By Kim O'Brien
Some recent tweaks to Google search just might boost your restaurant's online presence! Search Engine Land reports that Google has started to show menus in search results when online users look for a restaurant and add "menu" to their inquiry. What does this mean for your restaurant? That it's time for you to post your menu! A reported 80% of consumers want to see a menu before they pick a restaurant. Don't lose the chance to attract customers by failing to provide one! Less than 50% of independent restaurants have a website, and of the ones that do, only 40% show their menu online. Posting your menu gives you the edge over competitors.
1. Submit your menu to sites like AllMenus.com and MenuPages.com.This is particularly helpful if your website is new or doesn't receive a lot of traffic. Posting your menu to a larger, higher-ranking website could help boost your online presence, and in turn help to improve search results for your restaurant.
2. Sign up for a free listing on Google Places.This gives you better control over what information Google presents to searchers about your business. It also ensures that customers are viewing the right contact info, hours, and even photos of your restaurant to help them choose their dining destination. A Places page will even help your business show up on Google Maps if someone is searching for you locally!
3. Don't make customers download your menu.If your menu is set up as PDF, it's time to change that format. Not only is it annoying to download, but it may even be impossible to view on a mobile device. Don't risk losing a customer just because of an inaccessible menu. Add your menu directly to your website page, and make sure that it's easy to spot.
4. Improve your existing website.Before you improve your online menu, make these simple search-engine friendly changes to your website. If you don't have a website, get building!
- Avoid using Flash-based websites. Flash is not always search-engine friendly, and not supported by all mobile phones and iPads.
- Add specific phrases that will help you stand out from local competition. Try verbiage like Best Burgers in Philadelphia!, Most hip happy hour in Hoboken, NJ!, and Voted Chicago's Best Italian Restaurant on Zagat.
- Give users the info they want: a quick impression of your restaurant, your menu and prices, your location, and contact info should they wish to make a reservation.
- Include the info above on your social media sites as well (Facebook, Instagram, Yelp, etc.). Be sure to include a link to your website on all of these accounts to help direct customers back to your restaurant's home page.