Google has just rolled out a new feature that US restaurants, bars and diners are already making use of – displaying menus inside their search results.
We already know that using structured data tags on your website means that Google will display Rich Snippets; additional information about your location, products or services right in their search results.
Carry out any search that includes the display of Rich Snippets data, and you’ll immediately see that the listing grabs your attention much more effectively than any regular listings that may surround it.
When people search for restaurants, they are increasingly doing so on mobile devices. People make last minute decisions when they are in places they don’t know, in their hometown, or just want inspiration. Ensuring that your listing stands out and grabs the attention of potential diners gives you greater visibility over your competitors, resulting in more bums on seats in your restaurant.
What is Google menus?
All a user needs to do, is search for a place to eat and include ‘menu’ in the search string. This results in Google returning sample items from that restaurants menu in the search results. I should stress however, that this is currently not working universally for all restaurants and it is currently only available in America.
Where is Google getting it’s menu information from?
Google menus leave a number of questions unanswered, principally, where is Google getting this data from? With so many restaurants that still don’t have up to date menus on their website, how can do they stand to take advantage of this? Is there some kind of structured data markup needed to highlight data and if so, what is it? Is Google pulling all of its data from individual websites or somewhere else?
Image courtesy of Google
Get ready for Google menus now and stay ahead of your competitors
It’s clearly still early days, and whilst the feature has gone live in America, full roll out may still be some time away here in the UK.
There is currently no solid information about what restaurants need to do to take advantage of Google menus, but you can bet that it will be rolled out here in the UK within the next few months, and we expect to see more details emerge over the coming weeks.
Having your menu shown right there in the search results is going to be a powerful way of attracting customers to you and helping you to stand out from your competitors.
Having a responsive or mobile optimised website and a menu that customers can download or view on your website is still going to be of critical importance and shouldn’t be overlooked, but Google menus looks set to be a feature you need to be aware of and ready to take advantage of, as soon as it’s available outside of the U.S.