The food at your restaurant is amazing, your staff is super friendly and skilled, and you know how to give your guests the best experience that makes them crave your food and come back for more. That's all great! But in order to get a lot of customers in the first place, you need to be present on Google and work on being found on Google. Google is probably the best place for you to be found, and to get many table reservations to your restaurant. Therefore, you need to be aware of how you can benefit from Google to get noticed, and ultimately get more guests and table reservations. This article presents you with 5 easy ways you can up your Google game, and promote your restaurant on Google to get more restaurant reservations. Let's dive in.
5 ways to get more restaurant reservations using Google:
✓ Create a Google My Business profile for your restaurant
✓ Make sure your restaurant has a nice website
✓ Use 'Reserve with Google' to easily get reservations through Google
✓ Manage your restaurant's Google reviews
✓ Create content that attracts people to your website
Keep on reading to learn about how you can successfully implement each of these 8 ways.
#1 Create a Google My Business profile for your restaurant
We start out with one of the most essential actions you should take - create a Google My Business profile for your restaurant. Let's dig into how Google My Business can help you drive more traffic to your restaurant website, and get you more restaurant reservations.
It does not cost you anything to have a Google my Business profile for your restaurant. It's a free channel for marketing your restaurant and reaching out to new potential guests on Google. Here are some of the benefits a Google my Business profile will provide you:
- It will increase your restaurant's visibility in Google searches. Your profile will apear whenever someone searches for your business on Google.
- It will display important information about your business such as opening hours, address, phone number, link to your website, and a link to your booking page. This will make it easier for the customer to visit you.
- It will allow customers to write a review about your venue since the profile also can contain a direct link to your Google review page.
- It will display your review score and how many reviews you have. A high review score displayed will quickly give the customers the impression that this is a place worth visiting.
- It will allow you to post images from your venue and of the food you serve, and if those images are breathtaking, you can be sure to get some reservations.
- You can choose to also display your menu to help the customer easily get an idea of what kind of food you serve.
What information should your Google my Business profile have about your restaurant?
You can probably guess what information you should provide based on the above list of benefits. But just to be clear, let's list them. Your profile should have the following:
- The venue's address
- Phone number/email address
- The website link
- Opening hours
- Table booking page link
- Link to the menu
- Images of your venue and food
#2 Make sure your restaurant has a nice website
Okay, so, you created a Google my Business profile, and now customers can easily find you on Google and visit your website. Some of the reasons for visiting your restaurant's website could be to read more about your concept, get a better idea of what kind of experience and atmosphere you offer, check out if you have any special events or offers, and look up links to your social media profiles. Basically, having a nice website that helps the customer get all the necessary information about your venue is crucial. Actually, a survey showed that almost 80% of those surveyed answered that they will check out a restaurant's website before deciding if they want to visit the place or order takeaway. It was also found that nearly 70% were actually discouraged from visiting a restaurant due to the experience and impression they got from the website.
You want to stand out from the crowd, so make sure that your website is so appealing that the customer would be eager to reserve a table and visit you. Besides having a nice-looking website, the information you provide is also crucial as it plays a big role in increasing your visibility on Google and giving you a high rank. But what information should you include? Keep on reading to get the answer.
What things should you include on your website to make it appealing?
Here is a list of essential things you should include on your website to make it look good and appealing to visitors, but also to make it more visible in Google searches:
- The story behind your restaurant and it's concept - telling a stroy about your place gives it a personality and some warmth. Your own story is a one of a kind and therefore makes you stand out from the crowd.
- Introduce the staff - Again, just like the story, it gives your place some personality. You could for example include pictures of the kitchen staff and chef, who is usually not present around your guests. It also shows the customers the friendly faces they can expect to see when they visit.
- Pictures of your venue and of the food - This one is a no brainer. Is there even a better way to attract potential guests than visual presentation of the things they can look forward to?
- Clear instructions for how to book a table and order takeaway and delivery - This is crucial. It should be as easy as possible for the guests to ensure that they can visit your place and try your food. Partner up with a restaurant booking system like resOS who can make this easily happen.
- Special events and offers - Besides social media, you can use your website to announce events happening at your venue e.g. some kind of entertainment, and special offers for occasions like valentines day, Christmas etc.
- Links to your social media accounts - You should encourage customers to follow you on social media so that you can stay top of mind, and strengthen awareness. Read more about this in our article about how you can engage with guests on social media.
