What is a Google Business listing?
Google My Business is a free tool. Google Business Listing helps businesses to provide clients with the information they’re looking for on Google Search and Google Maps. You’ll recognize a Google My Business as a “knowledge panel” that appears in Search and Maps.
For example, in the case of a restaurant, a Google My Business listing shows clients information like:
- Business name and type
- Hours of Operation
- Links to take action, like booking or reserving an appointment
- Contact number
- Link to website
- Good times to visit
It’s easy for a business to ignore proactively updating this information and to get distracted with operations and maintaining other social media channels. However, think about it: where’s the first place somebody will search for your business? – Google. 10 to 30% of bookings come from this marketing channel. Not only that, but the online reservation feature now lets visitors book tables at restaurants without ever leaving Search or Maps.
Below are the steps on how businesses can optimize their listing easily.
1. Get the app on mobile- available for iPhone and Android.
Stop depending on a desktop to access your listing. When you download the Google My Business app, you get immediate access 24/7, no matter where you are. After going through some features below like Messages and responding to reviews, you’ll find it’s simpler to do that from your phone.
2. Add photos to your Google Business Listing.
Sign in to Google My Business and after that go to Photos from your venue.
Select the type of photo you’re adding (logo, cover photo, or additional photos) and then upload it/them from your computer.
Note: You can likewise upload photos or videos directly from your phone using the mobile app.
3. Respond to unfavorable reviews using the Customers tab.
This one is simple but goes a long way. When a client has a negative experience, acknowledge it, apologize, and be clear about any actions being taken to fix it. Studies show that doing this can turn 1 in 3 negative reviewers into supporters of your brand. It also shows new clients checking your listing before visiting that you are caring and attentive. Your response must include their first name and show gratitude.
Note: You need to have a verified Google My Business listing to respond to reviews.
Finally on this point, when you actively respond to Reviews, you’re more likely to hit a “Local Pack” status with Google. This drives more traffic to your listing and reservations.
4. Ask your happy clients for Google reviews.
Have a client you can tell has a great experience? Strike while the iron is hot. Ask him to give you a Google review.
Here’s a sample e-mail to send anybody who gives positive feedback about an email:
‘It looks like you had a great experience at [Your Restaurant] recently. We enjoyed having you in, and hope you’ll join us again soon. Remarkable hospitality and experiences with guests like you are the reason we exist – and we’re happy we got to show you what we’re all. Would you be open to sharing your experience on Google My Business [review platform]? We want other people in [city] to see your feedback. It’s a real-life example of why we entered into business.’
Thanks again for the kind words!
[Owner or GM name]
Pro Tip: If you’re a restaurant, ask your booking system if it can automate requests for feedback after a guest leaves- and send follow-up tailored to unfavorable or favorable sentiment.
5. Ask your bookings vendor about Google integration.
If it doesn’t currently, your restaurant’s listing can get a “Reserve a Table” button that lets visitors book from Google and ties to your offered inventory. But it needs your reservation management platform to have integration with Google.
6. Customize your description.
A description is the sentence of text that appears in your business listing. Google lets you add a description of approximately 750 characters, so take advantage of it. You should use your description to tell clients about what they can expect from your brand and its product or service. This likewise helps Google better understand your business and improves your search rankings.
Here are Google’s standards about what you can and cannot put in your Description.
7. Add a reservation-booking URL (with tracking).
The more you bring links into your Google listing, the less buried they are on your site. To add links, click into the URLs section of your Google My Business account.
The important part of adding your link is to ensure it has a tracking parameter so that your backend reporting shows which of your bookings came in through this link.
8. Add your hours.
This helps your visitors to know when you’re open and when you’re not. It also notifies visitors after setting up Google Maps that you may be closed by the time they arrive. This prevents a situation where visitors show up too early or too late, becoming disappointed when their expectations of dining with you are not able to become a reality.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget to modify your hours for special holidays. To do this, you have to log in your Google My Business profile and go to the “Special hours” section (with a calendar icon).
9. Turn on Messaging so your clients can reach you faster.
Turning on messaging is more effective for both you and your visitor. You can receive messages in written format so that whoever answers calls for your restaurant doesn’t have to transcribe, and your visitors receive answers to their questions faster.
Google also lets you establish an automated welcome message. You can add something like “Great to hear from you! In the meantime- have a look at the menu: [link]”. As soon as you have messages coming in, you can view them chronologically in the Messages folder.
Pro Tip: Set up an alert to a phone number whenever a message comes in. So that somebody in your team can text a reply. 64% of customers prefer a text over a call.
Once you get a message, make sure to respond same-day, ideally same-hour. (Google calculates your average response time and lists it to visitors.).
10. Create a file with your information and save to a central location.
It can be hard to find changes made by someone in your team. To avoid the wild goose chase, ensure that you use a Master Doc and add all of your restaurant’s information for Google Business, so you have it in one place. This makes it extremely easy to refer back to and edit if needed.