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[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]The term “SEO” (Search Engine Optimization) gets thrown around quite often in the internet world – it’s become a buzzword in and of itself regardless of the industry you might find yourself in. Simply stated from Wikipedia, SEO is “the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s unpaid results—often referred to as “natural,” “organic,” or “earned” results”.  If your business has a place on the internet (and what business doesn’t these days?) there is a high probability SEO has come up in your conversation. With that said, restaurant SEO has become the priority for those looking to drive online orders directly through their official website.

One of the keywords from the aforementioned restaurant SEO definition is “unpaid results” – meaning that your presence shows at the top of results without having paid Google or other advert networks to rank you among the ads. I say this not because I’m cheap, I say this because showing up at the top of a ranking on your own merits hold much more weight in the hearts and minds of potential customers seeking you out online. Would you be more apt to do business with someone who paid to get your contact information and then came to your front door trying to sell you something or would you be more likely to buy from the guy that people are lining up to see at his own place of business?

So how does one improve restaurant SEO and/or when is it most important for a restaurant to focus on building SEO into their plan? Simple, if you want customers to find YOUR official website when they search for your exact restaurant online, you need to start with some building blocks. It’s much more attainable than you would think, we do it for our clients all the time. Here is a list of some things you can work on yourself, if you get stuck just contact us and we’ll get you sorted.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]

Claim Your Restaurants’ GMB (Google My Business) Profile

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This is truly THE FIRST STEP, no doubt about it. Google is the powerhouse that will make or break your online presence and you can either play the game or sit the sidelines. Luckily, Google has truly made a great suite of completely free tools that allows you to take advantage of what is essentially free real estate online. This task does take a little bit of time to set up properly but it is the cornerstone to showing up when someone searches for your specific restaurant. To start, go to https://www.google.com/business/ and go through the step by step process.

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Tip: run a test right now, search for your exact restaurant name in Google. If you are not coming up on the right hand side search results with clickable “menu” link and “website” symbol that links to your own personal website, that means you haven’t claimed your free space and you are missing a huge opportunity to drive customers to order online direct from you rather then steer them to 3rd party sites.

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Setting Up Inbound Links For Your Official Website

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Definition -” An inbound link (also referred to as a back link) is a hyperlink on a third-party web page that points to a web page on your site.” Simply stated, this is any third party website you may use for your restaurant such as Yelp, Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter and Instagram to name a few of the powerful ones. It is important that you have YOUR actual official website URL on all of the accounts “Pointing” into the right direction. The effect this can have on restaurant SEO is two-fold (at the very least); first it gives you more opportunity to turn your fans or reviewers into customers that can order from you directly online (if you have a direct online ordering platform in place like 9Fold). These are folks that are on various sites having conversations about you and you should give them an opportunity to come right to your front door, virtually speaking. The second and often overlooked importance of inbound linking is that by having these well respected third party sites all point in the same direction, you are silently telling Google and other major search engines that YOUR website is the OFFICIAL website. Yes, Google is that smart.

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Optimizing Your Meta Title And Description For Your Restaurant’s Website

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This sounds a little more intense than it really is. This is really at the core of restaurant SEO and simply refers to the way your restaurant shows up on search results and what sort of wording snippet Google will show searchers as a preview of your website. If left to its own devices, Google will pull any information they find relevant from your website and show it as a preview for potential visitors. But why leave it to chance? More often than not, despite its best efforts, Google will show irrelevant information because you left them no choice. But you do have a choice, you can access this part of you site fairly quickly if you use WordPress or other popular web development products as they have specific tools in place that let you create your own custom descriptions. WordPress for example has a popular plugin called “Yoast SEO” which can guide you through this.

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If you are not comfortable with setting up the proper descriptions, let us know as we do this for our clients when setting up their restaurant web presence or building a restaurant website from scratch.  It’s important that you craft the best wording in a short amount of space as it has a strong effect on attracting potential visitors to order direct from your restaurant’s website as opposed to straying to a third party commission based site that wants your customers to place your food in their baskets.

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