Local SEO is one of most powerful tactics a restaurant or restaurant chain can employ. It is no secret that most consumers marry local search rankings, reviews and ratings on Google to merit. When someone is searching for a restaurant nearby, they will typically choose one from the top three local search results, and the way you get your listing to the top is by doing Local SEO. If the user doesn’t like the results, they are much more likely to search a different keyword than dig past the top three local results. Why is that?
The reason is merit. When the user doesn’t find what they want in the first three results, they assume those results are the most popular restaurants in that category. So, rather than waste time, they move onto a different keyword.
How to Get Your Restaurant Ranked
There are numerous factors that go into building your search engine rankings, but for restaurants, there are particularly unique approaches to outranking your competition. The first thing you must understand is which SEO factors are important.
- Editorial Coverage
- Reviews on Google as well as third party sites.
Because restaurants heavily rely on PR strategies to grow, it is important to understand your restaurants positioning strategy. Without having an edge, angle or clear differentiating factors, restaurant reporters, journalists and online lifestyle magazines won’t cover your news. If you happen to be in that situation, you should go back to step one and develop a marketing plan and brand strategy.
As for you others out there who have a great story, this article is full of actionable tactics you can employ.
Step 1 – Build Your PR Network
The first step is to figure out who is reporting on restaurant news. Figure out who all of the local restaurant reporters, franchise reporters and major food bloggers are in your area. Some great sources to start with are trade journals like bizjournals or your major local news station. Build a list of every contact you can find, including their email, twitter handle, instagram profile, linkedin profile and facebook. Once you’ve collected all of that information into a spreadsheet, it is time to start crafting your story.
Step 2- Crafting Your Story
This part can get tricky, but if you are serious about your restaurant, chances are you have a good story in there somewhere. You could come out with a new recipe like “Gluten Free Pizza” or maybe you’ll be hosting live music every Thursday. Just make sure that the story is interesting and engaging. Launching your new website is not a story. However, enabling online orders and checkout on your website is a story.
Step 3 – Prepare Your Press Release
You have a story, and you have contacts. Now it’s time to prepare a press release. For this, you’ll want to craft a press release that you plan to distribute through multiple news channels and sources. Before you send it to PRnewswire, you should start by pitching the story to your preferred publications. Make a list of all of the news, trade journals, blogs and publications you want your story covered. This list should be a list of your TOP choices.
Step 4 – Outreach
Outreach is perhaps the most important step of them all. Once you’ve created your top list of news publications you want to cover your story, reach out to them manually and make sure the email is personalized. Part of the strategy here is to make a connection and grab attention. That means your news headline should be newsworthy and interesting. Your email should be short and sweet. If you write paragraphs, they will not read it.
Step 5- Wire Service
The final step here is to launch your press release through PRnewswire after you’ve reached out to your top publications. This creates a more impactful effect because if your story were to get covered by one of the top 5 publications you wanted to cover your story, chances are, the press release will simply help solidify the news. This can generate a more viral effect, helping generate more links, thus dominating local search.
Give it a shot. There’s nothing to lose. Sometimes the extra effort is worth it.
|Google My Business|
|My Local Services|
|The Internet Chamber of Commerce|
The successful marketing campaign led and created by Firefect Digital and led by CEO/Founder, Joshua Bellnad, was established in only a week. Combining SEO, intent-based keyword targeting, strategic retargeting and email marketing, Firefect Digital’s multi-channel digital marketing strategy pushed Texan Hyundai well beyond their early sales goals.
In terms of generating revenue, the campaign was as efficient as it was profitable. Working with Firefect and emphasizing digital strategies over traditional media saved Texan Hyundai 60% in marketing costs compared to spending with their previous agency. These efforts reached beyond the confines of Rosenberg, a suburb of Houston, and allowed Texan Hyundai to outsell their more centrally located competition.
Texan Hyundai is currently planning to expand their digital efforts to increase year-round sales and increase their presence in the greater Houston marketplace.
“This was by far the most successful campaign we have ever run in the history of our dealership. Focusing on digital marketing allowed us to reach qualified leads and spend efficiently. Putting people first has always been our number one priority, and finding a marketing strategy that matched that mission made all the difference.”
1. Total Number of Inbound LinksLooking at all of the competitors in this matrix, we can see that some of them have massive amounts of links. This information is completely useless. I’ve seen spammy blog networks hit websites with 100k backlinks and take their traffic down by 30%. What is more important is the referring domains.
2. Referring DomainsWhen comparing the amount of referring domains to total links, I typically look at the ratio. For instance, dizzyheights.com has 116,714 links coming from 63 referring domains. This means absolutely nothing to Google! If anything, it’s most likely hurting their rankings. It appears spammy and completely fabricated. Going deeper, we step into the referring IPs.
3. Referring IPsMany websites share IP addresses. When your hosting multiple websites on the same server, in many cases you’re sharing an IP address with the same IP address. You can use a reverse IP domain check to see other websites you’re sharing an IP with. You not only want your links to be coming from different domains, but different IPs as well, otherwise anyone could manually build backlinks which wouldn’t be good for Google.
4. Referring SubnetsTo take it a step further, Google checks to see if your backlinks are all on the same subnet. Even with different IP Addresses, they can still be on the same subnet.
5. Deep Link RatioWhen people naturally link to a website, they usually link to a relevant page. If all of your backlinks are pointed to the root domain, chances are that it’s either a bunch of directories or backlinks are being manually fabricated. The higher the deep link ratio, the better.
Barry Schwartz Discusses a Poll On How Rankings Were Affected By Penguin 2.1There were over 1600 responses to the poll. These were the results:
- 63% of the respondents said that their site was hurt bad.
- 21% said that their site had no change at all.
- 8% said that their website recovered from the previous penguin update.
- 6.2% that their rank gained with more traffic.
The Guidelines Never ChangedAs SEOs we’ve all tried to “manipulate” rankings. I mean… isn’t that part of our job? Some of us have tried riskier tactics than others. Now, it’s just getting to the point where these old tactics aren’t working for us anymore. Sigh… so what do I do now? The same thing that Google has been saying since the very beginning! Create great content and let links build naturally! Yeah… yeah… yeah… so you’re one of those “link building is dead” guys? No, I love link building. In fact, it’s what I am most passionate about. Link building isn’t dead, just the meaning has changed.
What Link Building Means TodayWith today’s link building there are some very specific “Dos” and “Don’ts.” Let’s go over a few, shall we?
Link Building Don’ts
- Keyword Filled Anchor Text- Instead, use your brand in your anchor text.
- Guest post byline links with keyword anchor text. Again, use your brand name or domain name.
- Buying links- This has been the case for a long time now, but people are still doing it.
- Blog Networks- Google is on these like the DEA is on drug cartels. Stay away from them.
- Press Releases and Ezine Articles- You should read John Lincolns article discussing this.
Link Building Do’s
- Write beautiful, amazing, and compelling content.
- Build an outreach network of people in your industry.
- Focus on building a strong social following.
- Link to other authorities in your industry.
- Don’t be afraid to discuss your opinions.
- Be an innovator, not a follower!