If you want to help your restaurant rank well in local search results and get exposure on the sites your customers use most frequently, then you should make sure you have a claimed listing on the major local search networks. This applies to every restaurant type, from local cafes to nationwide chains and from fast food to fine dining. The following are 7 local search sites your restaurants should have a presence on.
Google is the number one website and search engine in the world. Their social network, Google+, is the seventh most popular social media network (Hitwise). If you want to rank well in local search results, then you need to start with acquiring your Google+ local business page. To locate, claim, or create your page, simply go to create a Google+ page, select the local business or place category, and enter your phone number.
Facebook is the number one social media website, and one of the most popular social networks in the world. They are also working on becoming the top personalized search engine, boasting a billion searches per day without even trying (Techcrunch). Their search will allow users to search for restaurants in their area as well as restaurants their friends have been to.
Therefore, you not only need a Facebook page for each of your restaurant locations, but you need to start encouraging people to check-in to your restaurant on Facebook when they dine there. To create a page on Facebook, choose the Local Business or Place category on Create a Page.
Yelp is one the most recognized local review sites. They are also the most controversial as they filter reviews from users who do not meet a specific criteria, which leaves businesses with their best reviews hidden from the public eye. Nonetheless, they receive 102 million visitors per month, and 20% of the most reviewed local businesses on their site are restaurants.
On the upside, restaurant owners can respond to any reviews that appear on their page, so it is still an important network to claim your restaurant on. To get started with Yelp, search for your restaurant on the website to see if it has a listing or create your free account in the Yelp for Business center to add your restaurant.
Urbanspoon is a local review site dedicated to restaurants. They invite food critics, food bloggers, and everyday patrons to search for and review restaurants in their area. Restaurants can post details about their establishment, photos, and even their menus. To get started, search for your restaurant on the website to see if it is listed, or add your restaurant.
TripAdvisor is a popular travel review site that includes restaurant listings along with hotels, vacation rentals, and other businesses travelers frequent. Restaurant owners and visitors can add details about the restaurant along with photos and video. To get started with TripAdvisor, search for your restaurant on their website or sign up for a free account to add your listing.
OpenTable is more than just a local review site. This site allows you to have an informative profile for your restaurant that is connected to the OpenTable online reservation system currently used by 26,000 restaurants. They also connect with Google+, Yelp, AllMenus, and other major local review sites to encourage diners to reserve their tables.
As you can see, this is a powerful system that can make the difference between someone choosing your restaurant over others. To get started with OpenTable, visit the restaurateurs page.
AllMenus.com allows restaurants to post their entire menu on the website and diners to leave reviews. Reviews for restaurants are also imported from other networks like Yelp. They receive millions of visits per month and connect to services like OpenTable for reservations and GrubHub for online carryout or delivery ordering. To get started on AllMenus.com, visit their section for restaurant owners.
Which local review websites and search engines drive the most traffic and customers to your restaurant? Please share in the comments!