As I was eating sushi last night I was thinking about what drives traffic to a restaurant besides a flashy neon sign, unique and funny street advertising, or a Yelp review that grabs your attention. There's much more an establishment can do to stand out from the rest. Our sense of taste is important and the competition among restaurants is intense, and you’ll need to give your all to be successful.
Force0six will help you out with these great restaurant marketing ideas and SEO strategies that promise to improve your business and get attention from growling stomachs everywhere! Lets take a look at a few ideas to boost your onsite visits and search ranking with Google and Bing.
Focus on the Customer
Nothing in business is more important than focusing on the customer. Whenever Google addresses SEO, they say it’s a great strategy for giving web users a better experience as they use the web and that includes websites. When you create a website you’re creating an experience for your target customers.
What Google and other search engines are trying to do is provide the best content and experience on the web for certain search terms. If you go into your SEO strategy with the idea that it’s about the web user or the customer first then you’re starting out in the right frame of mind.
Do it right from the beginning! The most successful planning process begins with a customer need. Your whole marketing strategy, from the product development stage on, is based on fulfilling that need better than any competitor.
Register on Restaurant Directories
We’re talking about YellowPages, Dex, Yelp, Foursquare and any other regional directories. Sign up with these sites and provide a correct address and description. This will help people find you and search engines appreciate that. The more you address is listed the more likely Google is to list the correct address and allow people to find you.
The important piece of restaurant SEO and local restaurant SEO involves listing with Google+. Setting up your restaurant’s Google+ account is as important as setting up your Yelp account. Here’s why: When you search a business within Google, Google’s Knowledge Graph provides the business’s details in the sidebar. Google’s Knowledge Graph gathers a large chunk of its info from Google+, so having your business set up on Google+ is a huge bonus, as having your restaurant appear via Google’s Knowledge Graph allows for more prime search real estate.
Also, Social media marketing strategies (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter) are an undeniable force in today’s world. Pamphlets and delivery menus slipped under doorways simply won’t cut it anymore.
Often, the restaurants with a strong social media presence as part of their restaurant marketing plan are the ones that fare the best, and in the competitive food industry, ignoring social media is a death sentence.
Branding Is Important
Google and Bing want to provide the best content for their users. When someone searches for something on Google, it is Google’s job to make sure the information is good and that the website is trustworthy. Google is using branding more in its algorithm. The reason is because a strong brand known outside of the web is a good indication of a trustworthy business. What does this mean? SEO is not just about your online strategy. SEO is part of your overall marketing strategy. The more people that know about your business the better chance you’ll have to rank well. It’s easier said than done, but it plays an important role in today’s SEO. Also keep in mind that building your restaurant’s brand identity can have a big affect on your social media performance. Your goal should be to build you restaurant’s identity around your target customers.
Start a Blog
Starting your own blog is a great way to build community and engage with your customers. Blogs offer the chance to experiment with your restaurant’s voice and personality. Share your successes and struggles, funny stories, recipes, and anything else you think might interest your customers.
A blog can be a huge project, but it doesn’t have to be. Keep your blog as simple or complex as you’d like. You don’t have to be constantly posting, but it’s good to have your restaurant blog set up for when you have an announcement or news you want to get out to the world. If you’re serious about taking over the world, check out more blogging tips here.
SEO Can Apply to Your Online Menu
Users love to do research online before ordering from or visiting your restaurant. Don’t make users scramble to find your menu – publish a high-quality, easy to read menu that is up to date and accurate.
You’ll want to make sure to have your menu published on your website, since that’s often the #1 piece of information users are looking for when visiting your site (along with hours, location, and contact info). It will be crawled by Google and Bing.
If you don’t have a good menu online and available for customers on your website, most of your other restaurant marketing strategies are basically useless!
In this day and age customers need to have access to an online menu, otherwise they’ll simply look elsewhere.
Offer Coupons and Discounts
Providing coupons and discounts for your restaurant is always a surefire way to drive traffic to your restaurant or website. Offer a 'buy one get one' to your new email newsletter subscribers
and try advertising a discount through Groupon or Living Social – if you go that route, you’ll get a TONS of exposure and backlinking which also enhances SEO.
If you want to grow your business, then optimizing your website to earn traffic from search engines can be a great way to supplement your growth.
If you want to rank well, let Force0six help you through the process. We have 15+ years of Digital Marketing experience.
Remember that restaurant SEO is about the user first. You’re optimizing the entire web experience for the user. This is what the search engines want and it’s the best long-term strategy.
Force0six is a boutique consulting firm in San Diego with expertise in Salesforce Sales and Service cloud implementations as well as custom Force.com application development. Beyond our Salesforce experience, we also bring a plethora of marketing analytics experience which will optimize your ROI and minimize your marketing spend.
Our focus and experience in SEO, Adwords, Media Buying, Social Media Marketing, and Lead Conversion is provided via our proprietary processes and technologies. This enables marketers to evaluate the success of their marketing initiatives. Our 360°approach allows our customers, both large and small, to be more successful in their use and adoption of Salesforce and their franchise lead generation processes that serve their lucrative marketing campaigns.