In this 8-minute read:
- 24 free listing sites to add your restaurant to
- How to manage your listings
The great thing about owning a restaurant is that everyone loves food, and there’s never going to be a decrease in demand for top-quality places to eat. But how do you make sure that your restaurant is showing up above the tons of other restaurants in your area?
Showing up in the local search results on Google—and Google Maps results—is crucial to getting your restaurant in front of new customers. One way to help improve your local search engine rankings is to add your business information to online directories. This helps Google and other search engines to verify your information and gives your restaurant more credibility. It also puts your restaurant on other websites where customers are searching for new places to eat. Win, win!
Be sure to add your restaurant to these 24 free listing websites and watch as the calls and reviews start coming in.
1. Google My Business
Google My Business is how you get your restaurant to show up on Google Maps in the first place. Without this, the other online listings still help you, but they don’t provide as much value for you on Google.
Also, research shows that in terms of its correlation to increased sales, Google is the most important of any of the single review sites. Businesses who claim their Google listing average 10% more in annual revenue than the average business, but those who don’t claim theirs average 24% less in annual revenue, so you want to make sure you are showing up here.
Follow our simple steps and learn how claim your Google Business listing.
Go deeper: read about Google Maps Advertising
2. Yelp is essential for restaurants
Yelp is a crucial online review platform for restaurants to add their information to. As the third most popular online review site, Yelp provides you great opportunities to grow the reach for your restaurant. You need to have a Yelp listing to get reviews on Yelp, and so many people check these reviews when trying to decide what new restaurant they want to try out on date night.
3. GrubHub: the new hotness
GrubHub is free to list your restaurant, however, if you are capturing orders on their site, that’s when they’ll charge a small fee for their service. A great benefit of GrubHub, besides appealing to the introvert in all of us, is that when you create your GrubHub listing it will feed over to other sites like MenuPages and Seamless (also popular restaurant listing sites).
4. Zagat: the premier restaurant listing
Zagat is a little more exclusive and won’t just list any restaurant, but they are free and if you can get on their radar, it’s a great opportunity for you. The nice thing too is that they pull directly from Google My Business.
5. Allmenus is great for restaurants
Allmenus lists more than 345,000 across the United States, and it is their goal to help restaurant owners like you get more customers. You can join AllMenus by using their form here.
6. OpenTable: more than reservations
OpenTable is the restaurant listing website for tens of thousands of restaurants worldwide. With reviews and online booking capabilities, they can help you get noticed by even more customers. Suggest your restaurant to be on their site for free with this form.
Everyone loves a deal! And 8coupons provides the perfect platform for your restaurant to offer sweet deals and entice more customers to knock on your doors.
8. TripAdvisor? Yes please!
With TripAdvisor’s 390 million unique visitors each month, this is a listing that your restaurant has to have, especially if you live in a tourist town. When friends and family are visiting loved ones in your town or others are on vacation looking for a good place to eat, TripAdvisor is a popular site that people go to.
9. Set up your restaurant’s Facebook page
Your restaurant should absolutely be on Facebook too! Not only is this a great way to promote brand awareness and get involved in local online communities, but Facebook is another platform that people love to leave reviews and recommendations on.
Facebook has a great tutorial to help you set up your business page.
10. Instagram is great with younger diners
Instagram is highly popular among, well everyone, but especially the younger demographic. If you’re trying to reach a younger target customer, you definitely want your restaurant to be here. Not only can your Instagram account show up in the search results and direct people to your website, but if you have highly photogenic food (and let’s be real, people love to ‘gram their food) you can gain a huge following that drives even more customers to your restaurant.
11. Twitter? Use it for announcing deals
Okay, so Twitter is a little different from the rest of these and may not compel customers into your restaurant, but it does have its benefits. Along with showing up in the search results, it is a super easy way for customers to reach out to you with questions and suggestions for your business. Twitter is also awesome for spreading the news on sweet deals that you’re offering. Wendy’s is an awesome example of a restaurant that excels on Twitter.
