Think back to the last time you were hungry but couldn’t decide what restaurant you wanted to order from. Did you automatically take out your phone and do a quick Google search? If so, you’re not alone. In the last five years, searches for “restaurants near me” have increased 900%. Google has become an essential resource for foodies to find and order from the best restaurants in their area. As such, Google My Business, also known as GMB, has become a crucial resource for restaurants.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a free tool that enables restaurants to promote their establishments across Google search and maps.
Once a restaurant claims their business, they are able to provide searchers with important information such as address, opening hours, phone number, photos, and respond to reviews. Restaurants can also link their delivery platform of choice to their Google profile, creating a seamless ordering experience for customers.
What are the benefits of Google My Business for restaurants?
Improve visibility on local search
Restaurants that don’t have the budget or resources to implement a dynamic SEO strategy, can enjoy quick wins from claiming their business on Google. By having the most up to date and optimized profile, restaurants boost their visibility on search and increase their chances of appearing on the top three local results, known as the Local Pack, as Google considers “relevance, distance, and prominence” when it decides what to place in this directory.
Attract new customers
To make the best first impression and stand out against local competition, restaurants must ensure that their profiles include accurate information and are regularly updated with new and engaging content.
Create a best of breed digital identity
Maintaining a high standard of quality and consistency across all digital touchpoints is crucial to creating a cohesive brand identity. WIth rapid growth in local searches, Google My Business should not be overlooked.
Gather customer insight
Google offers free analytics for business profiles. Restaurants can gather additional information about their customers such as directions requests and what images best resonate with their audience.
How can restaurants optimize their profiles wIth visuals?
According to Google, profiles with photos receive 42% more requests for driving directions to their location and 35% more clicks through to their websites than profiles that don’t have photos. Restaurants can profit from such results and maximize the benefits mentioned above, through the following actions:
- Restaurants can directly upload menus to their Google profile, including prices and photos. Entice searchers with high quality photos that showcase menu items in their best light. Beyond menu item visuals, restaurants can build trust and confidence of potential customers with photos and videos on their profiles that showcase the interior and exterior of their establishments and spotlight employees. Google recommends at least three interior and exterior photos.
- Utilize the Google posts feature, which allows businesses to create and share announcements directly on their profile. Through this feature, restaurants can communicate on things such as weekly specials or events with photos and videos. Note: Announcements disappear from profiles after just seven days! It is recommended to create large volumes of visuals so that restaurants can continuously have fresh posts to engage consumers.
- To increase chances of appearing in the Local Pack, to rank higher than competitors on Google search results, and drive more traffic, Google profiles should be updated at the minimum on a quarterly basis with fresh visuals.
The OCUS Solution
With over one billion active users, Google is one of, if not the most used search engines in the world. To leverage this massive audience pool, restaurants must first claim their GMB accounts and then optimize their profiles. Photos and videos will enable restaurants to raise their profiles to attract new and existing customers.
With cutting edge technology and a world class community of Image Creators, the OCUS solution streamlines photography and videography production, automating ordering, post-production, and delivery of visual content. Through machine learning and image recognition, OCUS™ provides performant visuals that are GMB-optimized and maximize engagement for global companies including delivery brands and their restaurants.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org today, to learn how OCUS can drive traffic and orders for your restaurant partners.
Written by: Noelle Brophy – Solution Marketing Manager