Is Google My Business more important than your website?

Are you actively managing your restaurant’s Google My Business (GMB) account? Do you access the dashboard, answer questions, and create posts? Perhaps you claimed your local restaurant business, updated some info, then clicked off the site.

If so, that’d explain why ThriveHive found that:

91% of questions asked by consumers go unanswered by business owners.

With 43,549 Google profiles studied, ThriveHive identified:

  • 218 questions asked explicitly about local hamburger joints.
  • Restaurant owners responded to 16.
  • Out of 1002 queries for Italian restaurants, only 46 restauranteurs replied.

But isn’t Google just a search engine?

Sure, Google is a search engine. However, Mac Mischke with SOCi says that Google is also:

A review site, a customer care platform and a listing page for your business.

Years of substantial investment in data collection and a focus on local search helped Google to develop a platform that is a one-stop shop for information. From optimizing your website for voice search to playing the Google My Business game, it’s increasingly clear that your restaurant marketing must continue to evolve.

Why is Google My Business important for restaurants?

You may feel that your responsive website and consistent social media presence should be enough to satisfy the Google beast.

It’s not.

A recent study by SOCi reports that:

60% of Google searches with local intent result in zero clicks.

If a majority of local searches don’t garner a click to your site, then how do you convert web users into customers?

I can hear the collective sigh of exasperation—one more platform to manage. I get it. Time isn’t our friend. However, our market research demonstrates a strong need for restauranteurs to step up and direct the conversation around their brand using GMB.

Prevent ruthless restaurant reviews from crippling your business

Don’t let unanswered negative restaurant reviews rule the conversation. If you don’t manage your Google My Business account, then you’re leaving your story in the hands of strangers.

Google question and answer screenshot

User-generated Google Q&A section.

Not only will this crowdsourced content impact your reputation, but your response time (or lack of response) affects your relevancy to search engine robots.

Take full advantage of this free service by using Google Q&A and posting time-sensitive data. With a consistent strategy, you’ll gain maximum visibility on Google and attract new restaurant guests.

If you haven’t claimed your site yet, then use this in-depth guide from the Local Marketing Institute to find your way.

Google Q&A is a user-generated content feature on local business pages. Anyone can ask. Anyone can answer.

If you don’t step up and actively manage this content, then anyone can tell your story, even if it’s the wrong one. Experts recommend that restauranteurs:

  • Set up notifications for new questions.
  • Flag inappropriate responses.
  • Prepare answers to common questions about your business.

Post events, announcements, and offers right on GMB via Google Post. Search Engine Journal reports that Google only considers this content relevant for seven days. Just like social media for restaurants, chef-owners should:

  • Share compelling headlines and images.
  • Create a consistent posting schedule.
  • Track performance.

In a study of 65,000 business locations, Brandify identified restaurant listings as a top performer, far above retail and convenience stores, suggesting that restaurant owners are in a unique position to take advantage of Google My Business.

With all platforms investing heavily in local search and Google positioning itself as more than a search engine, how could you fit GMB into your marketing strategy?

Management consultant and brand strategist for small teams. Fan of dark tea, thick books, peace, and unity.

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