Can people find your restaurant on search engines?
If they can, does your website appear as the first result, or at least on the first page of search engine results?
Search engine optimization can take time to work, but that’s no reason to put it off or ignore it. If your customers can’t find you from their computer or mobile device, you’re almost certainly missing out on business. Your online reputation may also be suffering more than you know.
Per Search Engine Watch, 50% of smartphone and 34% of tablet or computer consumers visit a store within a day of their local search. Today, purchasing decisions are made just like that. *insert snap of fingers, yknow?*
Get Set Up On Google
Some marketers like to say nobody uses Google+. Not only is this untrue, it’s a counterproductive statement for local businesses.
If you want to optimize for search, you need to set up your Google My Business page and provide as much relevant and accurate information as possible. Marketing agencies can provide services to sort out all the information for you and ensure everything is ready to go and effective. If you decide to go it alone, you can fill out all details pertaining to your listing, including web address, hours of operation, and so on. Don’t forget high-quality photos of your property too.
Additionally, get your customers to review your business on Google. This will boost your ranking in search and increase your credibility.
But if you’re going to encourage your customers to review your restaurant, ensure that your service and food meets and even exceeds their expectations. You don’t need people giving you a ton of lukewarm or negative reviews, though some will anyway.
Claim Your Listings
There are many directories and websites that feature listings and rankings for local restaurants and businesses. It’s important to set up an account with each, and remove duplicate listings if there are any. This lets search engines know which result is the most relevant.
Yelp, Zomato, and OpenTable are but a few places you can go to do this. Take your time and research what sites are out there, but best practice is to have your marketing agency handle the backend of this business.
Not only does this help with your rankings, it also allows you to manage your online reputation. It’s important to keep tabs on what people are saying about you and to respond to negative reviews. This leaves a better impression with people who are searching and finding you on online directories.
Optimize Your Website
Many web developers are now opting to design for mobile devices first. This ensures that their websites only contain the most important information and are easy to use on smartphones and tablets.
You need to take the same approach. Don’t clutter your website with unnecessary information. Focus on the essentials. Make it easy for people to navigate it and find what they’re looking for, regardless of what device they’re viewing your website on.
Also, keep your website updated with the latest information. Update menus. Display new photos. If you have an event calendar, keep it current. This benefits your users first and foremost. But Google also puts users first, so when you do this, you’re sending a signal to search engines that you care about providing the latest, most accurate information.
You can also: Ensure that the latest contact information and address is on your site, add a map, use the names of local places in your blog post titles or image alt tags, and so on, to optimize for search.
SEO is a long-term strategy, and it may take time for all your efforts to bear fruit.
Don’t worry if you don’t see the results immediately. Keep updating your website and create valuable content for your blog. Claim all your listings across online directories, and provide all the information you can.
In time, you will see your rankings improve, and you’ll increase your business thanks to increased online visibility.