You have started a new restaurant business, and you hope to see it in the Michelin Guide someday, but what you need is good publicity to get customers rushing in through your restaurant doors.
In this digital era, you will obviously not run around sharing pamphlets and visiting cards for your business. Instead, what you can do is implement proper SEO for the restaurant business and see it grow. So, which SEO strategies can be beneficial for your business? Keep reading to know more.
1. Build & Optimize Your Website
The primary requirement for implementing SEO techniques is to have a proper website. So, try to build a responsive website with clear navigation, XML sitemaps, useful content, and amazing visuals.
Make sure that you have a ‘Contact Us’ section where you provide your restaurant address, phone number, and other contact details. Also, add other essential info such as operating hours, special offers, discounts, and other attractions available at your restaurant.
Adding a blog section to your website can help you attract more traffic and establish yourself as a thought leader for the food and beverage industry. By creating insightful content that the audience wants to read, you will automatically get your traffic rising high.
Try not to stuff too many keywords in your content and follow a proper structure of an SEO optimized content like including H1, H2, H3 tags, interlinking, proper keyword placement, etc.
2. Enlist Your Business in Various Online Directories
A lot of people search for restaurants on various business listing sites and directories. They want to see what people have to say about the ambiance, food quality, service, and cost before deciding where to go.
If you don’t get your restaurant business listed on these websites, then you’re losing out on a lot of potential customers. Creating your business listing on Google, Bing, and search directories like Yelp and Yellow Pages is a vital step in local SEO strategy.
3. Maintain Consistency
Restaurant rating sites like Zomato offer you complete details about a restaurant including its location, contact details, menu card, working hours, and reviews similar to local directories online. But what if the restaurant information varies on various websites?
For example, Zomato says your restaurant is operational from 11 AM-10 PM, while some other listing site says you’re open from 9 AM-11 PM. Which one has the right information? Don’t confuse your customers with outdated information, ensure that all the local listing websites have correct business info and they are updated from time to time.
4. Use Google Places to Get Discovered Locally
Using Google Places helps your business to get discovered locally. When you list your business in Google Places, it shows up in local searches with a snippet containing all the necessary information about your business.
Think of a situation where you’re famished and don’t have the time and patience to check online directories for suggestions. What do you do? You can look at what’s nearby using Google Places and accomplish your restaurant search easily.
5. Shine on Social Media
In 2019, your business is dead without social media. Before you hope that your potential customers will discover you from the listing website amidst a sea of other restaurants, grab their attention on social media. Utilize channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to share what’s new in your restaurant.
Are you getting a celebrity chef? Is there a stand-up act lined up for the weekend? Are you giving complimentary drinks with food for the women? Share it on social media, be witty, make puns, memes, and do anything to attract your customers. Get your customers into a #foodcoma!
6. Build Trust with Online Reviews
Another essential aspect of restaurant SEO is getting feedback. Customers loved your food and services? Don’t limit yourself to a feedback form; ask them to share their genuine reviews on Google and build your popularity. Soon, your restaurant name will spread through word of mouth, and you’ll find people from distant locations visiting you.
7. Localize Your Content
If you want to grow your business in a particular neighborhood and community, you have to write content that holds the sentiments of the local people and show up in local search results. So say that you want to open a Chinese specialty restaurant in the US, you should be writing about the basics of Chinese cuisine like their unique food preparation methods, special spices used in cooking, and how some traditional Chinese dishes were discovered.
8. Engage With Customers
Your social media efforts will invariably fail if you fail to engage with your audience. Creating social media posts without analyzing what your audience wants to read is like talking to a wall.
Social media is an excellent platform to engage with your audience and interact with them. Utilize this opportunity to reply to their direct messages, tweets, comments, and queries. The more you interact, the more they will feel like you’re valuing them. So never ignore your customers online.
9. Improve User Experience
Your users bring bread and butter for your business, so you’ll have to offer them a good user experience. Ensure that your website has clear CTAs and a simple interface to allow people to book tables, raise a query, or give feedback. If your customers cannot access your online services easily, then you may not be doing it right.
10. Monitor and Analyze the Outcomes
Finally, you need to monitor and analyze how your SEO efforts are working; SEO for restaurants is a gradual process and takes times. Set up Google Analytics and check the daily traffic to your website and blog.
You can also keep track of your competitors and see what they are ranking for. This way, you can take a cue and implement changes to your website accordingly. Start your SEO practices soon as it takes time to show favorable results.
Amidst the vast competition that exists in the food and beverage industry, you need to make your restaurant business stand out from the rest and increase the footfall. Doing SEO for restaurants will increase your visibility when people search for restaurants, and your business will grow positively.