As a restaurant owner, you may or may not have heard of Search Engine Optimisation (or SEO for short). For those who haven’t, SEO consists of those activities which improve the visibility of your website on search engines, such as Google and Bing. The key to SEO is that it does not imply paying search engines. To add some context, imagine that you are searching for an Italian restaurant in the CBD on Google. Typically, the first search result will be an advertisement, where a restaurant actually pays Google to appear as the highest search result for the specific keywords searched. The ranking of all results below the advertisement section is based on a range of factors, such as relevance of the website to the keywords searched, and the popularity of the site. SEO activities are undertaken with the objective of moving a restaurant as close to the top of Google’s search results when consumers search for particular keywords.
SEO is undeniably important for contemporary restaurants who wish to be found easily online. If you believe you have a strong and unique value proposition, and wish to share it with as many people as possible, then SEO is definitely a great move. Data from AdLift shows that the click-through rate for the first non-advertisement search result is 45.7%, as opposed to 11.6% for the second search result, and 5.4% for the third search result. Thus, the investment of time and money into Search Engine Optimisation can be highly rewarding in terms of exposure and new customer generation. Below are a number of basic pointers towards achieving successful Search Engine Optimisation:
Nobody knows the exact formula search engines like Google use for ranking search results, however it has been found that using keywords in titles and throughout the pages of a website will effectively improve your restaurant’s ranking. For instance, a Taiwanese restaurant in Newtown should use the words ‘Thai’, ‘Taiwanese’, and ‘Newtown’ as frequently as possible (without being overly repetitive, of course).
Links between pages are also an effective means of enhancing search engine ranking. Instead of simply relying on dropdown boxes at the top of the page, provide links to other sections of the website within each page. For instance, subtly provide a link to the ‘about us’ section on the home page.
Fresh, Interesting Content: Search engines like Google rank websites with constantly updated and relevant constant higher than stagnant websites with old and outdated content. Update information regularly, constantly develop new constant, and be aware of what is trending online in order to remain relevant.
This is becoming more and more important – particularly as wi-fi is becoming more widely available in public locations. Recently, Google has revealed that, for users searching on smartphone devices, search results will favour websites with mobile-friendly accessibility. Think about it – how many times have you been out and Googled for restaurants in the area? This is precisely why review websites like zomato and tripadvisor are so focused towards smartphone accessibility.
This is very important. How are you supposed to know if your investment of time and resources into SEO is effective if you have no means of measuring it? Web analytics (such as Google analytics) can be very insightful in terms of return-on-investment. It will allow you to measure increases (or decreases) in website hits, and click-through rates, which will provide insight into the effectiveness of SEO activities.
There are so many more tips and tricks which will help your restaurant be found by potential customers. If you want to learn more, or wish to implement more advanced SEO activities, contact HIN Group. Our IT team can ensure that your restaurant is reached frequently and broadly by online consumers.