What is Google My Business?
Google My Business is a free Google tool that allows companies to connect directly with their customers when they are searching for their brand in either Google Search, Google Maps or Google+.
It is now essential that every business builds a Google My Business listing in order to maximize the online real estate that is displayed for their brand. The information that is added to a Google My Business listing feeds the companies Knowledge Graph which can be seen below.
It displays useful information such as your address, phone number, reviews for your business and enables a user to get directions to your office. Sounds good right?
At Indago We love Google My Business and the Knowledge Graph however some recent changes are costing Australia’s restaurants $1,000’s.
What changes have been made?
Over the last few months Google has started to roll out local business orders and appointments to Australian restaurants. Google says that this makes it easier for users to order food, reserve tables and book appoints with select businesses. For restaurants this has meant that reservation and menu links have begun to appear on companies Knowledge Graphs.
Google has a number of tie ins dating back over 3 years with Opentable and Dimmi which are booking widgets that allow users to book restaurants through their widgets. Read more about the Dimmi and Google tie in here in The Australian.
How does this impact restaurants?
Whilst Google has done this to help the user, the problem is that this has large implications for businesses. First we need to understand how restaurants managed their online bookings. Most restaurants that take online booking in Australia use either Opentable or Dimmi’s restaurant booking widget. A customer can select the date and time that they wish and book through the widget.
Each time a customer books a table Opentable or Dimmi charge the restaurant a booking fee.
The user can also book directly through Opentable or Dimmi’s site as opposed to on the restaurants site, which you can see below.
This is the problem with the Knowledge Graph updates. Instead of going to the restaurants website the users are being driven directly to Opentable and Dimmi which costs the restaurant up to 4 times as much for every booking made, see here for an example of Opentable pricing.
Who has been affected?
We looked at 15 top Sydney restaurants that have either 2 or 3 chef hats in The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide. We can see that out of 13 restaurants that you can book online 12 of them are paying too much for their restaurant reservations.
What can you do about it?
You have to contact the Google My Business support team. The Google My Business team will then call you to confirm the process. They will call you within 24 hours and changes can take 1-2 weeks until they are shown. Please make sure that your listing has been verified and that it has the correct address.
When you speak to someone from the Google My Business team, make sure that you take their name so that you can follow up. You should also make sure that you are tracking all of your Google My Business traffic using UTM tagging. If you want to read the Ultimate Guide To Google My Business written by Indago’s Leigh-San Mo you can find it here.
If you would an any further information on how we are tackling this problem, please contact Indago.
Tom Sadler is Sales and Marketing director at indago digital. Tom also runs www.winebaron.com.au
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