People explore different restaurant options on the search engines before they pick one. Boosting your restaurants’ visibility online can be tricky. Though there are plenty of approaches, it may get confusing and time-consuming as search engine algorithms keep changing and it may get tough to keep up with it. SEO for restaurant websites is demanding an edge over the competition. SEO isn’t about “gaming” the search engines. Outbrain did research which proved search engines have overtaken social media by 300% and are the no.1 drivers of traffic to content. People search online to look for new restaurants in a location, promo offers, new cuisine, discounts and more before they choose one. Search engine’s fundamental intention is to give relevant answers for all the search queries. The hospitality industry is unique and has several opportunities to attract new people. And, the content that is optimized for search engines plays an immense role in the website’s ranking. Search engine bots crawl your site to understand your business, who you are, how are you relevant to searchers and more. And, if the content you shared isn’t related to your restaurant business search engines consider your website irrelevant. If you want to rank well in search engines results, create content that is useful for your target audience. SEO rightly done can help you improve the visibility of your restaurant websites and get more customers.
Follow these Quick Tips on SEO for Restaurants
1. Have a Website for Your Restaurant
If your restaurant website is not optimized for search results, people may never know about your restaurant. Google says, 43% of people look for restaurants online when they are looking for a place to dine-in. Traditional marketing still has several benefits for restaurants. But restaurant owners who haven’t implemented SEO yet, are doing their wallets a disservice. SEO is the essential element of a global digital marketing strategy for restaurants. Your restaurant website should have online-booking option to book a table, customer reviews, and more. When they visit your restaurant website, regardless of the device they use, they should get an extraordinary navigational experience.
2. Content Marketing for Restaurant
Search engines favor the websites which consistently share content that is useful and engaging for the searchers. If you have a robust content marketing strategy, you can stand out from your competition. Also, the content that is relevant to your locality will help you rank better in your geography. Use keywords that are relevant to your restaurant and specific to your location. Don’t go overboard. You can write about “Chef Special”, “Happy Hours Offers”, “Festive offers” and more. These are the things people look for when they are exploring restaurants. Generating personalized content helps you to drive quality traffic to your restaurant website. Write content with long-tail search terms like “Chinese restaurant with free wifi in New York near Central Park”. Combining multiple low traffic keywords can help you get more quality traffic. See what are in our area looking for and use those long-tail search terms to create content that is both relevant to your target audience and has good engagement rate.
3. Submit Website to Search Engines
One of the best ways to optimize your restaurant website is by updating your page titles and meta descriptions. You can start by creating a unique page title for all your web pages and submit them to the search engines. Websites benefit from effective SEO. A unique title for each page helps search engines to understand its relevance. This way you can use optimize your page titles using relevant keywords to target and rank better. Create webmaster accounts on the Google and Bing and submit the sitemap of your website as and when you create a new page. The best way is to inform search engines about the new content on your site is by submitting your website’s sitemap.xml file to Search Engines, everytime you update/add any piece of content.
4. Leverage Social Channels
Leveraging social channels is a great way to engage customers online and attract more traffic to your website. Many social media management tools can be integrated with your site to promote and manage your website content. You may automate these tools to share every new content you post on your website to your social channels without any extra effort. Having a strong social media presence can help you improve the brand reputation of your restaurant. When people see the advertisements and other relevant posts regarding your restaurant on the various online channel, they will start recognizing your restaurant. When they are looking for a restaurant in your location, they may consider your place as well.
5. Location Based SEO
A restaurant is a local entity and people visiting your property are the ones who live or work close to your vicinity – making your business local by nature. Location-based SEO helps you to optimize your website to get more local visibility. So, when people in your area are looking for restaurants, search engines will show them your restaurant in the search results. The search engines understand your restaurant is in a particular location, and it will start showing your restaurant more in search results for that specific geography.
6. Get Listed in Directories
Getting listed on the business directories helps you to influence the search engines and establish a location for your business. Claim and optimize your restaurant on business listings like “Google My Business”. Fill in the exact business name, address, business number, and website that is mentioned on your all other online entities. It helps search engines to understand that the business details on the site and business listing are same. Search engines will recognize your restaurant for that location. When people look for restaurants in your area, you get a better chance at ranking well in search results.
7. Omni-channel Communication
Continually sharing your website content with subscribers, you keep your guests updated about your business. You can use channels like email, Whatsapp message (Whatsapp for Business) or an SMS. Omni-channel communication will improve your restaurants’ conversions.
8. Optimize Your Website Speed and Responsiveness
Your restaurant website is a graphics-heavy site. And, the photos, videos and more play an important role in marketing your restaurant. But, they can also adversely impact the website’s page loading time and can hurt your SEO. Your website visitors will leave before you have a chance to engage them if your web pages take a lot of time to load. Your users will get a better user experience on your website if the web pages load in no time. Search engines will monitor your page loading time. They calculate the time your website’s server takes to respond when it tries to load a web page. Heavy-graphics website usually tends to load slower compared to the ones with a few of them. If you don’t want to impact your restaurant online ranking, consider optimizing the photos, images, videos or any other graphics you have on your website. Compressing all the graphics before uploading them will ensure that your website loads faster on any device, particularly on a mobile device. People who land on your restaurant site may exit almost immediately if it is taking a long time to load. Meaning, you aren’t even getting a chance to engage him/her. Search engines identify this behavior and factor it into your rankings. There are tools that you could use to compress and resize the graphics that you plan to upload on your website. When website loads faster, your users are getting a better engagement and user experience. You are not only improving your search engine ranking but also have a better chance to attract more guests from searches.
According to the Google, 19% of people look for restaurants from their mobile devices. And, there is a high possibility of them visiting your restaurant within the next 24 hours. Having a website that is optimized for mobile search results can help your searchers to use their mobile navigation system and reach your restaurant. Also, they can quickly contact you through their mobile phones in case they find it difficult to find your location. Search engines like the website that make it easier for people to find relevant information. While picking a template for your restaurant, pick a responsive one to engage customers on all devices. Regardless of the device, they should get extraordinary navigational experience and seamless booking experience.
9. Insights on Web Traffic using Website Analytics Tools
Know how your website content is performing by using website analytics tools. You can run the analytics report on your site and understand if your SEO strategy is performing well. The website analytics tool will help you understand the traffic to web pages, engagement rate, session time, and the bounce rate. The report will also help you understand the trends and the demographics of the people who show interest in your restaurant. It will help you to optimize your marketing strategy and the selling channels to engage your guests better.
10. Logic of SEO
Knowing what your guests are looking online can providing the same is the only logic of a robust SEO strategy. Use tools to research the search terms that they use to find a business like yours. Plan your SEO strategy that is boosts your local presence. Your end goal should be to make people book a table from your website and walk-in to dine in. Content management plays an indispensable role in SEO for restaurants. Optimizing your website for search results can help you get more visibility and attract more customers to your restaurant. more visibility and attract more customers to your restaurant.