When on the hunt for a place to sit down for dinner, the majority of restaurant goers will take their initial search online. If you’re a restaurant owner or manager, you’ll definitely want to be seen by these potential customers when they search on the web. To do so, you’ll need to optimize your restaurant’s website to get to the top of search engine results pages (SERPs).
Social media is one of the most effective tools you have at your disposal for getting your restaurant found online. While there’s been some debate about how the search engines utilize social media metrics, their web crawlers treat social media sites just like any other. It’s no secret that Google and Bing definitely take notice of your social media presence.
Any solid digital strategy will incorporate social media to obtain its goals. You can leverage the engagement factor of social media to connect with current and potential customers all while boosting your web presence. You’ll notice more visitors coming through your door as you engage your customer base and your site moves up the SERP food chain.
You should focus on establishing a decent following on social media. The size of your follower base on various social media platforms can drastically affect your search rankings. Larger followings help boost your credibility and give you a leg up in search rankings.
Quality followers are important here. Google analyzes your follower list and determines the caliber of your base. This means that purchased followers won’t help you out in the overall rankings. Put your energy into building your followers organically. This means presenting your brand consistently in a way that connects with your desired audience. Post content that you think your ideal customers will want to read or tips that they would find helpful. Engage directly with the followers that you do have. Be responsive and start a conversation with your current followers. Engagement is a small seed that blossoms into a large interactive following quickly. Don’t neglect it.
Take the time to optimize your posts on Twitter for SEO. Thanks to a partnership forged between the social platform and Google, your tweets could possibly show up in search results. Include keywords in your tweets that you think customers searching online for restaurants are likely to use. On Twitter, hashtags act as keywords. By including targeted hashtags/keywords in your posts, you’ll improve the searchability of your content. This means those potential customers searching for restaurant-specific keywords in your area are more likely to find your content. Shy away from packing in too many hashtags at the end of your posts, as this may drive down engagement by coming off as spam. Try to stick to no more than three targeted hashtags for each post.
You’ll want to periodically survey your hashtag use and determine which ones get the most engagement in the form of clicks, likes, retweets, and follows. Use this information to tailor your account and incorporate the most popular tags in future content.
All is not lost if your posts still don’t show up in Google search results. By focusing on creating optimized posts with targeted keywords relevant to your restaurant and the industry, you’ll begin to build a reputation as an authority in your field.
In the past, Google’s search results placed a high value on links regardless of the quality of the individual links that you built. As this became common knowledge, people began to manipulate the search rankings by building out low-quality backlinks to their site. In response, Google shifted the focus to reward high-quality links in search results.
By including backlinks throughout your social media accounts, you can leverage the high web authority of sites like Facebook and Twitter. Google will view these links as higher in quality. Be sure to include links back to your restaurant’s website on all of your social profiles, as well as in any content that you post.
Post specific content, like current menu specials or recipe blog posts, across all social platforms to promote sharing. Shares will continue to establish your restaurant’s reputation as an expert in your field as well as capitalize on the web authority of the social platforms that you use. This will increase traffic to your site and give you a bump in search rankings.
The way in which you use your restaurant’s social media can have a huge impact on how your site ranks in search engine results. You’ll definitely want to keep the above in mind as you consider your social media strategy. Focus on developing a solid social presence in conjunction with your other SEO efforts. When properly optimized, your restaurant’s social media will help put your site toward the top of search results and in front of countless customers.