In this digital age, having a strong web presence is the key to success for businesses. With more people using the internet to look for dining options, it is crucial to make sure that your restaurant’s online visibility is noticeable and simple to find.
With the prices increasing due to recession, it is important that the restaurant industry constantly adapts and innovates.
If you are confused on how to start, we have the ultimate guide for restaurant owners. If you are a new business or just starting your digital marketing journey, here are some things, you could initially do to build your virtual brand:
- Creating a restaurant website and posting aesthetic images of restaurant’s interiors and offerings.
- Creating a Google Business Profile with information on your restaurant menu, operating hours, location and contact details.
- Responding to restaurant reviews, this can help bring-in new customers and convince the less satisfied ones that their opinions are heard.
Now, let us discuss some additional methods that could help improve visibility of your restaurant online.
Search Engine Optimization
Most customers look for restaurants on Google, and hence it is important to be ranked higher, as a majority of customers (75%) never look beyond the first pages of search results.
How will SEO help increase your restaurant’s online visibility? Investing in restaurant SEO can help increase your restaurant’s position on results and thereby increase foot traffic. Listing your business on online directories like, TripAdvisor, Yelp, Yellow Pages etc will help improve ranking. A half star difference in a Yelp review can increase sales by 27%. Customers are 70% more likely to visit your restaurant if it has a complete Google Business Profile. A local SEO technique is adding your location to google maps so that it gets featured on local searches like when people look for ‘restaurants near me’.
Conduct keyword research to find relevant query terms, then use them in your website’s content, headings and meta description to improve online visibility. Meta descriptions provide a summary of the webpage and using the right keywords in them can help improve your restaurant’s online position. Use tools like Semrush, Ahrefs, Google Keyword Planner etc. to find relevant keywords. Search engines use algorithms to rank websites based on different factors like relevance of the content, accessibility of your website, location etc. To draw in organic visitors, write blog posts about your cuisine or the local food scene.
Consider running ads on platforms like Google Ads or other online channels to target potential customers in your area. Utilize geo-targeting options to reach specific users who frequently search for restaurants nearby. Design visually appealing ads that highlight your restaurant’s unique features and offers. To increase restaurant customers, run promotional campaigns with discount offers for special days and holidays. Email marketing can be another powerful tool, with 42% of people aged between 18-29 in the US, saying that they use emails to get restaurant updates. Send email alerts about new products, special events and mails can also be personalized to send birthday or anniversary greetings and offers.
Collaborating with influencers and bloggers
Partner with regional influencers or well-known food bloggers to grow your online visibility. Invite them to a complimentary meal in return for a review or a mention. Their recommendations can help promote your restaurant and draw-in more consumers.
Engaging with online food communities
Participating in food communities and review platforms can significantly increase your restaurant’s online visibility. Join local food forums, review websites, and social media groups dedicated to discussing dining experiences. Respond to customer reviews, both positive and negative, and address any concerns promptly and professionally. More than 90% of consumers in the US alone, base their dining decisions on online reviews. Engage in conversations, share updates, and offer insights to establish your restaurant as an active and reliable member of the community.
Engaging on social media
Utilize social media platforms to engage with your audience and increase your online visibility. Create profiles on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Regularly share enticing visuals of your dishes, behind-the-scenes glimpses, promotions, and special events. Encourage customers to tag your restaurant in their posts and use relevant hashtags. Engage with your followers by responding to comments, messages, and reviews. Direct messages (DMs) are also a potential sales channel for your restaurant business.
Leveraging food delivery platforms
Since the pandemic, online ordering has seen a meteoric rise. The global online food delivery is set to reach $200 billion by 2025. Online meal delivery services like Uber Eats, DoorDash, Grubhub, and Postmates can be used as a part of your restaurant’s online visibility marketing plan. A sizable user base actively looking for restaurants uses these delivery apps.
Make sure that your restaurant is listed, and menu is appropriately displayed on these platforms. Offer special discounts or promotions to bring in new clients and promote recurring business. Having a digital menu can help customers make quick decisions. 84% of the diners look up menu online before choosing a restaurant. Giving customers a seamless delivery experience can improve your standing and exposure on these channels. Offering direct delivery will help improve sales as consumers are also more likely to use the restaurants own website or mobile app for food ordering than third party sites.
Optimising your website
Your restaurant’s website is the foundation of your online visibility. Ensure that it is visually appealing and easy to navigate. Incorporate high-quality images of your restaurant, menu items, and ambience. Having an online loyalty programme will also motivate customers to visit your restaurant frequently. Make sure that your website is mobile-friendly, as more and more people are accessing information on the go. According to the Google algorithm, mobile friendly websites rank better.
Post regularly for online visibility
Building virtual brands require constant engagement with the target audience with frequent posts. Stand out in the sea of content by posting content that is fresh, sincere, and real. Narrate real-life scenarios and tell the tale of your restaurant! To interact and communicate with your community, schedule sampling events, monthly menu presentations, and chef video interviews.
With more users looking for authenticity online, re-posting user-generated content like a mention, review, or a tag can help convince new customers. Social media marketing brings the highest ROI for business with video content leading the list as the most effective format. Build local business partnerships with the businesses in your area and share information about their products. Hosting events together with these businesses reflects your connect to the community.
Interact with your customers
Online interactions with your customers are essential to enhance your restaurant’s visibility, develop their loyalty and build your brand image. The main online interactions with your customers could be through reviews and responses to queries or messages.
By implementing these strategies, a restaurant can improve its search engine rankings, attract more customers, and ultimately drive growth. It is important to continuously monitor and adapt these efforts based on customer feedback and changing online trends. A successful restaurant requires a combination of many online and offline strategies, we are here to help increase efficiency of your restaurant marketing strategy with eTakeawayMax.