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Google relaunches Zagat

Google Apps Zagat famous restaurant review guides

which in 2011 was bought by Google

In 2012, Google integrated it into services like Google Maps and Google+ Local, hoping it would take off. As it turns out, it hasn’t been as successful as perhaps hoped for. In an effort to turn this around, Google has recently introduced a new Zagat site.

The updated Zagat site, launched July 29, 2013 takes the powerful review based service and adds some new features to hopefully make it more interesting and useful to users. Here is a brief overview of the changes introduced with the new site:

While this update or relaunch only focuses on restaurants for now, Gannon Hall, Group Product Manager and Head of Zagat noted: “Over the coming months we plan to expand to 50 U.S. and international destinations and cover shopping, hotels and other places of interest.”

What does this mean for my business?

If your business isn’t a restaurant and isn’t operating in the nine cities currently on the website (London, New York, LA, Houston, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington DC) these updated features admittedly do not mean much. But, the service is planned to expand to include more businesses, in more cities, in the coming months, this means that Zagat could become more relevant to your business profile.

The reason for this is due to the heavy integration with Google’s other products and services. Because Google uses Zagat ratings to influence its own ranking system, you can bet that Google will put a fair amount of weight behind this. If you are within this reach then you had better make sure your business is review ready.

How to make sure your business is ready to capitalize on Zagat

If you own a restaurant, shop or hotel there are x number of things you should do today to ensure you don’t get left behind.

  1. Be on Google+ – Google+ is important to Google. It is here where all the relevant information is stored for Google search results – for businesses at least. If you have a Google+ page that is active, you will begin to feature higher in local searches. This improves the possibility of people visiting, and even reviewing you on Zagat.
  2. Make sure all of your information is correct on Google+ – If you have incorrect information like operating hours, phone number, address etc. customers will be turned off, and this could influence a negative review.
  3. Contact Zagat and ask them to review you – If you think you have what it takes, why not contact Zagat and ask them to include you in their next survey. Checkout the website to see what you need exactly, and for contact information as well.
  4. Encourage your patrons to review you – If you are in one of the nine cities, encourage your patrons to share your Zagat review and even provide one of their own.
  5. Make sure you have a good product! – This may sound lame, but Zagat is still seen to be a prestigious review service. If you have a poor quality product it goes without saying that this will not help your review score, and could drive business away. So, be sure that you are serving the best.

If you would like to learn more about Zagat and how restaurants or businesses could take advantage of this service, please contact us today.

Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org.

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