“Google who? Google what?” Said no-one ever, right? With over 5 billion searches conducted each day, Google has become one of the most powerful search engines ever created. Virtually everyone knows about it and uses it.
Ok, so, you might ask yourself, where is this going? What’s the point of all this?
Well, figure this: Google, the giant search engine can actually do something for you, for free: it can help your business grow stronger by the day. Provided you use just one tiny trick, as the ace up your sleeve.
In fact, Google designed a tool to support small businesses across the globe, by helping users easily spot the services provided in their area.
So what can Google do for you?
In fact, with this one trick – of which most people know very little about – you can easily…
- engage with them online
- build a fanbase of loyal customers
- help people easily find your business online
- And ultimately, attract new customers to your restaurant
… Without actually giving Google any money. Okay now, enough with all this intriguing mystery. “What do I need to do to enjoy the full benefits of Google My Business?”
Oops, I just gave-away the answer.
So why use Google My Business for restaurants?
Because you see, Google is usually the one who can answer most of your questions. But they want to take it one step further and answer all of your questions. They want to become your most trusted adviser. They want you to use it for any query that you might need an answer for. That’s the trend that Google developers and analysts are after.
But you see, they’ve already started doing it. All you need to do is ask Google whatever you want and the answer will be given to you.
Even though customers can easily click on the TripAdvisor link to find out more about the menu of Bonefish Grill, Google’s menu display on the above card is the easiest way for people to spot the answer. It’s time-saving.
So Google’s main goal is to list itself as the main provider of any answer that you may be seeking online – over the organic search results.
What about the benefits of Google My Business for you, as a restaurant owner?
Well, by claiming your Google My Business page and giving Google all the info it needs to list your business online, you not only control the info that appears online… But you actually gain access to the first search result that people see on the page.
So considering that Google can turn into your biggest advertising ally and promote your business to people who have otherwise never even heard about your business before…. I’d suggest you jump on board of this winning trend.
Because that’s where Google is headed. It is committed to become the ultimate “know-it-all”. For restaurant owners that means that Google will soon become THE ultimate gateway helping your business gain plenty of exposure. And not food portals, like most people seem to believe.
Benefits of Google My Business VS Disadvantages of Food Portals
Food portals help you by showing your business to new clients, right? But then again, you’re NOT the only restaurant owner enlisting his business on these food portals.
The tricky part is that while at first, you may indeed be receiving a lot of exposure, everyone else who’s listed on those portals receive the same amount of exposure (or even more), too.
And that’s how you may easily lose your customers. You see, people are easily prompted to check out your competition. They know that they have many restaurant options to choose from. And if your food menu or prices aren’t convenient to them…
Then they’ll just move on to the next one and visit another restaurant page. And that’s how they’ll easily slip right through your fingers.
That doesn’t mean that listing your business on food portals is completely damaging. Truth be told, in the beginning, when people don’t know about your restaurant, they can prove quite helpful.
However, once your business starts to kick it up a notch… these food portals will most likely change their fee system towards you.
So while you may end up increasing your sales… these food portals also increase their fees. And profits.
In fact, for every order they retain quite the commission. Because that’s their business model: they invest a lot in marketing and advertising, so they need to find a way to recover all the money they’ve invested.
Whilst still making a helluva profit.
Top benefits of Google My Business for Restaurants – why you should do it right away
It makes your website stand out from the crowd
Let’s do a quick test, shall we? Type in your restaurant’s name to check how far up or down the search results page you can find your website. Or how easy it is for your website to actually stand out from the crowd.
Google helps your business stand out by giving you a card of your own, in a non-competitive space (or real estate, like it’s called by field specialists).
It lures in new visiting customers to your restaurant
Your GMB listing is like the fishing bait that helps you hook in new customers. Because by feeding Google with relevant, and helpful information you’re practically paving your way to gaining new customers.
And get this: even if they may not know the name of your restaurant, but they still search for an Indian restaurant in their area… Then Google will show them a list of Indian restaurants before listing the organic search results.
So you still gain valuable real estate, without actually investing in ads.
This is actually great, from a multilayered standpoint, because you see, they can find out more about your:
- Restaurant (that is if they’re not familiar with it)
- Opening hours (when you’re closed or when you’re open for business, and that’s of special importance during holidays, when some restaurants decide to close up the shop and return)
- Customer reviews (you’ll be the first one to know whenever someone posts a review)
- Exact location on the map
- Or see photos of the place or of the food
- Plus they can easily find you on Search and Maps
Not knowing either one of these aspects, as well as reading a bad review can influence your prospects into not setting foot into your restaurant. So make sure you can easily hold a grip over these things. By claiming your listing, you can enjoy the never-ending benefits of Google My Business.
Dangers of not claiming your Google My Business listing
Don’t know if you already know this, but most food portals out there can actually generate fake websites for your business, in an attempt to send and process all orders through their websites.
So by not claiming your Google My Business listing, Google can actually get tricked into listing one of those websites as the main website for your business. And that’s how you may end up paying a lot of fees for food portals. Unfortunately, that strongly qualifies as something from the headache department.
So why put yourself through that when you can just enjoy the benefits of Google My Business instead?
Other people might also claim your listing before you do, which would give you even more headaches. If this happens and you have to reclaim your business from someone else, follow these steps.
How food delivery portals can hijack your brand on GMB and how to stop it
You might have also noticed random ordering links from different food delivery portals showing up in your GMB business card when you Google your restaurant. That is called brand hijacking and unfortunately, it’s a very common occurrence. What you have to do is to get in touch with the company and ask them to remove their link from your Google My Business listing.
However, you may encounter replies like:
- Only Google can remove this (not true).
- The person who is in charge of this is on vacation (most likely not true).
- If you want the link removed, you also have to quit their portal entirely (not true).
They may ask you to send an email to confirm this step so do that right away and remember to insist that they give you written confirmation that they will indeed remove your restaurant immediately and that they won’t add it again later, which is something they often do.
If they still refuse to remove your restaurant, use this example of a cease and desist letter that other restaurants from various countries have used.
Ultimately, if this still doesn’t work, you should consider quitting the platform altogether because the cons outweigh the pros for you.
Add a “preferred by this business” link to your Google My Business profile
Another thing you can do to make it clear you’d prefer people to order directly from your website is to mark your ordering link as “preferred by this business” on your GMB business card. Here’s how to do that:
- Sign in to your account and choose the location for which you want to make this change.
- Click on the Info tab found in the left-side menu.
- Add the desired link in the designated field and click on “Apply.”
- Once you’ve added it, click on the star next to it to turn it into a “preferred by this business” link.
So remember: Google is one of the most used search engines in the world today. It’s where nearly everyone starts looking for information online, right? Better yet, it’s like a lamp, lighting the way and driving your customers to your page. Because you can grab their attention even if they’re not actually on your restaurant’s website.
It’s like granting food portals like GrubHub, Seamless, Eat24, etc., full control over your business. So don’t let them take advantage of your business like this.
Claim your Google My Business listing or if you’re already using our restaurant ordering system, then we’ll do it for you. Just send us a message and tell us to do so.
If you are interested in marketing strategies for your business, do not hesitate to send us your needs via email: email@example.com. In the meantime, don't forget to get our 100% free video training "The Key Recipe" to develop your restaurant in 6 steps.