Investing in a website for your restaurant business is an essential part of your marketing plan. Not only because all your competitors have one, but your customers will expect you to have one as well. It doesn’t stop there though; just having a website isn’t enough – you need to make sure that it gets visited by the people you actually want business from. And that’s the part that many business owners stumble over, how to be seen.
So how DO you get your website into the spotlight? It needs to appeal to customers of course, but more importantly it needs to meet with the approval of the world’s top search engine – Google. Why? Because Google will choose the best and most valid results (in its opinion!) to display when anyone makes a search. For any search undertaken, Google uses over 200 ranking factors to judge where a website will appear in the search results. This includes those websites shown in the Local Businesses section displayed first.
Ranking factors can include anything to do with a website – from the text content it uses, to how quickly the website loads. Each page of a website has been automatically scanned, indexed and rated by Google, with this process continually repeating. The trick for restaurant business owners is to make their websites as Google search engine optimized as possible. If this sounds daunting, don’t worry. Here are 5 top tips to get you started…
1: Unique, keyword rich content
Google loves original text content that is helpful and relevant to audiences. Write your website text content to fully describe what your restaurant specializes in. Your text content has to contain ‘key words’ that someone will use when searching on Google for restaurants like yours, for example ‘Thai restaurant in Toronto’. Remember that people use all sorts of keywords to search for what they want. Doing some research to see which ones your competitors are using, or using a free or paid online keyword research tool service like Wordtracker or Moz will be invaluable.
2: Never copy someone else’s text!
Copying someone else’s website content and using it on your own is tempting, but really is the worst thing to do! Google frowns heavily on any websites displaying duplicate content and will penalize anyone using it. That means offending website’s rankings in the search results will drop, or not even appear at all. All text content shown on your website’s pages should be unique and original. If you are struggling to write-up text content, it’s always worthwhile seeking out the help of a website content writer.
3: Going Local?
Appearing in Google’s Local Business search results is highly lucrative, with over 46% of people choosing from the businesses shown in the local listings. If you haven’t already, it’s easy to set up your own local restaurant business profile with Google . You can provide a wealth of useful information about your business to customers. Don’t forget to also make sure that your website’s text content contains keywords showing your restaurant’s location. You may also want to further enhance your performance in the local business search results by registering your website with local business directories.
4: Backend optimization
Making your web pages even more Google friendly is easy in the backend of your website. Where you edit web page text, images etc. you should also have the facility to optimize individual web pages. WordPress websites, for example, provide you with the facility to put in your own Page Titles, Page Descriptions and even image Alt Tags. Feel free to use your chosen keywords when completing these to give added validity to your website.
To score well in Google’s search results, your restaurant website will need to be accessible and provide the best possible user experience for visitors. Websites that are built to high technical standards and which have good security in place will score well. Having a website that is fully responsive and fully functional on mobile and tablet devices is essential. Google will also test to see how fast your web pages load too, ranking you negatively if this is slow.
Understanding how Google evaluates websites will empower you to make changes and improve your own. There are of course many, many more ranking factors to consider that will further help you to achieve your online goals. Keep in mind though, that it doesn’t matter how much time and effort you put into optimizing your restaurant website – if the look and feel of it doesn’t appeal to visitors, well the game’s already over. First impressions really do count online, so make sure that your website looks good. Take the time to find sites you like the look of to get inspiration and make the site design work for you. Some of the best restaurant sites are some of the simplest. Your customers don’t want to spend a lot of time hunting your menu or your hours. Look at Lambo’s Deli or Burger Drops to see good design and simplicity in action.
CHI is dedicated to keeping up with local and national trends in the Restaurant Industry to help serve our customers better and keep them one step ahead. If you are interested in opening, purchasing, or selling a restaurant CHI Real Estate can help. Get in touch with our team today.