New BrightLocal Research Reveals Online Business Accuracy is Crucial

Inaccurate business information online is detrimental to your restaurant’s reputation. Hopefully, you already know that having the wrong information about your business online is a no-no. Now, there’s brand new research to back it up.

BrightLocal recently released a Local Citations Trust Report, in which they surveyed over 1,000 US consumers about inaccuracy in business listings. The responses were staggering.

Today, we explore the results of this research and how you can avoid inaccuracy online for your business.

68% of consumers would stop using a local business if they found incorrect information in online directories. (Local Citations Trust Report, BrightLocal, 2018)

The amount of consumers who’d boycott a business due to inaccurate information isn’t surprising, as I’ve even had this experience myself.

Not too long ago I checked online for a local Italian restaurant in my area and found one with great ratings on Google. Their Google listing said they were open until 9 pm, so I walked there for dinner, just to find that they were closed (lights off, chairs stacked, no staff in sight). I was extremely irritated that the restaurant did not have their correct business hours online and my hunger only made it worse. Needless to say, I never returned to that location because I was frustrated by the wrong information I was given.

BrightLocal also found that 93% of consumers say they are frustrated by incorrect information in online directories. I was definitely annoyed that day and understand why so many respondents expressed this same disdain.

30% of consumers would go to a competitor if they couldn’t locate a business because of incorrect information found online. (Local Citations Trust Report, BrightLocal, 2018)

You don’t want to lose any business to your competitors, but of course, it’s going to happen from time to time. Poor customer service and quality of food are valid reasons for a diner to choose to eat elsewhere, which is why business owners put effort into training their staff and perfecting their recipes. However, how your business information is represented online may not be top of mind for you. It should be.

The majority of people use search engines to discover new businesses and you want your restaurant to provide accurate information on all of those platforms they’re searching on. If there is a wrong address or phone number on one of the major search engines, you’ll be disappointing a large number of potential customers.

80% of consumers lose trust in local businesses if they see incorrect or inconsistent contact details or business names online. (Local Citations Trust Report, BrightLocal, 2018)

The ability to trust someone is the cornerstone of any interpersonal relationship. Although your business isn’t human, you should treat it like one when it comes to trust. How you conduct business, as the owner, is a direct reflection of yourself as a person. Your business’ online presence is just as important as how you manage operations in-house.

Think about it in the context of social media. Most of us have social profiles that we update with posts, photos, and comments. Many of our followers form opinions about who we are based on what they see on our social channels. If you’re posting content online that isn’t a true reflection of yourself, other individuals are going to be confused, and even disappointed, when they meet you in real life.

Similarly, if your business doesn’t accurately represent itself across websites and apps, people will form opinions about it that may not even be based on an in-house experience. A lot of the time, the discovery of your business begins online, which is why it’s extremely crucial to have all of your business information correct in all the places that matter.

Where to Begin?

It’s clear that consumers are extremely disappointed with inaccurate online information about a business. As they should be! In a world where 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine, it’s obvious that most hungry researchers are using search engines on their laptops and smartphones to discover new places to eat. First impressions are everything, so make yours count.

When looking to improve the accuracy of your business’ online presence, the process can seem overwhelming. Think of all the websites and apps people are using for discovery. One individual may use Google to find a restaurant, then head over to TripAdvisor to read reviews about the place, look at user-generated photos on Yelp, and then finally book a reservation there on OpenTable.

As mentioned, you want your business information (and your menu) correctly posted on all of those sites, plus many others. But, the task of making multiple updates on multiple sites, like seasonal hour changes and new phone number, will become a time-consuming chore. Plus, it’s easy to forget to make a change on just one of the many sites people use on a daily basis. We’re not saying it can’t be done, but the process will be tedious.

As a restaurant owner, you’ve got a lot going on. Running your business is top priority and we understand the demands of the hospitality industry. That’s why we’re here to help when it comes to bolstering your online presence.

A menu management company’s prime concern is to get your restaurant’s information and menus across all of these places people are searching. We do the heavy lifting so you don’t have to. We’ve already formed partnerships with publishers, like Google, Bing, Yelp, Yahoo, AppleMaps, and many more, to get your information accurately in the places it needs to be. Why waste your time making manual updates when you can just hand off the work to us?