#3 Use 'Reserve with Google' to easily get reservations through Google
Did you know that your restaurant can get Google reservations? These are reservations that are made through the 'Reserve with Google' option that you can have on your Google my Business profile. This is a brilliant service provided by Google, that allows users your customers to easily book a table at your restaurant when they find you on Google. 'Reserve with Google' is known by the big blue button on a restaurant's Google account. Often, it is used by restaurants or eateries around the world to ensure a smooth and easy booking experience.
By adding 'Reserve with Google' to your restaurant or venue, you are making it significantly easier for your customers to book a table. At the same time, you encourage them to book a table as the blue reservation button is pretty clear and not to miss when looking at your Google my Business profile.
When clicking on the blue button, the customers are taken directly to a customized booking widget like the one in the image below. Easy, right? This kind of booking experience is especially easy for mobile users as the booking process happens without leaving the Google my business listing. This aspect makes this feature very mobile-friendly.
How can you get a 'Reserve with Google' button on your Google my Business profile?
Unlike the things listed above in the section about the information you can include in your Google my Business profile, Google reservations for restaurants are not included automatically. To get Reserve with Google, you need to work with a restaurant booking system that is an official Google partner like resOS is.
#4 Manage your restaurant's Google reviews
Managing your customer's online reviews of your restaurant is definitely something worth investing time in. Many customers looking for a place to dine take online reviews into account before deciding where to eat. They want to be reassured that your restaurant is worth a visit. An article from 2021 finds that 93% of customers take online reviews into consideration before they make a purchase or decide to visit a restaurant. Therefore, good and bad reviews and how you manage them can have a huge impact on your restaurant, and whether you get table reservations.
Reasons why you should pay special attention to your restaurant's Google reviews
- Google reviews can make your restaurant more visible on Google and improve your restaurants Google rank.
- Positive reviews makes your restaurant look trustworthy and reliable.
- Positive reviews encourages people to visit your restaurant and book a table to try for themselves.
- Engaging with customers through the reviews can strengthen your relationship with customers and make them feel heard.
How can your restaurant's Google reviews improve your Google ranking?
Google takes your online reviews into account and ranks your restaurant accordingly. Google's search engine trust the customer's online reviews, in fact, an article from 2017 indicates that the 5th most significant parameter that determines a restaurant's ranking is online reviews. So, remember to always check your online reviews and make sure to reply to them.
#5 Create content that attracts people to your website
Creating content now and then for a blog on your website is another great way to increase your restaurant's visibility on Google. Ultimately, a blog can help you attract more customers to book a table. A website blog with relevant content is very good to target keywords that your target group might search for on Google. Although, a very important thing to take into account is that you should keep your blog up-to-date by frequently posting content e.g. once a month.
What kind of content should you post on your restaurant's blog?
You should consider who your target audience is before deciding what kind of content to include in your restaurant blog. Think about what kind of content your customers might search for on Google that can potentially lead them to your website. Whatever you post in your blog, can also be shared on your social media accounts where it can reach more people that will end up visiting your website. There is a huge potential in doing this considering that your content can if it's worth a read, reach multiple social networks and different people who can end up being eager to visit your restaurant and therefore reserve a table.
Examples of what kind of content you can post on your restaurant blog:
- Cooking tips and tricks
- Food recipes
- Trends in the food indstry
- New menu updates
- Interviews with your employees
- Positive customer reviews
How can a restaurant blog strengthen your restaurant's Google ranking?
Google's search engine likes fresh content that is frequently posted. Relevant content that is considered useful in terms of the topic can potentially rank on Google and improve your restaurant website's search engine visibility. If you keep on posting on your website frequently, Google's search engines will eventually come back and crawl your website to ultimately have it indexed in the Google search engine results page.
How can your restaurant get more table reservations with Google?
Once the customer is checking out your Facebook or Instagram profile, and they actually like what they see, then it's a good strategy to easily allow them to book a table via your social media profile. In order to offer this, you need to partner up with a restaurant booking system like resOS. Contact us at [email protected], and we will help you set up a table booking page for your social media.
Manage your Google table reservations with resOS
If you have a Google my Business account and are interested in getting more bookings through Reserve with Google, you should partner up with a restaurant booking system that can help you manage this. Reserve with Google supports all of resOS' table management features, which means that you can maintain your preferred way of working with bookings and table management.
Are you interested in trying out resOS? Then do not hesitate with contacting us at [email protected].