One of the best ways to ensure guests find your restaurant when looking for places to eat nearby is to keep your local business listings up-to-date and optimized for search engines.
Before we get into how to effectively manage local listings and what’s at stake if you don’t, let’s break down the term.
What Are Local Business Listings?
A local listing is an online profile featuring the name, address, phone number, hours of operation, website, and other essential details about a business located nearby. It can be found on search engines, marketplaces, social media, and other online directories.
Consumers rely heavily on local listings to find businesses that offer the goods and services they’re looking for. As a result, most local listings are free for brands to claim and update.
Why Restaurants Can’t Afford to Overlook Local Listings
Restaurant teams are busier than ever, so it’s not hard to see why some brands don’t consider local listings management a priority. And yet, it’s never been more critical. Here are seven reasons why.
Search Engine Optimization
Now that guests can evaluate everything from cuisine to service model to handoff mode when deciding where to eat, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is everything. Optimized local business listings increase discoverability and help your brand rank high in search engine results when people are looking for similar restaurants nearby.
Incomplete and inaccurate local listings frustrate guests before they’ve even stepped foot in your restaurant. By ensuring that your listings are completely filled out and feature up-to-date information, you can make sure your guest relationship starts off on the right foot and drive long-term loyalty.
Within a local listing, you can enable guests to easily place an order, make a reservation, join the waitlist, and more—without having to leave the platform where they found your restaurant. The less friction, the higher chance of conversion.
When people can’t easily find, communicate with, or order from your restaurant, you’re alienating potential guests and missing out on valuable revenue. This can be as simple as forgetting to update your holiday hours.
Guest feedback can make or break your business. Inaccurate listings and unanswered questions can lead to negative reviews—a major turn-off for prospective guests.
Accurate local listings help build trust with guests and give them confidence in your brand. This makes them more likely to order and more likely to return.
Control of Brand Image
Restaurants that don’t claim their local listings and let user-generated content alone populate their profile risk damaging their brand image. By curating your online presence with accurate information and professional imagery, you can better control how your restaurant is perceived.
How Local Listing Management Software Supports Restaurants
Regularly updating local business listings is hard work—especially when you have multiple restaurant locations. And human error is inevitable.
Restaurant brands can alleviate that burden by leveraging local listing management software. Here are just a few of the benefits:
When restaurant brands edit their hours, menu and other important details, every listing gets automatically updated through syndicated publishing. In other words, you no longer have to log in to each platform and manually enter the new information for every location.
With listing management software, restaurant brands no longer have to grant access to individual managers, keep track of multiple passwords, worry about human error, etc.
Brands can view conversion data by publisher to better understand website traffic and ROI from each listing. For example, you can see how many guests clicked on your online listing and ordered directly from your restaurant website, then leverage those insights to inform your marketing strategy.
More Direct Orders
By placing direct ordering links in your online listings, you can give guests more ways to discover and order directly from your brand website. With listing management software, it’s easy to meet guests where they are—and drive them to your business.
Listing management software can help your brand rank high across search engines, review sites, and social media by enabling you to claim listings easily, remove duplicates, and implement SEO best practices.
To further understand how restaurants can benefit from a listings management solution, read our Slim Chickens case study, which showcases how the brand has increased direct orders, reduced onboarding time, and gained a deeper understanding of listing ROI with Olo’s Sync.
Remember: when building a restaurant business, it’s better to let your food, ordering options, and guest experience set your brand apart—not a missing or inaccurate local listing.
Learn more about Sync, Olo’s restaurant listing management software, and contact us today to find out how we can help your brand update local listings at scale.
Plus, check out our webinar with SOCi, wherein we discuss how to drive more guests with local SEO and online ordering.
Photo credit: Jeff Vinluan, Pexels