Since the beginning of time, people wanted to know what other people’s experiences have been before making their own decision on a specific topic. Things are no different when it comes to spending money on eating out. As there are hundreds of restaurants out there, customers want to be reassured that the establishment is worth their time and money.
And how do they do so? They use the internet. Specifically, local review sites.
Therefore, taking care of your online presence and finding strategies to get positive reviews are of primary importance for your restaurant. However, to optimize your time and your results, you should pick the best platform for the scope.
In fact, there are plenty of different local business review sites out there but not all of them are created equal. Some platforms get tons of traffic but do not suit restaurants. Other platforms are awesome, but not popular at all.
By devoting your effort to optimizing your presence on the best platforms, you can get the most out of local review sites.
This article collects the best local review sites for restaurants. By improving your presence on these platforms, you will target the broadest audience of people looking for restaurants.
Let’s jump into the article.
How can you choose the best local review site for your restaurant?
Out there there are hundreds, if not thousands, of local review sites. This might be daunting, as you might think that your restaurant should be present on any platform. However, the reality is different. You don’t need to be everywhere. You only need to be on the local review sites that best suit restaurants.
By focusing on fewer review sites, you will be able to build a fantastic presence on a specific platform, which translates into more business impact over time.
Focusing on creating a fantastic presence on the best platforms is crucial because rankings are not fair.
The vast majority of impressions are naturally driven to the top results and hundreds of local venues are not easily found on local review sites. Therefore, it’s better to be at the top of 3 review sites, rather than on the second page of 100 local business review sites.
Are you wondering which are the best local review sites for restaurants?
Below you find the top review sites that are used by people looking for information about local businesses, specifically restaurants.No matter in which country your restaurant is located, someone will use one or more of the following platforms to learn what people have to say about your venue. Therefore, improving your presence on these sites can attract new customers and remarkably impact your margin.
Key local review site for restaurants: #1 Google
Let’s start with Google. The biggest search engine and discovery platform in the world.
Google is more than a local review site. Google is the go-to website for finding answers. People make over 2 trillion searches per year to find just about anything, including your business. If a potential customer searches “restaurants near me”, Google will respond with a list of prospective venues.
Here’s the shocker, 56% of local venues have not claimed their Google listing.
The consequence is that the venue will not rank competitively against those who have put even a modicum of effort into their Google business page.
For such a huge channel of local business discovery, most businesses make the damaging oversight of not setting up their Google business profile correctly. For you, however, this is an opportunity to capture the exposure Google can offer in your local market and reap the rewards of this instantaneous advantage.
To learn how to get on the list of prospective venues, there are a few necessary actions to complete. Following is a quick breakdown.
Google business listing SEO tips: How to stand out on Google Maps
It’s in Google’s interest to provide the best possible recommendation, so a selection of signals is used to determine which venue deserves the limelight.
The volume, quality, and consistency of reviews are some of the most important signals for Google. However, is not all about them. There are other factors (direct and indirect) that impact your ranking on Google.
Nonetheless, there are few actions that can guarantee you great results and are EXTREMELY simple. These Google business listing SEO tips, are the most relevant actions you can take to stand out for local searches:
If you do a good job with Google, you can also get extra rewards in terms of attention.
In fact, the businesses that stood out any time you open Google Maps are those that provide a lot of clear signals and have a better-than-average rating.
Do yourself a favor and spend time fostering your presence on Google. You will be largely rewarded.
Key local review sites for restaurants: #2 Facebook
As Facebook is the king of social networks, it can drive an immense amount of business to your restaurant. However, there are a few differences to consider if you compare it to other local review sites.
Your Facebook reviews aren’t typically going to be seen by people searching for “restaurants near me”. Moreover, people might end up on your Facebook page randomly and discover what is said about your business.
Yet, social reviews can be incredibly powerful.
Receiving positive reviews from happy customers can show potential diners that your restaurant is worth trying out. And since people are more likely to trust recommendations from friends and family, having reviews from real people can make all the difference.
If you own a restaurant, you should not underestimate the viral potential of Facebook. It can move the needle in a very positive direction through the cultivation of brand loyalty and the exposure that can bring.
The best way to get reviews on Facebook is by creating a business page, optimizing your profile, and creating social media posts designed for restaurants.
When you have your page, you can start inviting customers to leave reviews. Make sure to send out reminders and follow up with customers who have not left a review yet. You can also offer incentives for customers who leave reviews, such as discounts or coupons.
