Running a restaurant is a wonderful decision but can quickly become a marketing nightmare without appropriate decision-making. Before building a full-fledged marketing plan, it’s important to understand the power of search engine optimization (SEO). This is one of the strongest and most reliable digital marketing techniques in the world and can yield tremendous results over time.
For those looking to rank on major search engines, it’s time to understand what works and what doesn’t as a restaurant owner.
1) Use Local SEO Strategies
Local SEO is the name of the game for restaurant owners.
In general, your average customer is going to be from around town. Therefore, it doesn’t make sense to target someone sitting halfway across the planet!
With a highly organized local SEO plan, it becomes easier to generate leads from the area. For example, you should look to target local keywords (i.e. best restaurant in X city) as a way to draw people in. These keywords are great because they’re often easier to rank for as well. You don’t have as much competition if the keyword is reserved for your city.
Along with finding the right keywords, it’s also smart to claim your Google My Business listing as soon as possible. This listing shows up on the right side whenever someone types your restaurant’s name in Google. The listing can have all relevant information such as your address, name, phone number, and more.
2) Encourage Reviews on Your Google Listing
Think about how customers react while deciding on a restaurant to visit. They often head to Google, type in the name, and go through customer reviews before making up their mind. If that’s the case, why not encourage positive reviews on your Google My Business listing? This is one of the best ways to gain traction and build a solid SEO campaign.
A highly ranking restaurant is going to do well in sealing the deal as soon as new leads come through. You will have less “selling” to do when the reviews say it all.
This has to be kept in mind and encouraged when it is time to move forward with a restaurant-friendly SEO campaign. If the reviews aren’t good, you are going to be fighting an uphill battle for months.
3) Build Strong Social Media Accounts
All restaurants should have active and engaging social media accounts. These accounts are a must in the modern-age with more and more potential leads using these platforms on a daily basis.
In fact, studies show many people spend most of their time on platforms such as Facebook or Instagram compared to any other media-friendly option. This means it’s important to engage with them through a targeted and active social media account.
Along with these accounts, it’s also important to link them to each other and to your website. This ensures people are able to get to your website if they ever want to take a look at the menu or what you’re all about.
4) Remain Mobile-Friendly
A website that isn’t mobile-friendly will get dinged by Google’s algorithm. Studies have shown there’s a significant emphasis on being mobile-friendly and any website that doesn’t pass Google’s test gets pushed down the rankings. You want to make sure the website’s theme is mobile-friendly and works well on all types of devices. This is the bare minimum as a restaurant owner.
5) Get Your Foundation Right
Do the basics right before moving forward with your SEO campaign.
For example, you want to make sure the website runs well, doesn’t have spelling mistakes, and uses the right keywords. This is the least a business can do as they look to move forward with an SEO plan.
6) Stay Patient
Restaurant owners have to think about the long-term while building a brand-new SEO campaign. It’s not going to happen in a matter of minutes and that shouldn’t be your goal.
Instead, it’s smarter to emphasize a methodical approach where something new happens with each passing day.
For example, one day you can update the website and another day can be reserved for new blog posts. This is all about designing an all-encompassing marketing strategy that yields great results.
If you stay patient, the rewards are going to come in the form of targeted leads.
SEO can be a challenging battle for restaurant owners with so many things to juggle at once. While a restaurant owner should be focusing on tangible qualities such as their food and staffing, it’s also important to build a proper SEO campaign.
Over the years, some of the most popular restaurants in the world have harnessed high SEO rankings into thousands of new customers. This is the power of SEO and what it can do for a restaurant.
Take the time to build a unique SEO campaign that’s ideal for your restaurant and its needs.