Years ago the first step in restaurant marketing was to take out an ad in the phone book. Restaurants deliberated at length how much they could afford to spend on their phone book advertisement. Fortunately, this is no longer the case. In fact if ask anyone under 30, they could probable not tell you why a company would be called AAAAA Exterminators or A-1 Towing. The phone book has become obsolete. When someone wants to find a number now, their first stop is almost always Google.
This is an incredibly frustrating fact for many restaurant owners. They know that there is value in coming up on the front page of Google, but have little idea how to get there. There are countless books, blogs, and newsletters offering, often conflicting, advice. Many companies offer services that claim to guarantee first page rankings for thousands of dollars. Countless “gurus” sell everything from software, to video training, to magic beans promising results. I know this first hand, because I think I am on all of their mailing lists.
I started learning about this topic in depth out of frustration over the poor search engine rankings of my blogs. What I quickly learned is that some basic structural flaws in my sites were at the root of my search engine ranking woes. I became committed to finding out how to give Google what it wants. I began learning from experts who compete for the top spot on some of the most competitive keywords on Google. I have purchase countless ebooks, training programs, plugins, and software programs of varying quality.
After countless hours of research, I can tell you there are three ways to get your restaurant on the Google front page :
1) Paid Google Ads
3) Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Each of these three has their benefits. Paid Google ads are the easiest method, but often the most expensive. Google Places is great single location restaurants, but limits you on the number of keywords you can rank in. Search engine optimization for restaurants is a bit more time consuming, but it is also the most powerful option. All three have their place in a restaurant marketing plan. The key is to know when to use each. As this website grows, I will be talking a great deal about all three of these topics in a continuing series on search engine optimization for restaurants. Through this series I hope to take a bit of the mystery out of SEO and how you can move your up your restaurant Google website rankings.