Key local review site for restaurants: #3 Tripadvisor
Tripadvisor was founded in February 2000 and today is one of the best local review sites for restaurants. It counts over 1 billion reviews from customers around the world and is the most high-intent review site on the market.
Even if in the last few years TripAdvisor has lost part of its reputation due to a growing amount of fake reviews, is still highly rewarded by users.
In other words, TripAdvisor’s users are likely going to choose a business depending on what they read. If you want your restaurant to thrive, you can not ignore your reputation on Tripadvisor. Be sure to claim ownership of your restaurant page and optimize it with up-to-date information and images.
Lastly, whether positive or negative, answer all the reviews. With some cleverness, you can turn everything people say to your advantage.
Business owners can also receive a set of Tripadvisor stickers to encourage customers to leave reviews and win new customers. Moreover, if you get a positive rating, you can request a Certificate of Excellence sticker that will definitely encourage customers to try out your restaurant.
Although is quite a competitive space, the amount of traffic it gets, combined with the high-intent nature of its traffic, makes TripAdvisor a review site that deserves your focus.
Key local review site for restaurants: #4 Yelp
If you are based in the US, one of the local review sites you should definitely look into is yelp.
Yelp boasts a large user base that provides honest feedback about any type of business in a specific area. On Yelp, customers can leave detailed reviews about their experience, as well as ratings on a five-star scale.
According to a Yelp Nielsen study, a whopping 92% of consumers using Yelp make a purchase after visiting the platform.
When it comes to restaurants, Yelp allows users to search by location, cuisine, price, and more. Additionally, business owners can use paid promotions to gather more traffic on their pages.
A study conducted by the Harvard Business School found that even a slight increase in Yelp ratings could result in a 5-9% revenue increase. Moreover, ratings affect typically independent restaurants but do not affect chains. In other words, getting a good rating on Yelp can radically alter the profitability of your venue.
All in all, Yelp is a great local review site that might change the course of your business. Even if is not built exclusively for restaurants, you can leverage the popularity of the platform and promote your venue in many effective ways.
Other sites which publish reviews about local businesses especially restaurants
The sites listed above handle the vast majority of the internet traffic you are interested in. To win new customers, you’ve got to reach a great rating on those platforms. Period.
However, there are other sites that publish reviews about local businesses (especially restaurants) that can drive positive results. You don’t need to focus on these platforms. However, is a good idea to claim your business page and optimize it.
- Bing Places. Bing is the Search Engine of Microsoft with Bing Places being the equivalent of Google Maps. Although it handles a tiny fraction of queries compared to Google, it is still used by millions of people. As many businesses totally ignore Bing, it is a good idea to claim your business page and optimize it.
- OpenTable. OpenTable helps restaurants handle reservations and grow their business. It offers a variety of services to business owners and diners can leave reviews. However, is not extremely popular and it costs about $40 dollars a month.
- Yellow Pages. Yellow Pages allows any type of business to sign up and get listed on their platform. However, it struggles to keep up with other local review sites, especially in the hospitality industry. Nonetheless, it is one of the most visited websites in the world. So, be sure to create your business profile there.
- Zomato. Zomato is a local review site crafted mostly for restaurants and similar businesses. It operates in many countries and attracts a decent amount of traffic. As a restaurant owner, you can claim your business page and take care of it.
- Foursquare. Foursquare lists a variety of businesses in a specific area, and users can read or leave reviews about any of them. Although is not as popular as Tripadvisor or Yelp, is worth optimizing your profile on Foursquare.
How to get the most of local review sites
With the rise of local review sites, consumers have become increasingly aware of the easiness of getting information about local businesses.
Let’s be honest. It is very rare, nowadays, to try out a new restaurant without checking its rating on Tripadvisor or without doing a search on Google Maps.
This means that you need to take action and take care of your online presence at least on the main platforms.
However, keeping up with all the platforms can be challenging. Especially answering reviews. Sure. You can do it manually. Alternatively, you can simplify your life with specialized software like Beambox.
Beambox allows you to manage all your reviews in one place and simplify the process of managing your online reputation.
Moreover, with Beambox you can automate the process of getting reviews, so you can focus on running your business.
However, Beambox can offer your business much more than managing reviews. Over 12,000 venues are using Beambox to grow their business, gather data about their customers, and improve their online reputation through real-time customer reviews.
Do you want to give it a try?
Start your Beambox free trial now.
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