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      • Why you should Google your own coffee shop today

      • About six weeks ago, we told you how to get your customers to sell your coffee for you. The blog was all about how to get recommendations online and the importance of social proof in attracting new customers and increasing your turnover. Then this week we came across a coffee shop directory specifically for coffee shops. There aren’t many of those, so we thought we’d give you restaurant, sandwich bar and coffee shop owners a bit more direction on increasing your profile.

        Firstly, that independent coffee shop directory. Chances are that you’re not on there. And the reason we know that is we searched the directory for “coffee” in a lovely little market town we know of – one where half the residents are complaining there are too many coffee shops and the other half are busy sitting in all of those coffee shops, whiling away the hours sociably. The result? Zero. Not one of the independent coffee shops that we know serve great coffee in that town was actually listed. Now, it might be that this directory doesn’t get many visitors. But you get a free listing on a specialist coffee website – and you may even be the only coffee shop locally to take the time to do this. If you’ve got a website for your coffee shop or eatery – and you absolutely should, even if it’s a relatively simple site - then your shop listing in the directory will have a link to your website. Helpful. And extra helpful when you consider that Google will take that link as an endorsement, which helps push your website higher up the search results. [Here’s a quickie for the more tech-minded among you. The links on this particular directory are marked “no follow”. That’s generally taken to mean that Google effectively ignores them as an endorsement and they offer no SEO (search engine optimisation) value and won’t help your search results. But we’ve seen plenty of tested results which shows that actually Google does value no-follow links – so you could be in for an extra boost anyway.]

        If you’re not listed on there, change that today.

        Secondly, a quick recap of the sites we already told you that you should list your business and where you can ask loyal customers to leave public reviews:

        Google business pages, Facebook, TripAdvisor, Trustpilot and Yahoo Local Listings. Checked you’re there? Great. Not yet checked? Do it today.

        Lastly, we thought we’d mention a few more places where it’s worth making sure you’ve either added your business or, if you’ve been automatically added, claimed your listing.

        https://www.yell.com/

        https://www.yelp.co.uk/

        https://www.zomato.com

        And if you want to build customer recommendations directly into your website, you (with your website developer) might want to take a look at managing your review profile on a review engine like TrustPilot (open platform, where users are free to review any business) or Feefo (closed platform, managed by invite only).

        There’s your next marketing to-do list. Visit all of these websites, add your eatery or coffee shop if it isn’t already listed, “claim” your listing if it is and make sure all the details are correct, and start asking your customers for reviews. And don’t forget, if you’re seeing any negative reviews, don’t ignore them – get on there and answer any criticism politely and humbly. It’s possible to turn a bad review into something positive, or at the very least give your business the benefit of the doubt in potential customers’ eyes.