Marketing is vital for every business, especially restaurants. It’s what helps you reach clients and meet their needs. SEO is a great tool for building a relationship with your customer base. It’s vital you reach out to hook new customers and remind old ones that you’re still providing what they want. In the modern world, people are spending more time online than ever. It’s in your best interests to get a slice of the pie before your competitors do. A good SEO strategy can be the difference between obscurity and renown.
For users who aren’t familiar with SEO for restaurants, this video can be an effective tutorial. The video explains how to optimize your pages and use keywords effectively to improve your search rankings. Geo-targeted keywords are an important tool for placing your restaurant on the map. For example, the video uses the keywords, “Italian restaurant in Philadelphia” to demonstrate the importance of geo-targeted keywords in getting top spots. You can also get an introduction to the importance of backlinking. Think of backlinks as votes for your site. Google considers powerful, relevant links from quality websites a vote of confidence. Having an association with many related sites makes you more of an authority in your field, improving your search ranking. Links can also come in the form of reviews, letting new customers know what to expect from you. Forge relationships with any related sites to strengthen your online presence and generate more traffic for your site.
Like other forms of advertising (e.g. television and radio), SEO can be an effective strategy for bringing in customers. In the words of Duane Forrester, a senior product manager at Bing, “On a broad scale, I see SEO becoming a normalized marketing tactic, the same way, TV, radio, and print are traditionally thought of as marketing tactics.” Ignoring your restaurant’s SEO can have adverse effects on your ability to draw in diners.
Here’s why your restaurant can benefit from SEO:
● It’s a cost-effective strategy – SEO is a generally cost-effective method of advertising. Even something as simple as a Facebook page can help boost your restaurant’s reputation in the area. One good thing about SEO is that it’s a long-term solution. You may have to change with new algorithms, but a strong SEO strategy lasts. Building an online presence can continue to generate more business for a long time. Consider your website an asset that can keep attracting customers far into the future.
This graph shows the percentage of customers who search for restaurants online. Most customers tend to check restaurant reviews, making this a high priority for your business. Encourage customers to leave reviews. These reviews can spread to customers’ circle of friends, pulling in more potential customers. Good reviews give visitors an impartial view of your restaurant’s performance. A large section of searchers also checks your food items. Spend time on your menu to make your food more appealing, especially to customers looking for attractive places to eat. Do include images of your restaurant to give visitors an idea of the ambiance before they visit.
● Customers are searching locally – One common SEO tip you may have heard is to focus on the local area. It’s fine to aim high, but do start small. Stick to specific locations and use geo-targeted keywords. Targeting a specific area with your keywords lets you bring in the customers who matter most: those nearby. Catering to local customers creates positive reviews, increasing your popularity and drawing in more business. Do seek other tips to get leads through local SEO to improve visibility in your area.
● Word of mouth travels online – Word of mouth is still an effective way of generating attention for your business. The modern twist is that people communicate that information online. Using social media or review sites, customers can share their experience at your restaurant with friends. The more tech-savvy may even share links (whether your website, Facebook page, or another directory). Having a website allows you to influence perceptions of your restaurant in your favour. Building a good online reputation increases the likelihood of your showing up on someone’s search results for the area.
● It increases customer engagement – Customers are prone to communicating online. You’ll be too busy to engage personally with customers when they visit, but having an online presence lets you communicate with them. Use your online tools to build a more memorable experience for old and new customers. It’s also a good idea to seek out customer reviews for your site. This lets diners share their experience of your restaurant with others and generate more interest. People who haven’t been to your restaurant yet tend to see those reviews as unbiased, and more objective than your website.
● It builds brand awareness – Gaining high search results is vital in the world of SEO. Use your SEO to boost brand awareness among your customer base and create a better impression of the brand. Ranking high is a powerful way of making your restaurant stick in the minds of your customer base.
● It improves brand reputation – Ensuring a good experience for your customers, both online and offline, increases your reputation with diners. Visitors have their own circle of friends on social media. Giving them a good experience can prompt them to share your restaurant with their friends. Assuming that five of your customers each got five of their friends to visit you, then you’ve brought in 25 new customers. Building a positive reputation can have more positive effects than one might expect at first glance.
● The competition will be doing it – Remember that your competitors are trying to market their restaurants as well. They’ll likely try whatever marketing tips and tricks they can to bring in customers for themselves. Investing in SEO helps you stay competitive, whether they’re trying it or not. If they are, it evens the playing field and helps you stay in business. If they aren’t, you get an advantage by selling yourself to a wider crowd. Consider investing in online tools for competitive analysis to get an edge over your competition.
● Online menus can snag customers – Your menu is an important part of hooking customers, especially online. Showing what you have to offer is a simple way to make visitors curious about your restaurant. After all, the easiest way to people’s hearts is through their stomachs. You may have your menu on your website already, but consider including it on other food and menu sites. This can show what you serve to visitors, but it also lets you build backlinks for your site.
● It helps you maintain your bottom line – A well-optimized website is a great tool for bringing in more customers to your restaurant. Using platforms like Facebook and Twitter allows you to communicate with customers and enhance their experience. Starting a blog gives you another way of reaching out to visitors and displaying what your restaurant has to offer. This attention can help pull in more diners, increasing your overall revenue.
● It lets you promote more services – Your marketing strategy can cater to more than your restaurant. For businesses that offer other services, SEO gives you a platform to advertise those services. Do you provide catering, or do you hold events at your venue? Use your online resources to market these services and draw attention to them. Set up landing pages for your additional services and optimize them to draw in more revenue.
Having and building your website is where you start building an online presence, but there are other ways to strengthen your SEO. Canadian SEO is different from American SEO, and your strategies will be different. Think of strategies to boost visibility for a Canadian audience. Start with these methods to help boost your website’s performance and bring in more customers.
- Build a mobile-friendly site – Many customers now do their searches on mobile devices. Optimize your site for mobile-friendliness in Toronto to load quickly and to fit on small screens. Mobile-optimized sites tend to score higher than those that aren’t. Capitalize on the opportunity to snag customers Googling for restaurant options.
- Avoid large photo files – Large photo files and PDFs can be heavy on user bandwidth. Refrain from adding these files to improve loading speeds for customers. Visitors usually make decisions about visiting your restaurant within seconds. Short loading times can help keep their attention and make a positive impression.
- Keep it simple – Your website is a more effective tool if you keep things simple. Avoid animations and heavy graphics in favour of simple designs that reflect your restaurant’s theme. The site is the first impression some visitors may have of your restaurant. Design it accordingly and give them an idea of what to expect.
- Label your pages properly – Search engines look for clean and well-organized pages. Label your pages properly so visitors know what they’re getting when they click. For example, if you have pages for menus, events, and reservations, give them the proper labels on page titles and meta descriptions.
Build your website to help make your restaurant more well-known to potential customers. Do take time to look for SEO tips for Canada to get more ideas for reaching your intended audience. Online marketing can reach more people than traditional methods of marketing, especially since so many people use search engines to find services now. Invest in good SEO and start reaping the benefits of a stronger online presence.