When working with a menu management company, like SinglePlatform, you can rest assured that you’ll be providing your customers with accurate information, whether they’re looking for your updated business hours or the seasonal dinner menu. Never let a potential diner become a lost customer because of inaccurate online information again.


To learn more about what SinglePlatform can to do help your business’ online visibility, contact us today! We look forward to working with you to help you stand out everywhere that matters online.

TripAdvisor’s 2018 Hospitalist Sector Report Reveals Online Presence is Important to Business Owners

Today, our partner site TripAdvisor announced the results of its 2018 “Hospitalist Sector Report,” and we can’t say we’re surprised by their findings.

TripAdvisor’s report revealed that online reputation management, mobile experience, and driving direct bookings are now critical areas of focus travel businesses like hotels and, you guessed it, restaurants.

TripAdvisor’s press release reads:

[“We asked travel business owners and operators in the U.S. and around the globe about the key industry trends that are top of mind for them in 2018, and the results provide a rare look into today’s evolving digital travel marketplace,” said Martin verdon-Roe, Vice President of Business-to-Business Product of TripAdvisor. “What’s clear is that the overwhelming majority of owners and operators are concerned about their presence online and how they are using mobile and social platforms to attract the right customers.”]

The owners and operators’ concerns are justified. After all, 93% of diners regularly check online menus before selecting a restaurant, and nearly 60% of customers’ searches are now performed on mobile devices.

Clearly, business owners like you recognize the growing importance of a solid online presence. But, maybe you just don’t know where to begin.

Read on to learn how you can manage your business’ online efforts.

Online Presence

If you want new customers to find your restaurant online, you need to make sure that all of your owner-verified information (like your most up-to-date menu, address, phone number, and hours) can be easily found online. And that information should be just as easy to obtain on a smartphone as on a computer.

That means that you should make sure your restaurant’s website is optimized for mobile viewing (87% of owners and operators surveyed by TripAdvisor said that having a mobile-enabled website or app is important).

In this day and age, having a restaurant website is not enough. You need to be found on all of the websites, like TripAdvisor, that people are searching most (96% of people noted they use TripAdvisor when looking for restaurants while travelling!)

Your online menu should also be mobile-optimized for easy reading. A lot of people are looking for places to eat on the go, so you don’t want to frustrate them by having an unreadable or unavailable menu.

Online Reputation

Managing your online reputation on those crucial search sites is important. That’s why 97% of those surveyed by TripAdvisor said that online reputation management is important to their business and 98% said online reviews are important to their business.

Those numbers are so high for a reason. 88% of consumers report reading online reviews and say that positive reviews influence their buying decisions and 85% of consumers report reading up to 10 reviews before feeling like they could trust a business.

Instead of passively letting the reviews roll in, you should do your best to respond to reviews—especially the negative ones. A thoughtful response and apology can help moderate the effect of a negative review and may even help you win back the dissatisfied customer who left the review. This is not only a courtesy but a smart marketing strategy.

Social Media Presence

Social media management is crucial for restaurants. Potential and repeat customers are looking for places to eat and drink and engaging with social sites to find the next best thing. Enticing photos and an interactive presence can help you attract more diners.

Restaurants and other small businesses should have a firm grip on their social presence because these platforms provide business owners the opportunity to engage with their customers, post photos, and communicate timely information.

Of course, as a restaurant owner, you’re busy doing so much that you probably don’t have time for social media. But, there are tools available to help you schedule social posts ahead of time so you can maintain a social presence without being on apps all day,

Online Booking

In addition to online reputation management and social presence, 71% of respondents also said they prioritize driving direct bookings. One of the best ways you can drive direct bookings for your restaurant is to make it as easy as possible for customers to make reservations online.

If you don’t already offer online reservations, consider partnering with a third party site like OpenTable.  On OpenTable, users can search for the platform’s over 45,000 partner restaurants to check availability. If there’s a table open at the customer’s desired time, the customer can make a reservation with just a few clicks. No phone call needed.

