Article contributed by Upserve
The Pew Research Center notes that over half of adults rely on the internet to make a decision about where to eat. So even if your restaurant has the best staff serving the best food in the best location, it might lose out if hungry customers can’t find you online.
How do you get discovered on the internet? SEO, or search engine optimization, is the strategy of helping your restaurant rank highly in search results, attracting clicks, reservations, and online orders. Just think: when was the last time you clicked to page two of Google results? It’s not all a game of luck to land a spot on the coveted first page. There are a number of SEO strategies that restaurants can pursue to improve their rankings.
Claim your Restaurant’s Facebook Page
Here are three benefits of claiming and managing your restaurant’s Facebook page:
- An unclaimed page can’t be controlled with the message you want to share. If you don’t have a page yet, start one. If there is an unofficial page or check-in location, take the necessary steps to assert your ownership.
- Increase your restaurant’s web traffic by uploading photos of your most popular dishes, along with a link to your new seasonal menu. You can also drive visitors to your own online ordering page, saving the 30 percent commission from third-party providers.
- Finally, the more information that Google can read about your restaurant online, the more likely they are to improve your ranking. Many people believe that “the information in the About section of a business page is scraped and thus searchable by Google,” Post Planner explains. “When someone searches for ‘Post Planner’—our Facebook page shows up on page 1 of the Google search results. I believe the more ways people can find you the better!”
If managing your social media seems overwhelming, consider a restaurant POS system that integrates with your social media channels and tracks your reviews, promotions, loyal customers automatically, saving you hours every month.
Manage your Restaurant’s Google My Business Page
“An important first step in any local SEO strategy is to claim and verify your local business’ Google My Business (GMB) listing. Getting on Google My Business can increase your chances of showing up in Google’s Local Pack, Local Finder, Google Maps, and organic rankings in general,” Moz.com explains.
If you’re just starting out, check out this guide to restaurant names to choose one with SEO value. Once you’ve decided on a name, claiming the listing is free and only requires a bit of information about your restaurant, like its address, phone number, hours of operation, and the types of payments you accept. Providing this information takes no more than a few minutes, and can make a big difference in your SEO rankings. Get started at https://business.google.com/.
Keep in mind that anyone can make an edit your GMB page, so it’s important to check in regularly to ensure accuracy.
Make Your Website Rank Ahead of Online Ordering Websites
If your restaurant has it’s own online ordering platform, delivery or pick-up service, you’ll certainly want users to see it before they come across third-party platforms like UberEats or DoorDash since it can save you from paying a 30-percent commission. However, if you don’t have a solid SEO strategy in place, your restaurant will fall to the bottom of the search results and other competing delivery services will get the business you want.
Ensure that Your Website is Mobile-Friendly
Imagine you’ve done all the work necessary to achieve your restaurant’s SEO glory: You’ve claimed your restaurant’s Facebook and Google My Business pages, and installed your own online ordering platform. But if web visitors ditch your website the second they arrive to it because it’s not optimized for mobile browsing on a phone or tablet, you’re losing out on business. Your customers are always on the go, so if your website is difficult to navigate on a phone, it will hurt your rankings, and customers will drop off to find another website they can actually use.