SEO For Restaurants and Good Reviews: What You Need To Know
by Joe Sainz
Successful marketers will tell you that sometimes it pays to stop and rethink your strategies. Trends change fast, especially online and even though you might be flourishing at the moment, in the restaurant industry you only need to miss one turn and you’ll lose business to your competitors. Talking of trends, how much do you invest in reviews and restaurant SEO?
Reviews and what they mean to your business
Before the turn of the century when the Internet was only used by large organisations to send files across states and countries, customers would come to your restaurant, order a meal, eat, and leave. It was that simple. If they liked the food, they would tell one of the waiters, “Oh, it was so good. I really enjoyed your food. Thank you.” What if they didn’t enjoy the meal? Would they say it? Not very often. Naturally, humans tend to let their feelings known when they are happy or satisfied. If they aren’t happy, they won’t tell you to your face. So, for a long time, you never heard anyone say “the food was bad”. That’s exactly where the Internet comes in.
With the Internet, people feel so free to say what they think and not just about your food, but even about your staff and your services. With a mobile device in their hands and friends willing to listen and talk about different dining experiences on Facebook and other social media platforms, expect your customers to talk about everything they come across in your restaurant, including the ambience and condition of the toilets. Once customers have shared their experience on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus and so on, everyone in different circles will soon be either reading or joining in on the conversation. Search engines also index some social media platforms enabling people to search for these conversations. Potential customers who come across this information will most likely make a decision based on what others think and say about you.
Invest in restaurant SEO
You want to remain on the minds of your target customers; whenever they think food, you want them think about you. Since everyone uses the Internet when making critical decisions, appearing on the top of a search engine results page for selected searches in your location can be invaluable. The first step is to create a website so that you can be found online. Once you have a functional website, ensure that potential customers can find your site before they find the competitor’s
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) refers to the collection of activities aimed at influencing the ranking of a website on a search engine results page. Various factors come into play when a website communicates with the search engine bots, or crawlers. The website needs to be configured correctly to enable the bots to crawl the website properly. This will make it easier for the search engines to recommend your website for relevant searches that your customers might use when looking for somewhere to dine. Google is the most popular search engine, but restaurant SEO is essential for getting your website ranked highly within all search engines.
Tips for great restaurant SEO
Good SEO practice requires that you;
- Make sure your website is optimised for search
- Make sure your website is optimised for speed, fast loading times for mobile are essential
- Publish fresh and original content such as blog posts to the search engines, consistently
- Add social sharing icons/features and the Google + 1 button and Facebook ‘Like’ button
- Make the website easy to navigate, allowing the user to find information easily
- Become an authority in your industry – linking to other authority sites is recommended
- Engage with existing and potential customers via your social media accounts
- Ideally post content daily to your social networks that appeals to your target audience
- Make menu interactive and shareable, text based, avoid downloadable PDFs as these are not SEO friendly
- Give visitors a great experience, make them want to come back again and leave good reviews for others to read
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