Owning a restaurant is typically a real money-making business. People have to eat, and usually, do it three times a day or more. When folks are busy, out and about, or just do not have the time or energy to cook, then eating out is a serious convenience for them, which is one reason why the restaurant industry thrives so well in many developed nations.
Still, for all the inherent advantages, a restaurant owner still has to market to draw in the crowds. In this economy, that means taking part in search engine optimization. Keep reading to learn 4 specific SEO benefits that you can expect to enjoy as a restaurant owner.
1) Help local users find your location: Google has to lead the way in this, especially with updates to their core algorithm a few months ago, but every search engine is now trying in some form or fashion to cater to local users, especially who are searching on mobile devices. Small electronics like smartphones and tablets now account for half of Internet use, and it’s growing. When someone wants to find a restaurant, they don’t drive around looking or pull out a phone book; they whip out their phone! By optimizing your SEO for things like Google Maps, consumers who are ready for some food can find your place on a map, and get directions and hours, since Google is now showing them what’s closest based on their location at the time they search. Staying on top of Google Maps is very important. The app constantly updates with new and amazing features that your business can take advantage of right away.
2) Get the kind of diners hungry for what you offer: Not every person looking for something to eat necessarily looking for the closest options. They might be in the mood for something in particular and instead of searching for “restaurants Smithville,” they’re Googling “sushi Smithville” or “Smithville pizza.” Once you’ve established your presence on the search engines for local searchers, take it a step further and make sure they know what kind of cuisine you’re offering. You’ll not only draw traffic through the door, but stomachs aching and in the mood for what’s on your menu (which should be easily found online).
3) Manage your reputation: Once your restaurant location is on the search engines, particularly the maps, then consumers are going to have the chance to review your eating establishment online. Have your waitstaff and cashiers ask if diners found you online, and if so, would they mind reviewing you well. If you feel it’s not too cheesy, offer some coupon, discount, or drawing in exchange for a right word and rating. The more stars you get from, the more reviewers, the more likely your place is to be the winner of a ‘coin flip’ decision from someone not sure where to eat. It’s said that winning a popularity contest doesn’t matter, but it does.
4) Make social media a win-win scenario: A huge part of SEO for any business, restaurants or otherwise, is building backlinks, and for a consumer-facing industry, like food and beverage, then customer engagement through social media is critical. The real genius is pairing the two together. You want to have a robust presence on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, as well as posting content regularly. While most SEO professionals would advise most industries to post content that establishes them as an authority in their field, that might not apply to your restaurant unless you’re something specific, like a vegan establishment.
In any case, try and post content that is highly entertaining and amusing. It’s more likely to get shared and go a little viral. When you can, embed a quick blurb about a coupon, discount, or special at the end along with your website’s URL. You’ll entertain the masses and help them save a few bucks, and they’ll generate backlinks for your website, helping your standing in the search engine ranking positions.
There are many other SEO benefits and advantages that restaurants can harness the power of, but these 4 are the primary ones you want to focus on to start with. Just make sure not to neglect your website itself. It needs to be optimized for the search engines, but also load just as smooth on computers as it does mobile devices, conveying your address, menu, and hours.