Your Google business listing is a free listing offered by Google and one you must control and own. After registering and verifying ownership, your listing can be created and/or edited. Shady providers have found ways to convince Owners/Managers to give control to them. Unknowingly, restaurant owners give up this control and the links are redirected to other websites; this is known as “hijacking your listing”. If your listing has been hijacked, the process of regaining control is difficult.
The Google business listing is extremely valuable for a variety of reasons. Many customers search for restaurants by opening up their Google browser and initiating a search. They may not know the web address of a particular restaurant, but it is a safe bet that they know the name and the location. Entering this info generally is sufficient to allow for that enhanced business listing to populate. Additionally, because of Apple’s agreement with Google, search on the iPhone is often conducted by Google’s engine and the same results apply.
When a customer searches for a restaurant and locates the listing, the buttons on this listing becomes an important part of the search process. The website button, the menu button and the order buttons should all lead back to the restaurants website and in many cases to their online ordering system. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Google has not only made it easy to hijack the listing but a button on this listing call “Place order or order” is allowing 3rd party providers to add their links next to that button. The consequence is severe. Customers searching for a restaurant that they are likely to order from or visit, are now directed to a 3rd party site to place an order.
For years, iMenu360 has been fighting with Google to allow restaurant owners to gain control of all the buttons on their listings. We have created online petitions, explored class action lawsuits and called Google repeatedly to explain that this costs you money and customers and is very damaging to the restaurant’s brand.
In recent months, it seems Google has started to take notice, and in some cases has allowed operators to make changes to the “Order” button. The results for clients who were able to make changes are exactly as expected. Sales have increased on their website’s ordering system and sales have decreased to 3rd party providers (Portals)! Certainly profits go up, but even more importantly the restaurant’s customers information is not released to the 3rd party provider (where they will market their portal to them) and the restaurant’s brand is enhanced.
Getting the Google listing fixed requires an understanding of the process and is a frustrating task; for every success story, there are more failures. The team at iMenu360 has developed a process that makes changes possible and is committed to our customers to make this happen. For those interested in fixing their Google business listing, contact iMenu360 at firstname.lastname@example.org.