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Taking the Mystery out of Restaurant Website SEO

Usually when people start talking web terminology, those in the restaurant business tend to shudder. Fortunately, you don’t need an IT background to understand all web terminology. For instance, SEO sounds like IT language but it actually has a lot to do with the way you market your business. 

SEO is a marketing strategy that a restaurant owner will want to employ to be sure their website attracts more potential restaurant customers. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a way to optimize your restaurant website for search engines so that your website will appear closer to the top ranking positions in the search results of Google, Yahoo, Bing or other search engines. If your restaurant website appears in the top ranking positions, people searching for a restaurant in your area are going to see yours immediately in their search results.

The Value of SEO

It is all about building online traffic to your website. There are several effective means of driving traffic to your website such as Search Engines, Social Media, Paid Ads, Email Marketing; however Search Marketing is the most consistently used of all strategies. Search marketing has become a necessity for businesses as online search has become a standard feature in our daily lives. Most businesses-large and small-have an online presence and they all want the top positions in search engine results. Why?

  1. It is the most cost effective way of bringing in new customers to your business. Paid radio commercials, phonebook ads, newspaper and magazine ads all cost money. The majority of people search the Internet to get answers to their questions, find out where to go or get solutions to their needs.

  2. If customers can find your business easily while using a search engine, it is like free advertising. While you might spend time and money optimizing your website, you are not paying for paid online ads or pay-per-click advertising (PPC).

A good SEO approach can result in more profits for your restaurant. 

Smart SEO Planning

When getting a new website for your restaurant, you want to make sure that proper attention is given to SEO.

  1. Get a Google Business listing. Google is the dominant search engine and if your business is not listed with Google, your ranking might not be too high. All you have to do is search for the name of your restaurant on Google and select “manage this page” and sign in with a Google account. If your restaurant is not listed, you need to add / claim your business.

  2. Make sure your website is user friendly and mobile friendly. It should be accessible to users using a cellphone or tablet as well as a desktop or laptop. Your home page, address, hours, phone number, menus should all look as great on a mobile device as they do on a desktop PC. Be sure to test your site on different types of devices.

  3. Register your website with Restaurant Directories like Urban Spoon, Yelp, Foursquare, Yellow Pages and any other regional directories. You may also want to list your restaurant on Facebook Places, Bing Places and Trip Advisor as many people look on these sites for referrals to great restaurants in a particular area. After you have registered, monitor the reviews of your websites. You want to know about any negative reviews immediately so you can remedy them quickly.

  4. Your website should be efficient, up to date, clearly labeled and inclusive of eye catching graphics. 
    • A visitor to your website will leave quickly if they cannot navigate your site easily. Make sure your website’s pages load quickly and the navigation menu is easy to use.
    • All content should be up to date. You don’t want a customer coming into your restaurant for the daily special only to find that you no longer offer one. 
    • It is important for the restaurant to have their physical address clearly visible on the website.

  5. Keywords used throughout the content in your website can also be used to help drive traffic to your site. For example if you use words like enchiladas, nachos, etc., the search engine will know you are a Mexican Restaurant offering these dishes.

  6. Don’t forget to link to Facebook and other social media pages for your restaurant. Google strives to return the best possible results to the people using their search engine. A key way to determine great content is how much other people liked it and are talking about it and sharing it on Social media sties.

    Set up, monitor and maintain active social media accounts on at least one of the big three: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Include social follow and share buttons on each page of your website. 

If you want to do more to attract website traffic, add a blog or a video to your website and revitalize the content often.

SEO done properly can put your restaurant ahead of the competition and drive new customers to your restaurant. If two restaurant concepts are similar, the one with a good SEO web site is more likely to have more customers and make more revenue.

Check outEffective Restaurant Ads: Using Facebook Ads and 5 Most Important and Free Websites Where Your Restaurant Needs to be Listed.