These three letters-SEO, they seem harmless, right? For some, yes of course. But for others, these are a sinister internet weapon that can ruin or determine your marketing future. In this world of serious online competition, SEO means the world to online marketers.
So, what is SEO?
Most of us have gathered information in bits and pieces from friends, the internet, and word-of-mouth. Let’s put it this way. SEO is the fuel that the ‘marketing’ bandwagon uses to reach its destination smoothly and quickly. And with more than a billion websites evolving, every marketer wants to get the best slice of cake. SEO employs a series of tactics so that your website appears on the top of the search engines, and potential customers can easily identify them.
SEO can also be described as a strategic and authentic method of improving brand visibility. It is also known by the terms organic search or natural search.
What are the advantages of SEO?
Increased traffic, better revenues, more visibility, the benefits of SEO for a website are tremendous. If you can be easily spotted in the search results, people will immediately click on your website. Greater traffic will be driven to your website leading to potential leads and sales.
The premium position? The top slot of the search findings.
How will a search engine locate my website?
A user types certain words that are relevant to his search. Your website’s page rank listing is determined by how useful it is for the user. Giant search engines like Google and Yahoo crawl the website to review the relevance of its content for the user. They display the search results based on their search ranking. They match the information and provide the search ranking accordingly.
So, how would you improve your search ranking? By including all elements that search engines are searching for.
Role of content in SEO
As we said earlier, SEO is the fuel for online marketing, likewise quality content is the top element of SEO. With such fierce competition, make sure you provide engaging and interesting content to your audience. Quality content never goes out of style and establishes the reputation of your website as an authority in your realm. Websites are churning out millions of blog posts, articles, videos, social media content, and so much more.
Does this come to the viewer’s notice? Not really. The aim of every piece of content on the web is to ultimately increase the visibility of a website/webpage. These pieces are written to lure and convince customers to buy their products. But let’s face it, many of these internet articles just go unnoticed. But what is it that grasps the customer’s attention and compels him to stop and go through the content? Quality and purposeful content.
Customers want to gain knowledge or are looking for a solution to their problems. So they keep browsing the web till they arrive at their solution. This means surfing multiple blogs and articles on various websites. But sometimes, they do stumble upon exactly what they are looking for- Content that makes sense and offers a viable solution to their queries. And that, my friends, is the beauty of exceptional content marketing. It has the power to draw the right traffic to your website. And... compel them to stay! Eventually, with some more effort of influencing the customers, leads turn into conversions.
Searches can be categorized into three types:
- Navigational- user searches the internet using a specific brand name.
- Informational-User wants specific information about a company/product/services
- Transactional-The user types a specific query to learn the exact information about a product or its services.
Hence by combining SEO and content marketing efforts, marketers can influence potential customers who are in the initial stages of making a purchase decision. Now let’s delve deeper and take a look at one of the sectors where SEO has a big role to play- Restaurants.
The hospitality industry thrives on its ability to provide quality services. Once the customer is impressed by the food quality and overall dining experience, he will be your best marketing advocate. Also, your restaurant should be easy to find in local searches.
How? Here are some SEO tips for restaurants to boost their online visibility:
1. A defined SEO Strategy
First of all, clearly define the geographical location where your food outlet is based. This helps in better local searches where people can easily identify your outlet in their vicinity. Also, make sensible use of keywords which a prospective customer would search online. If you specialise in a delicacy or gourmet meal, do talk about it in your web information. Use on-page optimization and indexing techniques; optimizing your listing is an important local SEO strategy.
Your NAP (name, address, phone number) should be correct and consistent across all sources of information across the web. Make sure your website is mobile friendly and can be accessed from a variety of gadgets.
2. Engage with customers on social media
Social media is a great platform to build an everlasting relationship with customers. Make a social media account/page on all authority channels and start engaging with your potential customers. Share interesting stories, customer experiences and post their feedback on your wall. For the ardent foodie followers, churn up some signature recipes and ask for their reviews. Keep your fans and followers in the loop and finally, direct them to your website using calls-to-action, events, etc.
3. Reviews and feedback
A contented customer is your biggest asset. He is a direct source of marketing who will promote your services across all social mediums and word-of-mouth publicity. Do make sure your restaurant ratings and customer reviews figure out in the search results.
4. Content! content! content!
Show the world what you are best-known for-food! Create engaging blog posts, share interesting articles on food and even post videos, images, GIFs, to promote your eatery on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other such social networking sites. Keep your audiences hooked on to you.
As we wrap up...
Though Search Engine optimization is still like an unsolved mystery to most web users, you have to understand its basic concepts. Once you master the art of optimizing your website for search engines, trust me, you are at the top slot in all search results!