5 Tips to Improve your Restaurant SEO Strategy

In such a competitive industry, a strong Restaurant SEO strategy can hand customers to you on a plate.

As a restaurant owner, one of your main goals will inevitably be to gain more publicity and attract more customers through your doors. However, in order to achieve this goal, it’s essential to do at least a little bit of Restaurant focused SEO for your website.

If you’re not familiar with SEO (search engine optimisation) it can be easy to feel a little intimidated by it, but there’s no reason why you should feel this way.

In fact, search engine optimisation is one of the top marketing strategies for restaurants, other than having an online ordering system. In order to ensure that your restaurant gets the most from its website, all you need to know is the basics. In order to help you out, we’ve put together this list of a few good SEO techniques that no restaurant owner should ignore for their website.

Set Up Google+ and list your business

One of the first things that you should do when opening your restaurant is claim the Google+ listing for it.

With a Google+ page, your restaurant’s website will rank higher in Google’s search engine results. So, how do you claim a Google+ page as belonging to your business? The process is quite simple – all you will need to do is carry out a search for your restaurant on Google, and if it is listed, navigate to the page. Then, select ‘Manage This Page’, and sign in with your Google account.

Once you are signed in, you will be required to verify the fact that you are the actual owner of the restaurant. There are two different ways in which you can verify ownership. The first method requires you to receive a telephone call at the phone number which is on file, or you can have Google send a postcard containing a verification code through the mail to the address on file. Once you have received the code, you will need to enter it online for verification. If there is no listing available for your restaurant, you can easily set up your own Google+ page for it, free of charge.

Keyword Research

In order to rank higher in search engine results, it’s important to optimise your site for certain keywords related to your business.

But, how do you know which keywords are the right ones to choose when it comes to what your customers are searching for?

Fortunately, there are a number of different tools which you can use for this, including the Google AdWords Keywords Tool. When using the tool, you should begin with searching for strings of keywords which relate to your business.

For example, you could search the name of your city along with ‘restaurants’. You will then be able to see the number of times that the particular keyword is searched for each month, and any competition that it has. You can then use this information to choose which keywords you are going to target on your website, or simply use it to choose the keywords that you will run Google Ads on. The goal is to choose keywords that receive a high number of searches, but have a low level of competition.

Publish Your Menu

If you do not have your restaurant’s menu published on the site, you are missing out on a potentially large number of new customers.

Users commonly use web search engines such as Google to find menus for specific restaurants, so it’s important to ensure that yours is on your site where it can be crawled by Google. Including a dedicated ‘Menu’ page on your site will ensure that it is easy to find, and ensure that you use HTML, rather than an image, for your menu. This enables search engines to crawl the page so that your menu will appear in any relevant search engine results.

Including a downloadable PDF version of the menu also allows for additional reach through word of mouth and for easier consumption on mobile.

Get Reviews

Customer reviews are one of the best ways to encourage new customers to come and dine in your restaurant, but did you know that they’re also great for improving SEO as well?

When Google sees that your business is getting a lot of positive recognition, it’s possible that you could get a boost in search engine rankings that are relevant to your business. Creating a ‘Reviews’ page on your website makes it easy for both your visitors and search engine crawlers to discover. Encourage your customers to leave positive reviews of your restaurant, and feature the best ones on your site.

Remember that restaurants are a social activity and a strong SEO strategy compliments an already great restaurant experience. Once you have them finding you online, make sure they are so impressed in person that they have the need to hop back online and tell the world.

Mobile-Friendliness

These days, we do everything on our smartphones – whether it’s searching for new products to buy, doing shopping, banking, or of course finding the best restaurants in town. Considering that so many people rely heavily on mobile devices these days, it’s vital that your website both looks great and functions well on any mobile device, whether it’s a small iPhone or a large-screen tablet.

Not only that, but Google actually ranks mobile-friendly websites higher in the mobile search results. Making sure that you have a mobile-friendly, responsive design for your website is a sure way to get a boost in the search rankings as well as earn a good reputation from your customers. You can even check your site with the free Mobile-Friendly Testing tool provided by Google.

Fortunately, restaurant marketing focuses on visual persuasion over lots of text description, and for mobile users:  an optimised picture truly does speak a thousand words.

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SoBold offers expert Hospitality Website Design and SEO for your restaurant – Find out why we’re the leading Digital Marketing Consultancy in London.

 

As a restaurant owner, you’ll know that it takes a lot more than just tasty food to entice new customers through your door. With more and more people searching for new places to eat online, it’s important to make sure that your website is optimised.

The power of Instagram Restaurant Marketing

Food and dining occupies a huge part of the lives of many individuals. Learn about how Instagram Restaurant Marketing can drive customers to your business.

Food isn’t only about being able to try new dishes and experience new tastes, it’s also about the whole experience that comes with dining. Good food, interesting dining spots and great places to find tasty food and drinks to enjoy socially tend to rank quite high on people’s concerns. Many people like to not only share their own dining experiences, but also keep up to date on what others are eating, where they’re dining, and even how they’re dressed for it.

