Landing your restaurant on the right food blog can put you on the map for life, or at least the lifespan of a trending topic. But getting the attention of a food blogger isn’t the easiest task. That’s where Zomato comes in.
Zomato has a variety of tools that other online reviews platforms do not, including a blogger program. Top Zomato bloggers can help your restaurant attract a lot more business for a few different reasons.
First, I’ll explain everything I’ve learned about being a Zomato food blogger and what it means for restaurant owners. Then, I’ll tell you how you can take advantage of the program and mistakes to avoid.
What is a Zomato Blogger?
Of the large number of blogs available online, many of them are food-related. It’s one of the most popular topics to blog about. Who doesn’t love food?
Zomato harnessed this trend by creating a blogger program with Spoonbacks, the Zomato branded word for backlinks, as incentives. On their page explaining the role of a Zomato food blogger, they state:
“A Spoonback is an automatic link from a Zomato restaurant page to your blog post. You review the restaurant on your blog, and we’ll link to your post. The link appears in a special Blogs section on each Zomato restaurant page, city feed, your Food Journey, your profile page, and your followers’ feeds.”
These Spoonbacks give bloggers much-needed search engine optimization enhancement. For bloggers who know what they’re doing, the kind you’d want to write about your restaurant, this is a strong reason to be a Zomato Blogger. If the blogger’s site has strong enough domain authority (it ranks well on search engines), it will also boost the general search engine rankings of your restaurant’s Zomato page.
On the blogger’s review of your restaurant, the Spoonback is one of your embedded reviews widgets. Rather than the ones you use as a business, Zomato provides bloggers with public facing HTML codes that signal the Spoonback.
Even with all these tools available and food bloggers active everywhere in the world, you still have to do your half of the work. Zomato food bloggers won’t think twice about visiting your restaurant if your rating is low or your profile is completely inactive.
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How to Get Zomato Food Bloggers to Write About Your Restaurant
This is an ongoing process requiring great service and the ability to pay attention to your online reviews.
- Claim your Zomato listing and actively use it.
The first step in attracting someone to use a Spoonback for your restaurant is to actively use Zomato. What’s the point in a blogger putting effort into your profile if you’re not? If you’re not using Zomato and your restaurant hasn’t appeared on a food blog, your lack of activity might be the reason.
- Hang signs in your store that say you’re on Zomato.
A food blogger might come into your restaurant regularly and not know you’re on Zomato. Hang in-store signage indicating your Zomato profile. This will help spread the word that you take your reviews seriously and you’re open to honest feedback.
- Serve amazing food and leave a lasting impression.
Your food has to also inspire someone to tell a friend. This is the feeling that a blogger has when they decide to write a great review of a restaurant. Mediocre food and service don’t get you much feedback, but bad impressions will show themselves on the internet. Your plan to get on a food blog will backfire if the experience is terrible. Train your employees to give better service and make better food.
- Put Zomato Reviews on your website.
Inspire the potential food blogger who comes across your website. Show them your Zomato reviews embedded alongside your best Google, Facebook, and Yelp reviews. Paint the picture of what an experience at your restaurant is like so they want to come find out for themselves.
- Whatever you do, DO NOT offer an incentive.
Even with the temptation to pay food bloggers with huge follower counts, don’t do it. You won’t only violate Zomato policies, but you might actually break the law, too. It depends. Just let the reviews come in naturally. Make your restaurant “blog-worthy” on its own.
Beware of Project Clampdown and Violating Policies
That last step brings me to a really important point. Never solicit a good review on a food blog with money, discounts, or any other incentive. You can invite food bloggers to your restaurant or target them with ads. But never offer anything in exchange for a review, including free food.
Zomato is “clamping down” on anyone who violates their policies against solicitation. They recently deactivated over 300 user profiles of highly-active reviewers and began issuing warnings to restaurants. Project Clampdown has 3 main parts:
- Deactivate user profiles for people who have taken bribes or incentives for good reviews, including those who are suspected of leaving fake reviews.
- Send preliminary warnings to restaurants before posting a warning banner publicly on their profile. The warning banner lasts three months.
- Pay “vigilantes” in Zomato Cash, which can be used to buy food, for identifying both restaurants and users who are violating the terms.
Getting on the radar of a prominent food blogger isn’t worth the risk. Don’t violate the rules, just be aware that Zomato bloggers are out there. Find ways to draw them to your restaurant naturally.
Find a Food Blog
Another great way to get the attention of a food blogger is to start following them on social media. Interact with them on other channels with likes and comments. Just make sure you’re not overstepping the boundaries between good engagement and social media stalking.
How else would you recommend getting the attention of a top Zomato food blogger? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.