Restaurant review site visibility must be a part of a restaurateur’s marketing strategy. For one thing, customer feedback significantly impacts reputation and revenue. In addition, many customers visit review sites to discover places to eat or order food delivery.
Consider these numbers:
- 90 percent of guests research a restaurant before dining.
- 33 percent read restaurant reviews before dining.
Typical of the service industry, the location of a restaurant is critical to success. Of course, the assumption is that both food and service are acceptable to the target market. But for restaurants to thrive, relying only on location may not be enough. They also need a solid digital presence. Besides a website, they must be active and engage with customers on social networks.
Another digital channel that is of utmost importance is business review sites. When people search for anything related to food in a local area, sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor come up. These restaurant review sites have tons of active users. So any restaurant that does not appear on these sites is losing a lot of opportunities.
Top Restaurant Business Review Sites
The top restaurant review sites have millions of users. So for restaurants to grab their share of customers, they have to be visible on these platforms. One way to do that is by requesting reviews from their guests. The more and higher ratings, the more a restaurant can enhance its brand reputation.
1. Google My Business
One of the most popular digital marketing strategies is local search engine optimization (SEO). It is a service in which a specialist sets up a Google Business Profile (previously Google My Business). The goal is to have a business appear in local searches. For example, a user searches for burgers. As a result, Google would display nearby restaurants serving burgers.
Google Reviews, to be clear, is not specific to any industry, but it serves more people than others. Besides Search and Maps, Google pulls data from niche restaurant listing directories.
Getting a Google business listing is easy. Restaurant owners can do it themselves or use a local listing management agency. Essentially, one only needs to create an account; then provide the business information, including contact details.
2. TripAdvisor Reviews
TripAdvisor is the world’s largest travel platform. The site helps more than 460 million people plan their trips each month. Usually, users use this platform to learn about destinations, attractions and activities. But it is also one of the best sources of information on restaurants. Even non-travelers rely on TripAdvisor reviews when checking out places to eat.
How To Claim a TripAdvisor Restaurant Business Listing
In some cases, TripAdvisor may already have a restaurant listed, even if the business did not initiate it. In this case, a user reviewed the restaurant, which prompted the listing. So before adding a restaurant listing, it is best to check if it is already listed.
Visit www.tripadvisor.com/owners and search for the name of the restaurant. If it is in the listings, click on the business name, then click on “Claim Your Business.” This action leads to the sign-up page of the TripAdvisor Management Center.
How To Add a TripAdvisor Restaurant Business Listing
If the restaurant is not listed, visit www.tripadvisor.com/GetListedNew to add a new TripAdvisor restaurant listing.
- Use the form to provide basic information. These include name, email and role in the restaurant.
- Enter business information. Be sure to provide complete details, such as business name and address.
- Enter map location. Drop the marker close to the entrance of a physical location and make it easy for guests to find the business.
- Add contact information, such as website and phone number.
- Provide property details, such as the type of cuisine and prices. TripAdvisor uses this info to categorize businesses.
- Describe the property to let users know more about the restaurant.
- Add a profile photo. Usually, businesses would use their company logo.
TripAdvisor is not only a well-known travel review site. It is also highly acclaimed. For this reason, restaurants and other businesses that have received recognition from TripAdvisor would proudly display a badge or restaurant star rating on their website and restaurant. No doubt, being recognized by TripAdvisor can help in enhancing brand reputation.
3. Yelp Reviews
Yelp is a widely-used source of local business information, photos and reviews. It is a one-stop platform connecting over 70 million users monthly with businesses, including restaurants.
Creating and managing a Yelp business listing is free. But other functions, such as a CTA button or removing competitor ads from a page, costs $1 per day.
How To Claim a Yelp Restaurant Business Listing
Like TripAdvisor, it is easy to claim a restaurant listing on Yelp.
- Use Yelp’s search bar to find the name of the restaurant.
- If the restaurant already exists, click on its name.
