience that resonates with your audience. Stay tuned for our next segment, where we'll explore the crucial role of local SEO in elevating your restaurant's visibility!