Digital marketing is taking over every industry these days, including the restaurant business as well. However, social media is not the only factor that makes up for a successful online presence; it, in fact, has many aspects including Search Engine Optimization (SEO) that contributes to it. If your SEO is done well, it will drive in-store sales and increase your possibility of getting discovered dramatically.
Importance of SEO in Restaurants
Nowadays, with smartphones and tablets, SEO has become very critical because people search for restaurants and services through mobile apps and mobile browsers. Google has become our go to for any question we might have. Hence it’s imperative that Google lists you effectively when your potential customer comes looking for you. But, if you think Google randomly lists the search results then you are wrong, critical algorithms and proper SEO is what contributes to effective search ranking. Effective SEO also helps in getting your listing displayed in the search results before your competitors. It helps you put your restaurant on the map and improve its ranking in online search results. It has a high return on investment because it puts your restaurant across people who are looking for what you offer at that particular moment and are actively searching.
How to do SEO for Restaurants
1. Fresh Content
We have stressed it quite often that having a website is a must for a restaurant’s online presence. Having an SEO optimized website is even more important as then only would it start giving results to you.
One of the best ways to boost your ranking on Google is to update fresh content on a regular basis but it’s essential that the content you put up is unique, but still relevant to your restaurant and your audience. Some ways of creating engaging contents could be:
Blog: A weekly or bi-monthly blog with latest whereabouts of your restaurant like events or a new dish that is added to the menu or something about your signature dish. If your content is relevant to your customers or to potential customers, it will ensure an increase in website visitors which will result in better SEO ranking and higher footfalls at the restaurant.
Review: Ask customers to review or organize tasting sessions for influencers and publish those on your website and social media pages. It will act as a good source of regular content but will make your customers feel special and part of your success journey. It is a great sales tool to attract more people.
Photos and Videos: Share photos of your dish, of the event that’s taking place or share videos of what happens in the kitchen, photos and videos tends to grab a lot of eyeballs and attracts more attention of the audience and are easier to engage with. Hence, it is a great way to attract more visitors to your website and to your restaurant while easily improving your SEO.
2. Use Local Keywords
Most of the visitors to your restaurant are going to be people in your city or in your neighborhood or someone who are looking for a cuisine that you serve. Keywords essentially are words and phrases that Internet user’s type into search engines like Google to find websites for something they are looking for.
Use keywords on your website that are geographically targeted and include the words most relatable to the cuisine you serve, that will improve your chances of being seen every time some uses the relevant keywords. Finding the right keywords that best describes your restaurant is the key to positively improve your SEO through keywords. There are many tools available online that assist you in creating an effective list of keywords. Use Google AdWords’ Keyword Planner to analyze the popular keywords and identify the competition.
For example: If you serve Mexican Food in Mumbai, some of your basic keywords will be things words and phrases like
- Mexican cuisine Mumbai
- Mumbai Mexican food
- Mexican food in Mumbai
3. Directory and Search Engine listing
Directory and Search Engine Listings might be the easiest and the most essential part of starting your SEO. Search engines like Yahoo, Google and Bing allow businesses to become a part of their listing network by adding accurate and extensive information about your restaurant. All the online directories are like an interconnected ecosystem; the smaller directories compile their data from the larger ones. So, make sure you keep your data up to date on one of the larger directories like yellow pages and keep a track of the smaller ones to see if the changes have been made.
4. Descriptive Titles
Use short but descriptive titles describing your business to the fullest. Many of the search engines use titles to display search results. This means that when someone looks up a search term on a search engine like Google, it will try to match the search question with the most relevant title; hence having a very short yet crisp headline is very essential. When thinking of titles, think what you would search for if you were looking up a restaurant. Keep it relevant to your content but crisp enough to drive the audience to your page. For example, a perfect description for the homepage of a Mexican restaurant in Mumbai would be “Serving authentic Mexican cuisine in Mumbai”
5. Meta Description
They only appear as the small description of one or two lines that is displayed under the title in search results is the Meta description. It’s most important function is to provide enough information about your business and increase the number of clicks on your website.
The meta description needs to be crisp and appealing enough to draw more people to click on the website link. The right use of keywords helps the search engine in easily matching you to the right search query. It needs to include all relevant information that people might want to see when they search for a restaurant like a cuisine, location or availability of a bar because search engines will tend to pick up keywords from here.
6. Get Rid of Duplicate Listing
There may be a number of duplicate listings under your restaurant’s name. It is important to get rid of the fake listings to add authenticity to your restaurant’s online reputation. You can get rid of them by registering and claiming your restaurant. This would help in higher search ranking of your restaurant and the overall SEO.
7. Google Plus Presence
Customers often look up the address of the restaurant they are about to visit. Register your restaurant with Google pages with your complete address and phone number. This result would show up when a customer simply types in a relevant keyword as well. Since Google gives preference to its own content, Google Plus pages play a signifcant role in the SEO for restaurant websites and online presence.
Remember, your ultimate goal is to drive potential customers to visit your restaurant and not just increase visitors to your website. Keep your content interesting and significant so you can inspire people to visit your restaurant after looking at the website.
Try these SEO for restaurants tips for your food business, and let us know how they worked out for you!