The reason the Google listing trumps the dinosaur is that it doesn’t require feeding, it is far easier to manage and will be seen by thousands more people (whether they just pass the street corner or not).
In short, if you want people to find your restaurant, you need to be on Google. Google my Business listing will make the process of “being on Google” relatively pain-free. You don’t need to know Google Analytics or be an expert in search engine optimisation of pay-per-click advertising. You just claim your GMB listing, fill it with great content, and watch it reach thousands of people without having to spend a single Dirham (or feed a dinosaur). You’ll be surprised how many views content on GMB listings gets – purely organically and without having to give away free food to “influencers”.
Your images, menus, and offers are shared between Google search results and your business’s Google Maps listing. And if you’re doing things right, it will also ensure that even people who have never heard of your restaurant will find it, provided you serve food that matches their interests. The key, though, is to get it right, and while I can’t tell you how to get it right with dinosaurs, I can tell you how to get things right with Google my Business in five easy steps.
Claim your listing:
Before you can update your restaurant’s GMB listing, you need to claim it. Search for your business on Google and, if you find it, click the “Own this Business?” button and follow the instructions. If your business isn’t on Google yet, you can easily add it. Just google “Add my business to Google Maps” and click the appropriate links. Claiming GMB listings in the Middle East is a bit of a pain because Google insists on verifying your listing by sending you a postcard. And because there are no postcodes and Google will not accept P.O. numbers, these usually don’t arrive. Fret not, though, just allow for some more time. Start the verification process and trigger the postcard. After 2 weeks, go back to your GMB listing and notify Google that the postcard didn’t arrive. Google will insist on sending out a second postcard. Same story. 2 weeks later, go back to your listing, report that the postcard didn’t arrive and Google will give you alternative verification options (e.g. phone call or video call).
Complete all information:
Once you’re in control of your GMB listing, complete all available fields as fully as possible. Don’t just fill the mandatory fields, but make sure you populate all fields that apply to your business. Pay special attention to images and your menu – both will be visible on your business’s Google Maps listing and Google searches.
Create posts & offers:
Google allows you to make posts and create offers directly from your GMB listing, which will then be visible for a limited time on your Google Maps listing and in Google searches. Start experimenting with different posts and offers to see what works for you. You’ll be surprised how many views they’ll get (Google will send you an email with the data once a post has expired).
Gather & reply to reviews:
Reviews on Google boost your search rankings and drive more traffic to your GMB listing or website. You must encourage customers to not just leave reviews, but leave reviews that mention keywords you want to be found for. For example, if you’re offering a wide range of vegan options, make sure your customers mention this in Google reviews because Google will then suggest your business to others based on what Google knows about them (which is a lot!).
Analyse & Optimise:
One of the benefits of Google is the access to insights and
analytics. You don’t even need to bother with Google Analytics
if you don’t want to – your GMB listing will provide you with a wealth of useful insights including how many people found your business on Google Maps or via Google search, how many people interacted with your listing and what actions they took, how many views your posts, photos, and offers get, etc.
Also, make sure to keep your GMB listing updated, report unsuitable photos people may have added, add new menus, etc.
By Martin Kubler, Chief Sloth at The Gluttonous Sloth – HORECA Consulting with Attitude