12. Apple Maps
While Android dominates the market with an 87% market share, iOS holds around 13% of that market share which is still over a billion users. The primary map app on iOS devices is Apple Maps, another free directory in which you can and should make sure your restaurant is listed. You will need an Apple ID to create or edit your Apple Maps listing, but that’s free to create too if you don’t already have one. Get started at mapsconnect.apple.com.
13. MapQuest: Yes, it’s still a thing
Another site that travelers tend to use a lot, you’ll want to make sure you’re included in their searches. MapQuest support is awesome and can get your restaurant added to its platform within days. Here’s their guide to add a listing on MapQuest.
14. YouTube? “FoodTube”
Yes, even restaurants can win at YouTube. YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, so if you can produce some awesome videos that people fall in love with, that’s a great way to promote your restaurant!
15. Don’t forget Bing
People do use Bing as a search engine, so it’s important to make sure that you have a Bing Places listing too. You can get started here, or sign in with your Google account and import your Google My Business listing.
16. Solo profile
With a free Solo profile, even the smallest local restaurant, pop-up, food cart, or hole-in-the-wall can have a helpful, functional SEO-friendly online presence for free. Building and maintaining a traditional website is simply too much for many restaurant owners to deal with. This is one reason a Solo profile can be such an amazing benefit.
Your customizable Solo profile can list your business’s location, relevant contact information, links to your social pages, and any business details you want included. Sign up at Solo.co.
With more than 2 million merchants and over 100 million visits each month, this is a good one to end our list. MerchantCircle sorts its businesses by category, and restaurants is a big one. Go here to claim your listing on MerchantCircle.
YP.com, or YellowPages, is a large directory listing site that 60 million people still use. You can set up and claim your free YellowPages listing here.
19. Old school listing: Better Business Bureau (BBB)
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is a trusted resource for reporting scams. With your restaurant rated by the BBB, your customers or potential employees will feel a lot more confident in placing their trust in you. Follow these steps to get your restaurant added.
20. Manta helps consistency across listings
Manta is, you guessed it, another online directory listing. But they have some cool features to take advantage of. Once you put your business information into Manta’s platform, they will scan their database and check if your restaurant’s information matches up with other listing sites across the web. This helps you to make sure your information is consistent across multiple listing sites, which is an important ranking factor on Google.
21. CitySearch: locally focused
CitySearch is your friendly neighborhood listing site. They help consumers find businesses near them. With fun features like voting, award badges, and special deals, CitySearch has your best interest in mind as it drives customers toward you. Add your restaurant to CitySearch through the CityGrid database.
Local.com is all about showing users the best places in their cities. Make sure your restaurant is one of those places! Sign your business up on local.com here.
With its 55 million monthly viewers, it’s safe to say Foursquare is a biggie. Customers can check into your restaurant and leave tips about it for others—like what they should order the next time they visit!
With over 5 billion records, Whitepages is an enormous database of global people and businesses. One unique feature of Whitepages is its APIs, which allow businesses to buy and use the company’s extensive data to build their own software. This means a WP listing shows up not only on whitepages.com but also across all of their API customers’ sites as well.
Whitepages uses Yext to create listings, meaning the two can go hand-in-hand. Yext is a pretty cool platform that allows you to see how you show up across a bunch of listing sites. While they do cost money to update all of your listings from one place (convenient, right?), they do let you check your restaurant listings for free on their site.
You’ve claimed your restaurant listings. What’s next?
Now that you’ve claimed your restaurant’s listings across multiple websites, you’ll want to make sure you keep track of them and be in the loop when someone asks you a question or posts a review to that listing. Set up alerts via the platforms if available, or consider using reputation management software to help you stay on top of it all.
Also, when you get a review on any of these platforms, be sure to respond if the feature is available. Replying to reviews (both positive and negative) goes a long way to show your current and potential customers that you take their feedback seriously, and are committed to resolving any problems that may arise.
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