Google is a great way to help customers explore new restaurants in their area, and for restaurants to get exposure to new clientele. Google Business and Google Maps listings are an effective way to help present your restaurant in your local area, and show up in local searches.

According to Google trends, keywords like “restaurants near me” have had an increase of about 900% over the past 5 years. This speaks volumes to how important it is for restaurant brands to optimize their listings, and show up higher for these search terms to get exposure to new audiences, with the goal of converting them into loyal customers. 

In this post, we will cover five quick tips restaurant brands can use to help optimize their Google Business listing that may help provide  a higher ranking  on the search engine result pages as well as Google Maps.

1. Curate Reviews:

According to a study, about 49% of buyers turn to Google when researching a brand online. Hence, positive reviews are one of the most important factors when optimizing your Google Business listing. 

Since Google is committed to providing a positive customer experience to its users, listings with more positive reviews get more eyeballs.

Having said that, ask your customers to leave an honest review about your restaurant. Though acquiring reviews can be a slow and cumbersome process, the rewards are invaluable. They will not only help you get more organic reach, but also boost retention and loyalty and help you grow your restaurant business. 

2. Use Local Keywords:

An effective keyword research is an essential component of boosting your Google Business listing. It allows your audience to find you using the terms they would normally search for.

For instance, if you’re a Chicago-style pizza restaurant in your area, you might want to include keywords around that to describe your menu items in your name and description. 

This will allow Google to understand the segment of the audience you are trying to target, and potentially rank you higher than other pizza restaurants. This is especially true for those in your area which are not Chicago-style style for a user who is specifically searching for a Chicago-style pizza restaurant.

This will elevate your customer targeting, and bring in only relevant users to your digital doorfront, where it will be easier to forge long lasting relationships with your service. 

3. Provide Photos:

Adding high quality photos will allow your customers to explore your restaurant online, and get a taste of the experience you offer with food and your setting. 

Ensure that you post high quality images of the food that you serve, the seating arrangement, along with some behind the scenes footage of your kitchen area.

Google then can automatically categorize these images into Menu, Food & Drink, and Vibe to provide a fluid experience to users searching online.

4. Boost Menu Highlights:

A lot of users searching for restaurants on Google want to have a look at the menu and prices before making a decision.

Ensure that your listing effectively caters to that need, and helps users understand your menu and pricing in a simple and effective manner.

Google has a menu editor which helps you structure your menu on your listing in a clean and effective way. You also should stay away from uploading an image of your menu on your listing, as it can lead to poor customer experience, and push you away from higher ranking on search results. 

5. Add an Order Online Button to your Profile:

This feature allows you to give your users an option to place orders directly from your Google My Business profile, and enhance your users’ ordering experience. To do so, follow the steps down below:

  • Sign In to your restaurant’s Google Business Listing. 
  • In the left panel, choose “Food Ordering”
  • Under “Accept orders on your profile”, select “Learn More”.
  • And then under “Choose your preferred providers”, select your preferred partner to accept online orders. 

This allows you to accept orders directly through your Google Business Listing. 

Alternatively, you can also set up a custom “place an Order Link” under the menu section of your listing. This can be a great way to direct users directly to your ordering system, where they can place an order, and you own the customer journey, and data. This can be configured by choosing the option “Manage your Place an order Link” under “Food Ordering”.

If you have a first-party ordering platform like Smooth, be sure to claim this listing with your direct ordering URL. This way, you won’t get connected to a third-party platform, which can reduce margin and impact your revenue.

6. Implement a Smooth-like Ordering Experience: 

It is extremely important to provide a positive ordering experience for your customers. Google is smart enough to analyze user experience based on metrics like bounce rates, and determine if users are enjoying ordering from your platform or not.

Choosing a reliable digital ordering platform is pivotal in helping your users have a smooth ordering experience. Here are some quick tips you should consider when choosing a digital platform for your restaurant. 

If people have found you, always provide the opportunity to convert them to a sale. Feature an ‘Order Now’ button on your listing, and direct users to your online ordering platform as it can help reduce any friction that may occur when people are trying to order from your website. 

About Smooth Commerce:

Smooth Commerce is an all-in-one digital commerce and customer marketing platform for restaurants that combines online and mobile ordering, delivery, loyalty, and powerful marketing tools to help you grow your business, while giving you access to your customer data to help grow your restaurant. 

If you would like to learn more or talk to a representative from Smooth Commerce about how our platform can help you meet your loyalty goals, contact us at