When the average consumer is searching for a local company to hire, seven out of ten grab their mobile device or tablet. This is a number that is constantly increasing, as well. With that being said, a catering marketing effort designed to attract new customers to your catering service needs to focus on your Google My Business listing.
Consumers don’t have to thumb through a phone book these days to find a local business – the information they are looking for is available at the tip of their fingers. A Google search will quickly show them local businesses related to any product or service they search for, along with ways to instantly connect with or contact that business.
When someone in your local market is in need of a catering company don’t you want to be the business that appears at the top of the Google Maps results with an impressive listing that attracts website visits and phone calls? The more of this engagement your GMB profile attracts, the more catering jobs you will book.
Many catering companies assume that if their business information is present on their website that is all that is needed, but that’s not how it works. The information on your Google My Business profile is what Google indexes and uses for its organic search and Maps results.
An optimized Google My Business listing can help you attract new catering customers around the clock. Let’s go over a few tips to help you understand how to best leverage your catering company’s GMB listing.
1. Ensure Your Listing is Up-to-Date and Accurate
You’re never going to achieve the caterer search engine optimization results you desire if your Google My Business listing contains information that isn’t accurate and up-to-date. There are several components to your GMB listing that you need to focus on:
NAP (Name, Address and Phone Number): Your NAP is basic information, but it’s also information that can be ignored when and if changed, resulting in missed opportunities online. As more businesses switch to VOIP phones sometimes they aren’t able to keep their old landline number, resulting in a phone number change. If it’s not changed on the GMB profile as well it can be disastrous.
Website URL: It’s a good idea to list your website’s homepage URL here. This benefits your catering SEO the most. You can direct visitors to specific pages on your website other ways, like through profile posts, which are highlighted in number three below.
Description: Your description needs to grab the attention of your potential customers and let them know why your catering company is the one they should hire. It also needs to be written in a way that it helps get you maximum exposure in the search results. You don’t want to stuff it with keywords though – that practice hasn’t been effective in years.
Business Category: There are about 2,400 different business categories to select from, so it’s important that you take the time to pick the correct one. Be specific as possible. For example you wouldn’t want to select “Food Services” for a “Catering Company.”
Attributes: This section allows you to highlight additional capabilities your catering company offers. Do you have online ordering? This section can help answer common questions before the potential customer has to ask them.
2. Ask for Reviews and Reply to Each One
Attracting caterer Google reviews will help your SEO and it will also help you attract more customers. The key is to set up a system that automatically asks you previous customers to leave a review and makes it as easy as possible for them to do that.
If you provide an excellent service your customers are going to honor the ask, especially when you provide them with a direct link to your GMB listing, which is where they submit their review. We have proven systems that deploy the initial ask when the event is finished and then automatically follows up until the review is secured.
Be sure to reply to every single review that is left. First, it lets your past customers know you appreciate them and the time they took to leave the review. This results in repeat business. Second, it shows potential customers that you truly care – this increases the chance of them hiring your catering company.
Don’t ignore unfavorable reviews either. Address them. This can help clear up issues and it also shows potential customers that you go above and beyond to make sure that your catering customers are satisfied. Remember, you cannot please everyone – but you can reply to every review and control the conversation.
3. Add Posts with a CTA (call-to-action)
Google is constantly rolling out new features for its Google My Business platform, and the newest capability is the ability to publish posts directly on your listing. This can be used to really help improve your catering company marketing effort.
There are a couple of things to take into consideration. First, each post is limited to 300 words. This means you need to get your point across quickly. Second, the post will disappear from the listing in seven days unless you specify a shorter time.
This is a great opportunity to share timely news related to your industry or to post special promotions. To really draw attention to your posts use short catchy titles and emojis. This will help to draw attention and clicks.
You can also add a CTA (call-to-action) button, with five options available: Buy, Sign up, Learn more, Reserve, Get Offer. For your catering company, the Learn more and Get Offer options could be used to allow potential customers to secure a special offer or you can drive them to specific pages on your website.
4. Activate Google My Business Messaging
The way consumers communicate these days has drastically changed from how it was years ago. Now most people use their mobile phones to text – rarely using them to actually make phone calls.
An intelligent caterer local marketing campaign understands this and adopts, making it easy for interested customers to contact the business without making a phone call. How? Google My Business has a feature called “Messaging” which allows the user to communicate with your business via text messaging.
It’s simple to activate – you simply assign a number to receive the texts and reply to them – and it’s automatically integrated into your GMB profile. This makes it easy for potential catering customers to contact you, regardless of their communication preference.
If you don’t activate and set up this feature you may miss out. Remember, adapting to current trends, such as text messaging being the most popular way to communicate, is important if you want to continue to grow your business online.
5. Analyze Your Google My Business Insights Data
A successful caterer SEO campaign involves data analyzation and making adjustments to constantly improve. Google My Business has an “Insights” option that allows you to dive into your data. Here are the key metrics you should focus on:
Where Customers Find Your Business: Are they coming into contact with your GMB listing through organic search or Google Maps? Knowing where the bulk of your traffic comes from allows you to adjust the caterer SEO to continue to attract more visibility.
The Actions They Take: What do they do after they come in contact with your Google My Business listing? Do they call your catering business? Do they visit your website or click for directions? From here you can dive deeper and see if your website is doing a good job converting traffic into leads. You can also dive into your phone data and see if you are missing out by not having enough one-call closes.
Locations: This will show you what areas your customers live in. This information can be helpful, letting you know what local markets are worthy of more time and effort. You have to go where the customers are.
Phone Data: You can see the total number of phone calls your business receives directly from your GMB profile as well as the times that each call comes in. This can help you staff accordingly, ensuring that no calls go unanswered.
This data can be used to make adjustments that improve the overall results of your catering marketing effort. The data is there and available – there is no excuse for not paying attention to it and leveraging it to achieve better results.
As you can see, your Google My Business plays a very important role, acting as an information hub for all Google search related catering marketing. Sure, there are other ways a potential catering customer can find your business, but when it comes to online search nothing comes close to Google’s dominance.
It’s very simple – a Google My Business listing that is optimized professionally puts your catering business in front of potential customers in your local geographic area that is actively looking to make a hiring decision.
GMB is the backbone of local SEO for catering companies. It’s a free tool and if you aren’t leveraging it fully you are undoubtedly missing out on new catering customers. While claiming and creating a GMB listing is something anyone can do, the art of optimizing it correctly to perform well in local search and show up on the top of the Google Maps results is something that takes a lot of knowledge and understanding.
This is where we can help you elevate your online presence to the next level. There is a reason we are the top-rated catering marketing agency – we deliver results. If you would like to learn more about the online marketing services we provide to catering companies, including Google My Business optimization, contact us today for a free consultation and online audit.See More Helpful Tips