Three reasons that make it absolutely essential for you to be on top of review sites: 1) it’s second nature for people to check online reviews before they decide which cafe they want to go to 2) review boards often rank well on Google, which means they offer an SEO benefit and you could show up on more user searches 3) it’s free to sign up for a business account
So as a cafe owner, you need to actively monitor what people are saying about you, respond to your customers and make sure you take their feedback seriously. In fact, research shows an extra half a star can improve business by up to 19%.
If you’re wondering which websites you should be looking at and how to set up an account, here’s a step-by-step guide taking you through the simple signup process of a number of the top review sites.
Technically, it’s not a review site but it is often the first place where people are likely to search for a cafe or restaurant. Sign up on Google My Business so that your listing shows up when people are searching for your business or businesses like yours on Google Search and Maps.
To list your cafe or restaurant on Google follow these steps:
- Go to this link here and click on the ‘Start now’ button
- Fill in details such as your business name, address and phone number
- If you’d rather do this over the phone, you can call on 1800 081 338* and someone will help you through the process
- Once your account is set up, you can edit information as required, add photos and engage with customers by responding to reviews.
One of the original review sites, Tripadvisor has millions of viewers each month, particularly travellers, looking for recommendations on local attractions and restaurants to visit.
To list your cafe or restaurant on Tripadvisor follow these steps:
- Visit this link here to see if a traveller has already added your business to TripAdvisor. Type in the name of your business in the search box - if it appears in the results, a user has already initiated a listing with a review. If that’s the case, select your business from the menu and click on “Claim Your Business” to say you are affiliated with the property.
- If your business hasn’t yet been listed by a user, click on the ‘Get listed now’ link just below the search bar. Then click on ‘Restaurants’ and fill in the required information about your cafe.
- Make sure you make the request form as detailed as possible and provide your email address so Tripadvisor editors can verify your relationship with the business and be in contact when your listing is published - this takes about five working days.
- After your account has been listed, you can start monitoring reviews for your property and respond to comments by users.
A review site that thrives on ‘hyperlocal’ advertising targeted at users who ‘want to eat in their local area’, Zomato is a great board to reach out to customers around you.
To list your cafe or restaurant on Zomato follow these steps:
- Click on this link here: https://www.zomato.com/addrestaurant.
- Fill in your basic information including, your restaurant’s name, city and your own contact details
- It’s always good to submit additional details like timings, whether you serve alcohol and modes of accepted payment, so people can know more about your establishment
- The content team from Zomato will then verify your details - once that’s done, your listing will start appearing on Zomato.
Yelp has been a go-to source for customers searching for local businesses like cafes and restaurants and it’s useful for your property is listed here.
To list your cafe or restaurant on Yelp follow these steps:
- Start off by searching for your business at biz.yelp.com - when you see your property on the results page, click on the ‘Claim this business’ button
- You can then submit a report to Yelp’s Support team - this includes basic information about your business like the name and address
- Once your account is approved, you can use Yelp to respond to user reviews, track business analytics, upload photos and create deals
According to a recent report, Facebook have revealed that 12 million Australians use Facebook on a daily basis - so it only makes sense to create a Facebook business page for your cafe.
A Facebook page functions almost like a website for your business. Just like your own Facebook profile, you can add a profile picture, a cover picture and information about your business to the page.
To create a business page for your cafe or restaurant on Facebook follow these steps:
- Click on this link https://www.facebook.com/business/learn/set-up-facebook-page to set up a business page on Facebook and hit the ‘create a page’ button followed by the ‘Local business or place’ button
- You’ll then need to add a page name (for ex. Jo’s cafe), page category (for ex. Coffee shop), business address and contact information
- You can then personalise this page with photos and information you would like your users to see
- Once your page is published, try and post regular updates, for instance, specials for the day, pictures from today’s menu and any other posts that would keep your audience engaged