As time ticks on, doors to restaurants are opening for indoor and outdoor dining state by state. We know that as a restaurant owner or manager, you have been spending countless hours cleaning, sanitizing and preparing to open. But have you been reaching diners who are hungrily searching the internet for what to eat? Consider this nine-point checklist to ensure your restaurant has the best seat in the house online:
UPDATE GOOGLE MY BUSINESS PAGE INFORMATION
Assuming that you already have an approved Google My Business page set up, make sure you go through and update the appropriate sections. In addition to updating your store hours, service areas, contact information and descriptions, you’ll want to also utilize the appropriate attribute tags such as accessibility, amenities, crowd, dining options, highlights, offerings, payment options and event planning. This past month, Google went ahead and added attributes for service options for restaurants which include: Dine-in, Takeout, Delivery, or Curbside pickup. If you need any assistance setting up or optimizing your business page, our SEO specialists at Push are happy to assist.
ADD PHOTOS THROUGH GOOGLE MY BUSINESS
When it comes to dining, everyone eats with their eyes first. So make your business as craveable as possible with the Google My Business menu—where you can update photos from your restaurant. Besides your profile picture and cover photo, you can post anything that supports your restaurant such as food, bar, drinks or customers.
HIGHLIGHT YOUR MENU
While this Google My Business feature takes some time to set up, it creates the best user experience in the search engine results. Give your future diners the ability to view your menu from Google’s results by uploading each menu item, picture and description. While this isn’t a new feature, it’s one you should certainly leverage if you haven’t already.
TURN ON GOOGLE MESSAGING
This is a newer feature within Google My Business that can help you increase engagement with users that may have specific questions. After enabling, you can download the Google My Business app and be alerted when users attempt to message your business. The best part is your phone number remains completely anonymous.
BUILD A CONTENT CALENDAR
Google My Business allows you to post directly from your business page in the search engine results. By actively posting updates, Google shows superb communication with searching customers. Just like any platform, the best way to stay organized is a good content calendar, making sure your messages are enticing and remain focused.
IMPLEMENT RESTAURANT SCHEMA MARKUP
One of the most important aspects of competitive search engine optimizations is Schema markup, which includes identifying important information on your website within the code on the page. When added, additional snippets of information about your business will appear in search results, increasing the prominence of your restaurant. While Schema is a fairly repetitive process, it typically takes a professional programmer to implement correctly. Let us know if this is something you have not done already for your restaurant website.
SOLICIT REVIEWS FROM PREVIOUS CUSTOMERS
No one can give a better recommendation than your previous customers. So create a link to your Google review submission page and share it with your guests. While you can’t entice anyone to write a positive review, you can certainly request an honest one. If you’re putting in the effort, great reviews will come easy and will help you stay top-of-mind with your customers.
REACH OUT TO BLOGGERS AND PUBLICATIONS FOR REVIEWS
One of the best ways to increase your restaurant’s presence on search engines are backlinks from relevant articles. The best way to get featured in relevant (but local) articles is to invite local publications and food bloggers for reviews. These reviews are not always easy to come by, but Google will reward you when an often-visited blog or publication writes about your restaurant and links to your website.
SET UP RESERVATION BOOKING
As restaurants open at limited capacities, reservations have become increasingly important for running operations efficiently. So make sure you are set up through an approved Google vendor and can book reservations directly though the search results page. Resy, for example, is a reservation platform tied directly into Google that allows users to book right from the search results.
Google values the most in-depth user experience, so utilizing these tips will help reward your restaurant with more attention. Let us know if you haven’t set up your Google My Business page or need help implementing any of the above tips. As always, we’re here to help you Push Forward.