There’s no denying that people are thrilled to be eating out again at the moment so it’s important to take advantage of this. However, in a space where there’s a lot of competition, how can you stand out online? We take a look at some digital marketing strategies for restaurants.
When it comes to picking a place to eat, you can be sure that potential customers will be browsing reviews online before making their choice. Next to a recommendation from someone you know personally, this is one of the best ways to understand how the experience and, importantly, the food will be!
Therefore, you need to make sure you are encouraging customers to leave reviews. Make it as easy as possible by signing up to the major review platforms. If customers have booked through your website, you may already have their email address so you could consider sending a follow-up email that asks them to leave a review if they get a chance.
You can also promote review platforms on social media and ask any loyal customers there to consider leaving you a review. Google also allows you to create a super easy link that can be followed to leave a review on your business profile.
Speaking of your business profile, you need to make sure you are optimising this in its entirety. Google My Business is a fantastic way to attract local footfall if you have made sure to provide as much information to the search engine and user as possible.
You can read our guide to optimising your Google My Business profile for some more tips.
Instagram is THE place to share pictures of food so you need to make sure you are populating your profile with tantalising photos. You don’t necessarily need professional shots – just make sure that the food, drinks and general aesthetic of your restaurant look enticing and share regular menu updates and additions to tempt customers.
While we’re on the subject of Instagram, you should encourage people to tag your restaurant if they take any photos there. Lots of people like to research restaurants, and part of this may be scrolling through your tag on Instagram to get an idea of what you provide.
You can run an incentive like ‘tag us on Instagram for a chance to win/ 10% off your next bill’. Or, simply make your restaurant so fantastic that people want to share it as their location!
Another important marketing strategy is to make sure your website is working for you. You might have delicious food and a fantastic atmosphere, but imagine if a poorly designed website was putting people off from visiting?
Make sure your website reflects your brand personality, looks appealing, is easy to browse, and offers easy access to the menus and reservations pages.
In a world where most things can be done in a few clicks, you need to make sure you are encouraging people to book. Rather than asking people to ring or email to make their enquiry, provide access to an online booking form that requires few details to fill out. This will also save your staff from having to answer the phone when they are busy doing other things!
As well as making sure your website looks professional, you also want to ensure it is SEO-friendly. You won’t need to optimise for a massive range of keywords, but do make sure that your homepage and its meta data include key phrases that are relevant to what you offer, such as ‘Indian restaurant Harrow’ or ‘Italian restaurant Brixton’.
You want to bolster the SEO work on your website by increasing its authority through a targeted digital PR campaign. Digital PR is the process of gaining backlinks from high-quality websites – these act as ‘votes of confidence’ to Google that your website is one to be trusted and may consequently improve your rankings.
You could consider reaching out to food magazines, local guides and bloggers to ask if they would consider mentioning your restaurant on their website. Maybe offer them a complimentary meal to try out your restaurant in return for their review!
That concludes our digital marketing strategies that restaurants can try to boost their footfall! If you are a restaurant looking for assistance with digital marketing, you are welcome to get in touch with our team.