- Once the restaurant’s page is up, click on “Unnamed,” found under the restaurant’s name. Next, click “Claim this business” on the pop-up window.
- Follow the steps to claim the Yelp business listing.
How To Add a Yelp Restaurant Business Listing
If a listing is unavailable, visit yelp.com/writeareview/newbiz to add an entry.
- If the search result for the restaurant is negative, scroll down to the bottom and click on “Claim your Business Page.” As an option, follow the link provided above.
- Fill out the form to register a new Yelp account.
- Add restaurant business information. Be sure to provide complete and accurate details, which include business name, location, hours, contact information and websites. Also, choose the most appropriate categories and create a compelling description. Lastly, upload enticing photos.
4. Facebook Reviews
Facebook, by and large, is the most used social media network in the U.S. That is why many businesses maintain a business page to engage with customers and raise brand awareness.
One of the features of Facebook Pages is Recommendations and Reviews, which allows users to rate a brand and share their experiences.
Facebook is not a review site per se, but the sheer number of users makes it an invaluable resource for the general public. Of course, businesses know its importance, so they spend considerable money marketing their brands. Besides promoting their dishes, restaurants can get customer feedback to improve their products and services.
The benefits of Facebook Reviews are immense. For one, restaurants can boost engagement by replying to users, thus forging better customer relationships. A high restaurant star rating and review is social proof of the quality of food and service, which increases conversion rates. No wonder many businesses use online reputation management strategies to get online reviews.
How To Activate Facebook Reviews and Recommendations
- Enabling Facebook Reviews on a business page is easy and takes only a few minutes.
- Log in to Facebook and navigate to the restaurant’s page.
- Under the “More” tab, click on “Manage Sections,” then enable “Reviews Given.”
5. OpenTable Reviews
OpenTable is a robust online restaurant reservation system that seats over a billion people yearly. For obvious reasons, it is in the best interest of restaurants to include this site in their marketing plans.
How To Suggest a Restaurant to OpenTable
OpenTable provides two options for adding a business to its directory, one of which is Suggestion by a user. Clicking on the link takes one to a form that asks for basic information about a restaurant.
How To Submit a Restaurant to OpenTable
Submitting a restaurant is as easy as suggesting. First, visit https://restaurant.opentable.com/get-started/ and fill out the form. After doing that, wait for OpenTable to get in touch. OpenTable listing is free, but full access to managing a profile will require a subscription.
6. Zomato Reviews
Zomato is a restaurant aggregator and food delivery company with around 90 million monthly users. Its app is one of the most widely downloaded and used by people when searching for nearby restaurants and cafes.
Zomato presents restaurants with an opportunity to grow their customer base. Besides local listings, one of its most essential features is star ratings and reviews, as most customers rely on other people’s feedback to make a decision.
How To Become a Zomato Partner
Visit www.zomato.com/partner-with-us and choose between registering or claiming a restaurant.
- Provide restaurant details, including name, address and contact information. Be sure to place the map marker close to the restaurant’s entrance.
- For online ordering to work, Zomato requires several documents:
- FSSAI license copy
- PAN card copy
- GSTIN (if applicable)
- Bank account details
- Zomato will also require the restaurant’s menu and images of the top five items.
After the Zomato account is up and running, restaurants can use a variety of tactics, such as requesting reviews to boost their brand reputation.
|Top 10 Restaurant Review Sites|
|Facebook Page|| |
|Google Business Profile|| |
Why Restaurants Should Get Customer Feedback
On Google, Bing and other search engines, restaurants can use pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to boost organic traffic. Paid advertising is also available on social media platforms and some review sites. Other than spending on ads, another option to increase click-through rates is requesting reviews, a strategy often used by local listing management agencies.
Benefits of Asking for Online Restaurant Reviews
Here are why restaurants should get customer feedback from business review sites and listing directories.
- Enhance Online Brand Reputation. Restaurants with a high restaurant star rating are more trustworthy. Hence, guests are more likely to order or book a reservation.
