Restaurants, Listen Up! You Have Work to Do!

Posted by Melissa in Business Tips on November 8, 2010

With the Google Places change you have some work to do and I am going to give you some recommendations.

Your Website

You need to make sure that your website home page is set up properly. I say this because Google has integrated the organic results with the Google Places accounts.  See example below:

Google took the Pacific Rim title tag and meta description from their website home page and used it in their Google Places. You need to make sure your website is set up properly and optimized properly.

Sitelinks

Sitelinks are links that are displayed under a website search result. See pic below. You will see that the first four sitelinks are the most important for Pacific Rim – Dinner Menu, Take Out Menu, Sushi and Lunch Menu. Google took these four and used them in the Google Places placement above.  Sitelinks are typically the most used page on the site. Having a clean site structure and having pages set up properly are crucial for sitelinks.

Reviews

With the new Google Places layout you can see how very important it is for you to have good reviews. I am not telling you to go spam the web with good reviews about your restaurant because that will no longer work. Google and other sites have found ways around that. What I am saying is to make sure that your restaurant and staff are as perfect as possible so you can get good reviews. These reviews will be even more visible now, so you must sit down and make sure you can obtain positive reviews. You need to find creative ways to encourage reviews as well.

If you receive a negative review it is always good to try and respond to it and do all you can to fix the problem. If you have an obvious review from a competitor contact the site the review was made on and often they will remove it. Have proof ready

Internet Marketing and Social Media Marketing – Be Creative and Give Something Away!

Now is the time for you to jump in with both feet and attempt to draw in new patrons and/or encourage past patrons to return. People like to get things. Restaurants that post pictures of their loyal clients on their website often keep those loyal clients. Restaurants that give deals or give something away for free bring in new people. Ex: If people check into Chili’s on Foursquare they can get free chips and salsa so obviously they check in! It is a cheap freebie for Chili’s but it brings people in. Ben and Jerry’s offers a buy one get one deal…who doesn’t like that?

I local restaurant offered a $50 gift card to name a new dish on Facebook. This was a small restaurant, yet they gained 50 new followers and got over 200 suggestions. That is free advertising and attention. Be creative and think about what you would do or be attracted to as a patron. Include a Facebook fan widget on your site and any other widgets that could attract fans. If you offer deals on Twitter you need to link to it or have a widget that shows your Twitter stream.

Menus

I don’t care what kind of  restaurant you have, you have to have your menus online. Not only do you have to have your menus online, but you also have to have them visible and readable by mobile users. People are on the go and they want quick and fast and I promise you that you will lose business to even current regulars if you don’t have your menu online. People may know their own favorite dish, but what about food for friends or family members? They need a menu. Add your menu to your Facebook account as well. If you have a site without a menu and you link to a site that has your menu you can’t have what Pacific Rim does – shown above – which is sitelinks to their menus. If you need an affordable restaurant site please contact us.

Obvious Phone Number That Is Mobile Ready

You need to have a very visible phone number on every page that is clickable via mobile . I don’t like to search for a phone number on a regular computer and it is hard to do on a phone. It is also  too hard on a mobile device at times to remember a number and have to go back and forth between phone Internet browser and the dial pad. If your number is clickable via mobile I am thrilled. This is a must! Google is looking for this number and so are other local sites, so the number needs to be there. Also, if you have a number like 555-123-FOOD I can’t click on it on my mobile!  Have the real number there and your fancy word number after it please!

If you need any help marketing your restaurant online please feel free to contact us.

Melissa Fach owner of SEO Aware

5 responses to “Restaurants, Listen Up! You Have Work to Do!”

  1. Filippo Scrocco

    Restaurants, Listen Up! You Have Work to Do! http://bit.ly/bCziTv

  2. Nick Stamoulis

    It is so important for any small business, restaurant included to have a presence in local search, a properly optimized profile, including a website is so important, the idea of getting creative and differentiating yourself from the next guy is key. Offering giveaways, and such is a great way to gain attention to your brand.

    Nick Stamoulis

  3. Melissa

    Nick I agree and admit targeting Restaurants with this article :-)

  4. Blog Posts To Read Week of November 11, 2010

    [...] engines are trying to compete, it’s going to take some serious gusto to make an impact. Restaurants, Listen Up! You Have Work to Do! This post emphasizes the importance for restaurants these days to keep up with search engine [...]

    Blog Posts To Read Week of November 11, 2010

  5. Alex Hall

    Restaurants, Listen Up! You Have Work to Do! – http://bit.ly/cPSE71 #seo

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