ighty-nine percent of dining research is done on mobile before visiting a restaurant, which means if a restaurant brand’s online presence isn’t accurate, they might be losing out on hundreds of potential local customers. Almost half of all searches are solved without a click as more consumers find exactly what they need without ever leaving the SERP and more specifically, the local business listing. Unfortunately, many restaurants are unknowingly turning away customers by making these common listing mistakes.
#1 - Not Claiming All Tier 1 Local Business Listings
When it comes to being found online, the most important thing is to be present. Restaurant brands need to be listed where people are searching. From search engines to review sites and more, it’s hard to keep up with all the places people use to find a restaurant. Instead of trying to conquer all of these sites, start by claiming business listings on Tier 1 directories and then, based on business needs, decide which other sites are important.
Tier 1 Directories:
- Google My Business (GMB)
- Apple Maps
These sites are some of the most used directories to find local businesses. Restaurants that claim their local business listings on these sites can ensure that consumers will be able to find accurate information during their search.
#2 - Letting Listing Information Get Stale
Speaking of accurate information, letting the listing information go stale is a big mistake restaurants often make. Restaurant brands not only have to claim their business listings, but they must keep them regularly updated. Brands need to ensure their business name, address, phone, website, category, hours of operation, and description (a.k.a NAPWCHD) are always up-to-date.
Just a few months ago, Google began rolling out changes to local business listings that now notify customers of the last time a business updated their hours on GMB. This change is designed to provide consumers with confidence when deciding to visit a business.
Another reason to keep business listing information up-to-date is that it promotes higher rankings. Search engines are looking to provide consumers with the most reliable information and updating listings often is a good indicator that the information is accurate. Adding new photos or sharing Google Posts, and updating the menu, are a great way to keep the local listing content fresh and drive user engagement.
#3 - Forgetting The Call-To-Action
Once consumers make a decision to eat at a restaurant, what’s the next step? Should they make a reservation? Is it a good time to join the waitlist? What’s the best way to order take out? Adding a call-to-action button or link to the listing makes it easy for consumers to make that next step.
Many restaurants integrate their booking system with GMB to make it easy for customers to reserve a table in just a few clicks. We know that the demand for delivery and take out has increased during the pandemic, adding links to listings makes it much easier for customers to identify the best way to place orders online. Whether that be a 3rd-party solution or the restaurants own ordering tool.
#4 - Relying Too Much on User-Generated Content
User-generated content (UGC) like photos and reviews can be great, but too much UGC can disrupt brand consistency. Brands who rely on customers to upload photos or make suggested edits to their listing information can risk the spread of misinformation.
Photos of the restaurant and food help showcase what potential customers can expect, but photos added by customers can also drown out essential listing photos. Every business listing should include a few photos of the restaurant exterior. This way people know what they’re looking for when visiting a business for the first time. Additionally, not every camera quality is the same, dark or grainy images can give off a bad impression of the food. The best way to combat bad photos is by posting new ones weekly to push down the old content.
#5 - Ignoring Reviews and Questions
Lastly, ignoring reviews or questions asked on the local business listings is a huge mistake. Whether the feedback is positive or not, responding to each and every review is vital. Not only does responding to reviews help build trust with potential and returning customers, but it can also help increase local rankings. Make responding easier by creating review response templates for each type of review. Regularly monitoring customer reviews is a great way to get real feedback about the restaurant and keep the customer experience top of mind.
Local listing management is vital for every business looking to increase customer acquisition. The search for local businesses starts online and local business listings are the new front door. Avoid these five common mistakes, and restaurant brands will quickly see the value of local listing management.
Consumers have high expectations for brands to deliver accurate information with convenience. Chatmeter (www.chatmeter.com) gives multi-location brands the tools to manage the online to offline customer journey by focusing on improving online reputation, business listings and local SEO rankings.
Photo Credit: Spencer Davis