Users can also search by cuisine, location, and even ambiance, which means that diners who hadn’t heard of your restaurant before visiting OpenTable could be making reservations too.

That was probably a lot to take in. The good news is that SinglePlatform can help you manage everything we’ve talked about, from your menu and website to your online reviews and social media postings.

To learn more about SinglePlatform, get in touch with us today!

How to: Claim Your Business on TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor is a popular travel and review site that focuses on hotel & restaurant reviews. It has become the #1 travel review site, with more than 460 millions users. As a restaurant, you want to be visible where people are researching not only local restaurants but places to dine when they’re on vacation or just passing through. Luckily, with a claimed business on TripAdvisor, you can manage your profile, respond to reviews, and check out your analytics.

Have you claimed your TripAdvisor business listing yet? If not, read our step-by-step guide.

Please note: TripAdvisor requires business owner verification for any listing content changes.

Step 1: Go to your TripAdvisor business page.

Step 2: Click “Improve this listing” on the right of your screen.

Step 3: At the top of the pop-up window, click “Visit the Management Center to manage your TripAdvisor Page.”

Step 4: You will be taken to the your restaurant’s Management Center. Click the “Register now”
button at the top of the page.

Step 5: Sign in or create a TripAdvisor account.

Step 6: Once you’re signed in, click on your name in the blue bar at the top of the page. A menu will drop down. Click on “Claim This Listing.”

Step 7: Fill out your restaurant’s information in the pop-up window. When complete, click on continue.

Step 8: Verify your email address either through your Facebook or your credit card. The Facebook account must match the email address you used to create your TripAdvisor account. If you use your credit card, no charges will be made.

Success! You’ve claimed your listing on TripAdvisor! You can now take control of your presence & interact with the community.

Ready to claim your listing? Head to the TripAdvisor portal to do so.

Does this claiming process seem too time-consuming? We’re here to help! We can claim your listing on your behalf. Just contact us today.

Contact us here: 

Want to learn more about our DIFM (Do It For Me) approach? Read our blog here.

Interested in claiming your business on Yelp? Read our how-to.

How To: Claim Your Business on Yelp

Yelp is an extremely popular consumer-facing review site that has a serious influence on decision-making for people looking at places to dine out or order in. Restaurants are the second highest reviewed category on Yelp, with 17%. Diners are leaving reviews, and potential customers are reading that feedback & taking action on it. Your online reputation is just as important as good old-fashioned word of mouth. Claiming your business on Yelp helps to build your credibility & allows you to engage with the ever-growing Yelp community. In this how-to, we show you step-by-step how to claim your Yelp listing.

Please note: Yelp requires business owner verification for any listing content changes.

Step 1: Go to your business’ Yelp page

Step 2: Click on “Claim this business” on the right.

Step 3: Create a Yelp for Business Owners account or sign into your existing account.

Step 4: Confirm that Yelp has the correct phone number for your restaurant. Once Yelp has the correct number, click on “Call Me Now.”

Step 5: When prompted, enter the code Yelp has provided into your phone.

Success! You’ve claimed your business listing on Yelp. With a business account, you can log in and manage your presence whether on desktop or mobile. You can also read & respond to reviews and get insights into customer views, leads, and other analytics.

Ready to get started? Head over to Yelp to claim your business today.

Does this claiming process seem too time-consuming? We’re here to help! We can claim your listing on your behalf. Just contact us today.

Contact us here: 

Want to learn more about our DIFM (Do It For Me) approach? Read our blog here.

Interested in claiming your business on Google? Read our how-to guide here.

How to: Claim Your Google My Business Listing

When you think about online search, what is the first website that comes to mind? I’m sure for many of you, the word Google pops into your head almost immediately. And with good reason! There are about 3.5 billion searches happening on Google every day.

Not to mention, people are searching for local businesses and restaurants all the time. And 90% of online journeys start with the use of a search engine.

As a restaurant owner, don’t you want to be where they’re looking online? Of course you do. Having a presence on Google is essential for any business today. Claiming your Google My Business Listing is an easy way to ensure that you’re in control of your business’ presence on the site.