- Boost Engagement. Asking for reviews is one way a restaurant can engage with customers and a great way to strengthen customer relationships. As some customers become more loyal to a restaurant, they are likelier to make recommendations to their family, friends and colleagues.
- Increase Search Visibility. Users may not find the website of a restaurant on a search engine. Nonetheless, they may still find the restaurant in one of the listing directories or review sites. Also, a high restaurant star rating might help improve search rankings.
- Longer-Lasting Digital Visibility. Posts on social media easily get swamped by hundreds of newer posts daily. In comparison, customer restaurant reviews are more visible, as the number of recent reviews does not increase dramatically.
- Improve Products and Services. Restaurants can learn a lot if they get online reviews. Based on the experience shared by guests, they can get ideas on how to improve their food and service or even create new dishes.
How To Get More Customers From Review Sites
After setting up a Google business listing, Facebook page and profiles on various social media platforms, what comes next?
“People trust a 4.7 [average star rating] rather than a perfect 5,” said Tim Clarke, Senior Reputational Manager at Rize Reviews.
Since the goal is to attract more restaurant guests, being trusted must be one of the top priorities. So while there is the matter of getting more online reviews, it is also important to get high ratings. A perfect rating is too good to be true, so there should also be some negative reviews. A 4.7 average rating is most effective in “convincing” people to try a business.
Here are strategies restaurants can use to get online reviews and ratings.
1. Get Listed or Claim the Business
So far, the top review sites in this article are limited to only 10, but there are easily hundreds of listing directories in almost any given location.
While it is possible to spend time claiming or adding a restaurant manually, it is time-consuming and prone to mistakes. And while owning a profile is troublesome, it is more challenging to keep them updated. Regardless, a restaurant can use an automated listings management solution to simplify the process.
2. Ask Guests To Write a Review
The easiest way to get online reviews is to ask guests to write one. A server, for example, can do that when guests have finished eating.
Besides face-to-face, there are other opportunities for getting in touch with guests:
- Place a QR code on the dining table that directs guests to a review page. A server can, of course, prompt them by asking if they could leave a review.
- Provide a mobile phone or tablet so guests can leave a rating or write a review.
- Given a chance, ask customers who posted on social media.
- Automate the process using email. For example, send the guest a thank you email, which includes subtle suggestions to write feedback.
One thing that the staff must be careful of is not to be intrusive. Also, encourage honest reviews, so be prepared to receive some criticisms.
3. Make It Easy for Restaurant Guests to Write a Review
On the website, social media channels and emails, restaurants must tell customers that they can leave reviews. And more importantly, it should not only be accessible but easy.
4. Boost Engagement on All Channels
Social media posts and comments, positive or negative reviews, try to respond to them.
In some cases, guests need information on a restaurant before deciding. Therefore, a quick response would be very much appreciated (and expected).
Some customers may have a positive experience and want to share it on their network. Acknowledge and thank them for the business and for letting other people know.
A negative review, on the other hand, is problematic. If unattended, it has the potential to ruin a reputation, causing guest attrition. But a quick response apologizing, owning the problem and offering a solution may turn things around. Instead of feeling frustrated, a once unhappy customer may become happy and satisfied with the service, prompting them to become a restaurant fan.
5. Turn Positive Reviews Into Testimonials
Putting testimonials, for instance, on product or service pages can significantly increase conversion rates. As the restaurant gathers more reviews, use some positive ones as testimonials.
Do not forget the average star ratings on major sites like TripAdvisor. If the restaurant, for instance, has a high average rating, displaying it on the website is social proof that other people like the food.
Use Automated Listing Management To Get More Restaurant Guests
Facebook Page and Google business listings are essential to the success of a restaurant business. But there are still hundreds of other directories. Being listed in as many of them as possible, for sure, helps boost search visibility and rankings.
Review sites, especially with high star ratings and positive reviews, influence guests to patronize a particular restaurant. For more details on how to get listed effortlessly, call 866.325.0303 and let our listing specialists explain how you can woo customers from review sites.
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