Restaurant marketing is all about local marketing, and there is no better resource for local restaurant marketing than Google Places. Restaurant marketers should make sure they focus on Places as their number one priority within their digital strategy. Before you worry about your website, or your Facebook Page or your Twitter account, focus on nailing your Google Places entries.
First, because it’s free (A restaurant operators favorite price)
Secondly, when it comes to being found in local search from consumers with strong intent (looking for a place to eat) Google Places is extremely powerful. Because local search results garner not only the highly coveted top left section of the first page of local Google searches, it is also a critical piece to making sure that your restaurant will be found when people are searching Google Maps on their mobile phone. Earlier this year at TechCrunch Disrupt, Google Announced that 20% of searches from PCs and a whopping 40% of searches done from mobile phones were about local businesses.
Here is a short introduction video:
Now it would be great if it were as simple outlines in this video, but unfortunately there is more work to be done to optimize how your restaurant appears in the top listings when people are performing local searches about restaurants.
Those who are not comfortable with Internet Marketing topics may want to engage with a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) consultant to help them get up and running. But if you are a tech-savvy marketer that is looking to jump right in, Small Business Search Marketing, did a great write-up on how to optimize your Google Places listing. And yes I get that a lot of this Internet Marketer “Geek Speak”, especially about SEO and Search Engine Marketing (SEM), but it is important enough to spend a few hours learning about how this works. If you really want to get your geek boots on, check out David Mihm’s article on optimizing your Google Places profile via Citations.
As with any digital restaurant marketing strategy, the key is to monitor and manage your results. This is not a one-and-done project, like so many restaurant operators treat their website. Make sure that you track how well your Google Places profile is performing and make efforts to enhance the search results. Do a lot of A/B testing and fine-tune over time. Keep on it and your restaurant will see positive results.