According to Google, “Google My Business is a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses and organizations to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. By verifying and editing your business information, you can both help customers find you and tell them the story of your business.”

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to claim your Google My Business listing.

How to Claim Your Google My Business Listing

Part 1: Requesting Verification

Step 1: Search for your business on Google.

Step 2: Click on “Own this business?” on the right side of the screen.

Step 3: You will be prompted to sign into your Gmail account.
If you do not have a Gmail account, create one.

Step 4: Once you’re signed in, you will be taken to a map. Search for your restaurant and find the correct listing on the map. If your listing doesn’t appear, choose the “Add Your Business” option and enter all relevant information.

Step 6: Ensure all of your business’s information is correct. If you need to make changes, choose the option “Verify Later.” If all of the information is correct, skip to step 9.

Step 7: You will be directed to your Google My Business page. To familiarize yourself with the tools Google provides, take their tour. Edit any of your incorrect information now.

Step 9: Choose your verification method and follow the instructions provided.

Step 10: If you choose to verify by mail, make sure to be on the lookout for a postcard from Google that will arrive in 1-2 weeks. Once the postcard arrives, make sure to follow the steps on the postcard to finish your verification process.

Part 2: After receiving your verification postcard

Step 1:  After you have requested to verify your business by mail, you should receive a postcard such as the one below with a numeric code.

Step 2: Login to your Google My Business account and a message about verifying your listing should appear at the top of the page. Click the button labeled ‘Enter Code’.

Step 3: That button should lead you to a screen prompting you to enter the code from the post card received

Step 4: Once you enter the code, click ‘Submit’ and the verification process is completed!

Success -you’ve claimed your listing on Google My Business!

As you can see, it’s possible to claim your Google My Business listing on your own, but the steps are time-consuming and can be complicated for a busy restaurant owner! We want to help. Thanks to our relationship with Google, our Customer Success team has the ability to verify a listing on your behalf and grant you access to have full control over that page. If you would like us to handle this process, please contact SinglePlatform and provide the email address you would like access through.

Contact us here: 

Want to learn how to claim your business on other sites? Check out our how-to guides on getting your listing on TripAdvisor and Yelp!

The Importance of Local Listing Management

If you’re still using the phonebook to find local businesses than you’re in the minority. In this day and age, 85% of consumers turn to the internet when looking for a new business. While having correct information in the phonebook is great, having correct information across the web is what your business needs to get discovered and chosen by customers in our tech-savvy culture. 97% of all internet searches occur across Google, Bing, and Yahoo with a total of over 17 billion searches per month. Learn how your local business can start using your local listings to get more customers.

Claim Your Listings and Manually Update

The major three search engines use listings for small businesses in their search results. These search engines populate listings as accurately as possible from information found across the web. However, if you’re business has ever moved or had incorrect data online, your customers might be finding out-of-date or inaccurate information in their search results. If customers can’t find your address or phone number online, than they’re not spending their money with you, even if they want to.

Local business owners need to take control of their online presence by claiming their online listings. The process is different for each site but we’ve created a step-by-step guide to help you start taking control today.

SinglePlatform

You can update and maintain your local listings across the major three search engines yourself, but that’s only the beginning to your listing management. Sites like Yelp, YP, Facebook, and TripAdvisor also pull in millions of users each month and all of these users are looking for businesses like yours. If your information isn’t accurate and up-to-date where searchers are looking than instead of finding and choosing your business they are finding and choosing your competitors.

With all of these sites popping up across the web how do you keep your information consistent and accurate everywhere? SinglePlatform is here to help. We are your connection to the top search engines, travel and review sites, online listing directories and mobile apps used by over 200 million people to find local businesses.

Learn more today!

The Ultimate Checklist for a Successful Online Presence

With 85% of consumers searching for local businesses on the web, your online presence is now more important than ever before. Whether you want to attract new customers, stand out amongst the competition, or get chosen more often, harnessing the power of the internet is an important step to take. SinglePlatform understands how important your business’s online presence is so we’ve created The Ultimate Checklist to help you get discovered and chosen today.

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