We’ve talked about the importance of reputation management on The Back Burner in the past, and as review sites like Yelp and discount sites like Groupon continue to influence the way consumers make their dining decisions it becomes even more important for restaurants to make sure they are engaged with their customers online.
Yet that job has only become more difficult as social media continues to grow in importance, and the reality is there are dozens, maybe hundreds of sites where your customers may be talking about your restaurant and there are only so many hours in the day.
This is not to say you should spend your time combing the internet for every last mention of your business.
This is to say, there’s an easy way to manage the most important mentions of your business and quickly decide where to respond (and where not to) without adding a lot of work to your already busy day.
And it’s free.
Restaurateurs, meet Google Alerts. Google Alerts, Restaurateurs.
Google Alerts is a way to make the most popular search engine in the world work specifically for your restaurant. By entering your business name as a keyword in Alerts Google will start keeping an eye out for that name on every webpage it crawls every day, and by all accounts that’s a lot of web pages, like billions of web pages.
Every time Google’s crawler finds a mention of your business name it will save it to a report. That report is automatically emailed to you every day where results are found. This way you can sit back, check your email, and watch for the places on the internet where your customers are talking about.
How To Set Up A Google Alert:
- Go to http://www.google.com/intl/en/about/products/index.html
- Click the “Alerts” under the Specialized Search section
- Enter the keywords you want Google to search for and the email address you want them sent to
- Bam! You’re done!
It’s as easy as that and suddenly managing a restaurant’s reputation online just got a whole lot easier. Of course, you’ll probably still want to check up on yourself on the major sites like Yelp just to make sure important comments aren’t slipping through the cracks. And it would definitely help to refine the keywords you use to search for customer comments based on what Google Alerts is sending you versus what you find when you do a search.
Some suggestions for tweaking your search:
- Use quotes (“ “) around your business name to make sure results match the phrase exactly and not just partially. This will help limit the number of irrelevant results you get, but may cut out some relevant ones as well.
- If you have a common restaurant name add location to the keyword phrase you use to weed out the Johnny’s Café in the next state over.
- Experiment with some common variations of your restaurant’s name to make sure you are catching all the references your customers might be using.
Google Alerts is a quick, free and easy way to help you manage your business reputation online. Start taking advantage of the power of Google today!