Instagram is a popular social sharing site which takes advantage of smartphone technology to encourage regular internet users to share both photos and short videos with the world. There are a number of different benefits for restaurants when it comes to using Instagram as a social sharing platform.

Whilst most restaurants employ a restaurant digital marketing strategy which uses social sharing sites such as Facebook and Twitter, it’s important not to underestimate Instagram, which has long been known as the social sharing site for uploading pictures of food. Along with creating their own Instagram account and using it to share interesting and creative photos of not only the prepared food but other aspects of the restaurant such as the preparation process, décor and more, restaurants can also encourage their customers to share photos of their experience with the Instagram world, too.

Cover All Aspects

Many customers will be eager to learn more about their favourite foods from a particular restaurant. Not only do they enjoy being able to see fully prepared dishes as they are brought to the table, but it’s also interesting to get an insight into the other aspects of their favourite dining place, for example where the food is supplied from, how it is prepared, who’s serving it, and which are the best drinks to accompany it. Showing picture of your employees serving customers or preparing for big events is also a good way to show great customer service and get your followers fully engaged. Post both photos and short videos, and do so regularly in order to keep your customers coming back for more.

Introducing New Foods

Instagram is an ideal platform for introducing new foods or signature beverages to your customers. Because it’s photo-based and there’s no need to spend time proofreading and perfecting copy, it’s ideal for managers to use, even if you’re a little pressed for time. Taking photos of any new and interesting menu additions or an enticing new cocktail from the bar will encourage customers to come back through the doors and discover more about what you have on offer.

Encourage Customers to Share

Many customers will trust something that they know has come from another customer rather than the restaurant itself. For this reason, it’s a good idea to encourage your customers to share photos of the food that they’re eating and their overall experience when visiting your restaurant. The best photos could even be displayed at the restaurant. A great way to get your customers to take more photographs is to hold a competition – for example, the best photo gets a free meal!

 

Read more on restaurant marketing – Why your restaurant needs digital marketing

 

Sharing with Other Sites

Another great thing about Instagram as a choice of social sharing platform is that it is possible to effortlessly share photos that you upload to Instagram with other social media sites, such as Facebook or Twitter. This makes it easy to sync your Instagram updates with your other social media marketing endeavours, giving you the chance to put your photographs in front of an even wider audience. Along with that, by syncing your Instagram photographs to other social sharing sites, you’ll be able to generate interest with your other social media customers who may then go on to follow you on Instagram.

Optimising Photo Quality

Last but not least, it’s important to make sure that the photos that you put on Instagram are of optimum quality. To ensure this, use the smartphone camera app when taking photos, rather than the Instagram camera. This will give you a better range of features, for example optical zoom, depending on the smartphone that you use.

Food is one of the most commonly uploaded subjects to Instagram, making it the perfect choice of social media for restaurants!

Why Your Restaurant Needs Digital Marketing

Managing a business is certainly no easy task, especially if said business is in the restaurant industry. In this fiercely competitive industry, acquiring the skills, tools and expertise to ensure that your business stands out from the rest can be a very daunting task. So, where exactly do you start? The answer is, of course, digital marketing. With around three-quarters of smartphone users accessing restaurant information on the go and 33% of customers admitting to being influenced by seeing menus and prices on mobile devices than any other platform, now is definitely the best time to invest in more digital marketing for your restaurant.

Developing an Identity

One of the biggest mistakes that many restaurant owners make when just starting out is failing to develop a brand and identity. Your brand is important as it distinguishes you from your competitors, and articulates the type of experience and food which your customers will enjoy on a typical visit. Digital marketing is vital for helping you to maintain a consistent branding strategy when reaching out to your new and existing customers online.

Increase Customer Loyalty

In order to increase trust and loyalty amongst your customer base, it’s important to get a little personal. Having a digital marketing strategy which is implemented through the use of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter can help your customers to keep in touch and stay updated on a more personal level, providing them with a platform that they can use to actively support your brand through sharing, for example.

Online Feedback

Online feedback is becoming one of the first things people look for when choosing a new restaurant, and is becoming increasingly more vital to business success. Having a good digital marketing strategy makes you better able to handle reviews on sites such as TripAdvisor or Yelp, so it’s important to ensure that these pages work with you and help your business.

Use of Photos

If you approach two restaurants and one has tantalising, inviting photographs displayed of the foods that they serve, you’ve got a higher chance of opting for that one. It’s true – people eat with their eyes first, and posting photographs should be a big part of your digital marketing strategy.

Customer Promotions

One of the best things about using digital marketing is that you can use it in order to inform customers about promotions and special offers in real time. For example, if you want to bring in more customers on a particularly slow day, you can post a special menu or reduced prices on your social media pages for customers to see, no matter where they are. If you use an app, you can even go one step further and send out push notifications, too.

Digital marketing is becoming more and more vital for businesses in the food industry.