When people are looking for somewhere to eat, the first place they will look online will be Google. Here, digital marketing agent for business at Mediaworks, Andy Mills, gives his advice on making sure your small restaurant business will always be seen online.
Getting listed on Google Maps is a relatively simple three-step process. First, sign up for an account with the map provider then second, verify your business. Then finally, input the basic details of your business.
Keep in mind is that every online map provider is different, and this mean that your business should come across as attractive and appealing in photos and images online, as well as visible.
This means you need to know the quirks of each type of map, as well as how to maximise your business’s appeal. It makes logical sense to start with the most widely used map providers, which are Google and Apple.
Get listed on Google Maps
Go to Google’s business listing page, as this is the easiest way to get your business listed on Google maps, and follow these steps.
Select ‘Get Started’, input your business’s details and select continue. Then, verify this information, and select continue – Google will send you a verification code by post. Once verified, complete your profile. This will then be visible and listed on Google Maps and in organic search results.
Even though you’ll now be visible, this isn’t necessarily the same as being appealing or attractive. People will use your Google Maps listing for everything – from directions to Google reviews – and you need to tick every box to win their custom. As such, youre restaurant business needs to be looking its best.
How can I make my restaurant look good on Google maps?
Literally, your premises has to physically look good. Many people use Google Maps’ street view to check out restaurants, so be sure to maximise your “curb-side” appeal.
Google’s street view is only updated every few years, so make sure your business looks clean, welcoming and clearly identifiable from the perspective of a street map.
People use maps to navigate to your business and locate it. It’s therefore vital that they’re able to get there. Check the street view directions which Google recommends for reaching your business and watch for errors. Is that road actually one way only? Can you not really walk between those buildings? You can report incorrect routes via the Google Maps desktop app.
As part of the Google Maps app, ensure that your restaurant includes its street number so that it is easier to find. Otherwise, potential customers may browse the street and find another, similar business which they like. You want customers to land directly in front of your business and not get distracted by competitors.
Understanding Google Reviews
Google Maps automatically includes Google Reviews as part of its service (which is unlike Bing maps and the now defunct Yahoo maps). It means you have another review service to monitor and use reviews to your advantage.
These reviews are visible as part of your business’s Google profile, so encourage customers to leave positive reviews! You can respond to reviews in the Google My Business app, and Google encourage you to be concise, courteous and friendly.
The difference between being listed on Google Maps and Apple Maps
The main difference is between the services both platforms provide. Whilst Google Maps has Street View, Apple Maps has 3D mapping and Fly Over.
Apple had some teething problems with location markers being in incorrect places, the two services are now both easy to use navigation tools. People will usually just use whichever map service is pre-installed on their device.
With no additional feedback channel to keep track of, Apple Maps uses TripAdvisor to source its UK reviews. As with Google Maps, it’s worth double checking the location and navigation options for your restaurant business, and correcting any errors. which can be done using Maps Connect.
Unlike Google Maps, Apple Maps does not offer public transport options, meaning you have one less thing to double check when setting it up.
Andy Mills is a digital marketing agent at London-based Mediaworks, writing courtesy of Nisbits.
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