Every restaurant wants more bums on seats and sorting out SEO (search engine optimisation) is one way to do it.
If you run a restaurant, chances are that you’ve got more important things on your mind than SEO, but it isn’t some dark art, so you don’t need to feel intimidated by it.
Here are some basic steps you can take to help send more traffic to your site and more customers to your restaurant.
To ensure your page ranks higher, you need to optimise your site around certain keywords.
To choose these keywords, you need to research what kind of things your customers are searching for.
One really handy tool you should be using the Google AdWords Keyword Planner. Try out a couple of keywords that relate to your restaurant, for example, ‘Italian restaurant London’, to see how many times that keyword is searched each month and how many other sites are trying to rank for it.
Use the information the tool provides to choose which specific strings of keywords you want to target, looking out for ones with lots of searches, but little competition.
Claim Your Google+ Page
If you haven’t already, ensure that your restaurant has a listing on Google+. To do this, simply search for it on Google Maps to see if Google has already listed it.
If it hasn’t already been claimed, simply click ‘Manage This Page’ to claim it as your own and verify yourself as the business owner.
Once you’ve done this, make sure the listing is filled out in as much detail as possible and provide as much helpful information as possible to customers.
Optimise the Homepage for a Specific Keyword
When Google crawls your website it sees all of the HTML code and rapidly scans it for relevant information to decide how far up the page it will rank you.
This is crucial to making sure you’re visible to potential customers and we recommend that you focus on just one or two keywords to optimise the page for, instead of casting your net too wide.
If you’re using a CMS such as WordPress, we recommend an SEO plugin such as Yoast SEO, which will help you to optimise the site.
Getting listed on some local and national directories is important for the SEO of any business, but especially in the restaurant industry.
Make sure you head to sites such as these, as well as Yell, Lacartes and more and keep your listings up to date and relevant. Click here for a list of some of the best free business directories in the UK.
Have Your Menu On Your Site
Your menu should be one of the first things you place on your website, as it’s one of the main things that people want to see when they click through.
To see the menu is one of the most common reasons people search for a restaurant, so ensure that it’s up there for Google to crawl.
Ideally, you should create a separate page for the menu and make sure not to just add it as an image, as Google won’t be able to detect this.
Make Sure You’re Mobile Friendly
Mobile is a hugely popular way to browse the web these days, and there are now officially more searches carried out on mobile than desktop according to Google.
This is really important for your site, and Google now prioritises sites which are mobile-friendly.
Having a responsive website is absolutely crucial these days, so get one if you haven’t already.
You’ll also want to look into your page’s mobile load speed and what the general user experience is like for mobile users.
Get Good Reviews
Actual reviews from customers is obviously a great way to show, not just other potential customers, but also Google, that your restaurant can be trusted.
As we mentioned earlier, the restaurant industry is one where people rely on reviews the most, which also means they’re likely to leave one too.
Create a reviews page on your site to allow people to leave their comments for others to read, and encourage customers to do so, perhaps with a note on their receipt?
Engage on Social Media
The exact impact of social media on SEO has long been debated (you can read more about that over at Search Engine Journal), but either way, it can’t be denied that it helps make your customer’s journey easier, which is always beneficial to your SEO.
Develop a strong social media strategy and presence and make sure you engage with your followers, and in turn, they should hopefully influence others to follow you and visit your restaurant.
Create Unique Content
Publishing unique content is another big thing that Google looks out for. This could be absolutely anything, whether it’s background on the restaurant and its chefs, new recipes or ingredients which are coming in, or how you source your ingredients.
Any engaging and unique content is a big plus for SEO. Remember that content doesn’t just have to be text either, it could be video too and video has been shown to get great engagement.
Provide Location Info
This is especially important if you just have the one location, as your customers need to be able to find you.
To ensure that you rank for local search terms, make sure that you include detailed information about where the restaurant is actually located, as well as possibly a map. The more clues you can give Google about where you are, the better.
So there you have your top ten SEO tips for the restaurant business. A lot of it is common sense, but the most important thing is to keep all your online listings are consistent and relevant so that Google has as much information to go on to rank you.
If you require any further advice SEO advice for your restaurant or small business, feel free to get in touch with us here at Liquid Bubble.