In the past, local reviews about restaurants spread through word of mouth. If somebody had a great experience at a restaurant, they would tell their friends and family about it. If someone had a bad experience, they would warn others to avoid the establishment.
Nowadays, people are more likely to turn to the internet to read business reviews before making a decision about where to eat. In fact, a BrightLocal Survey in 2022 revealed that the number of people reading reviews has almost doubled in the past year!
The same survey also discovered that 74% of consumers left reviews for local businesses in the last 12 months.
As a restaurant owner, you probably want to know what platforms drive the most traffic to your restaurant so that you can focus your efforts on those sites.
After all, your consumers are using these platforms to make decisions about where to eat, so it’s important that you have a presence on them and work towards improving your restaurant’s rating.
In this article, you’ll discover the top four local review sites that are worth being on. So keep reading to find out more!
How Are Local Review Sites Beneficial to Your Restaurant?
Getting customer feedback is crucial to operating a successful local business. If your current customers aren’t happy, you’ll lose their loyalty and the potential of acquiring new customers.
So how are review sites beneficial?
Local reviews give you credibility
First and foremost, being present on local review sites gives your restaurant credibility.
If potential customers see that you have good reviews on popular platforms, they’ll be more likely to visit your restaurant. On the other hand, if they see that you have bad customer reviews or no reviews at all, they may choose to go to a different establishment.
Review sites let you interact with customers
Being active on local review sites gives you an opportunity to interact with your customers. You can thank customers for their positive reviews and address any negative reviews in a professional manner.
This way, you can turn an unhappy customer into a loyal one!
Review Sites improve SEO ranking
In addition to the benefits mentioned above, being present on local review sites can also help improve your restaurant’s SEO ranking.
This is because Google uses reviews as a ranking factor in its algorithms. So the more reviews you have, the higher your chances of appearing in search results.
Review sites help you improve your restaurant operation
Finally, local review sites provide valuable insights that you can use to improve your restaurant.
For example, if you see that customers are consistently mentioning long wait times, you can work on reducing the wait times so that future customers have a better experience.
The Bottom Line
Local review sites are beneficial to your restaurant in many ways. They give you credibility, allow you to interact with customers, and provide valuable insights.
If you’re not already present on local review sites, be sure to set up profiles on the top three platforms.
Head to the next section to find out what they are!
Top 4 Local Review Sites to Have Your Restaurant on
Online reviews are powerful because they are one of the main ways that consumers research restaurants before making a decision about where to eat.
Here are four local review sites that you should have your restaurant on:
1. Google My Business
Google My Business is one of the most popular local review sites and it’s also one of the easiest to set up.
56% of actions on Google My Business listings are site visits. If you want to increase the number of customers visiting your restaurant, you need to be on this platform.
All you need to do is create a free listing for your business and verify your account. Once your account is verified, you’ll be able to start responding to reviews and managing your listing.
How to Monitor and Improve Your Google Reviews:
- Check your reviews regularly and respond to both positive and negative reviews promptly.
- Encourage your customers to leave reviews by placing signs around your restaurant or including a call-to-action in your receipts. You can also use Ipads or tablets to make it easy for customers to leave a review while they’re at your establishment.
- Implement changes based on the feedback you’re receiving from customers. These changes can include anything from shorter wait times to more menu items.
Facebook is another popular local review site that you should have your restaurant on. Not only is it a great platform for managing your online reputation, but it’s also a great way to connect with potential customers.
You can use Facebook to post updates about your restaurant, promote your specials, and even run ads.
To set up a Facebook page for your restaurant, all you need to do is create an account and fill out your business information. Once your page is created, you can start responding to reviews and interacting with customers.
Tip: Communicating through live chat improves customer service
Facebook’s live chat is a feature that allows businesses to communicate with customers in real-time. This can be done through either Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp.
53% of people are more likely to buy from a business through live chat and become loyal customers.
Using live chat is a great way to improve customer service because it allows you to resolve issues quickly and efficiently.
For example, if a customer has ordered takeaway and there’s been a problem with their order, you can use live chat to resolve the issue immediately.
So if you’re not already using live chat on your website, now is the time to start!
TripAdvisor is a local review site that’s popular with tourists.
According to Statista, reviews and opinions reached 1 billion on this site in 2021. So if you want your restaurant to be found by people who are visiting your city, you need to be on TripAdvisor.
To set up a listing on TripAdvisor, all you need to do is create an account and fill out your business information. Once your listing is created, you can start responding to reviews and managing your profile.
How to Optimize Your Business on TripAdvisor:
- Claim your business listing – this will allow you to add photos, update your information, and respond to reviews.
- Encourage customers to leave reviews by placing signs/stickers around your restaurant or offering discounts for those who write a review.
- Monitor your reviews regularly and respond to both positive and negative feedback promptly.
- Make sure your information is up-to-date, including your hours of operation, address, and contact details.
- Use keywords in your business description to help potential customers find your restaurant. For example, if you specialize in Italian cuisine, you could use keywords such as “best Italian restaurant” or “authentic Italian food”.
By following these tips, you can improve your TripAdvisor ranking and attract more customers to your restaurant.
Yelp is a local review site that’s popular with foodies.
According to a 2019 study, around 97% of Yelp visitors make a purchase after visiting the site!
So if you want your restaurant to be found by people who are looking for the best restaurants in town, you need to be on Yelp.
To set up a listing on Yelp, all you need to do is create an account and fill out your business information. Once your listing is created, you can start responding to reviews and managing your profile.
To optimize your Yelp listing, make sure to add photos, videos, and detailed information about your restaurant. You should also take advantage of Yelp’s advertising options to reach even more potential customers.
Be Present on Local Review Sites to Boost Your Customer Base and Improve Your Rating
If you’re looking for ways to improve your customer base and ratings, start by claiming your business profiles on local review sites.
By being present and active on these sites, you can encourage customers to leave feedback about their experiences with your company.
Make sure to respond to any reviews – good or bad – in a timely manner, and thank customers who take the time to write a positive review.
Showing that you appreciate your customers will go a long way in building trust and loyalty.