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How to get 1000s of visitors to your restaurant or boutique hotel website [2 of 3]
The first of our series of three articles on search engine optimisation (SEO) and how to attract 1000s of visitors to your restaurant or boutique hotel website, focused on the major on-site ranking factors.
They’re super important, so if you haven’t implemented them yet, then that’s where to start.
If you have, by now, you should be noticing an increase in numbers of visitors to your site.
But you’d still like more right!?
Great, because there’s still lots we can do to crank this up further.
In this second article we’ll explore other important factors that will help improve your search rankings and visitor numbers.
1) Google Webmaster Tools Sitemap
All websites should sign up with Google Webmaster Tools just as they would with Google Analytics. There are some really useful insights that can be gained from browsing the data on there such as Google impressions (how many people have seen your website in Google search listings) and CTR (click through rate from those listings).
More importantly it’s the best way to inform Google that you’ve made changes to your website, or just launched a new one, which in turn will help them rank the new pages faster.
Your task: Sign up for an account with Google Webmaster Tools and register your site following their instructions.
Once signed up, you just need to generate an XML sitemap for your website. If your site was built using WordPress then there are plugins such as this one that will help you do this.
The url for the sitemap then just needs to be submitted into your Webmaster tools account for crawling.
2) Google My Business Account
This is particularly useful if your business focuses on local customers or if your business is in a specific locality that people might search for. So this should apply to most, if not all restaurants and boutique hotels.
By signing up for a Google My Business account, your restaurant website or boutique hotel website will be listed in the Google map results with a full profile. Ideally, customers will then review you and you’ll start to climb to the top of these results.
Your task: Sign up for a Google My business account and complete all the information required to submit your profile.
You will need to verify your address before completing your profile, so make sure you don’t forget!
Then start asking guests to review you on there.
3) Deep Linking (internal links)
This is still a very important ranking factor but one that is significantly under-utilised.
Deep linking is all about linking your content to other related content on your site.
Your task: review all the content currently on your site and see what text could be linked off to other parts of your website.
You can see how I’ve done that in this article. Wherever I’ve mentioned something that we’ve previously written about or have a separate page on, I’ve added a link to those keywords to go to that specific page.
It’s great for usability in that it helps guide users to other content you’ve produced that may be useful for them, but it also helps search engines find their way around your site too.
As well as that, it’ll help them assess the importance of a particular page, because if some pages have more internal links to them than others, they will see these as more important and can rank them accordingly.
4) Dedicate a Page on your Site to your USP
With so many foodies searching specifically for a particular culinary delight, or couples looking to have a unique weekend trip away, it makes sense to have a page on your site that talks about it in detail so as to capture them when they’re doing an their initial research.
I’m referring to those frustrated vegetarians, celiacs or sugar-free fanatics who always struggle to find something that suits them when eating out. So if you have a vegetarian or wheat-free specific menu, don’t just hide it amongst the other menu items, separate it out on the menu page but also include a whole page dedicated to it with a little write-up to explain how you can cater for them.
If someone then performs a search for ‘wheat-free restaurants in Oxfordshire’ for instance, then your page dedicated to this will come up trumps in the search engines.
As a bonus, these customers will love you for it. They’ll feel special and will rave about you to their friends.
Your task: Write down everything that makes your restaurant or boutique hotel different to your competitors and create landing pages specifically for each one you can think of.
5) Menu / Room Page(s)
This follows on from the same point as above. When people search for a restaurant they often enter in the type of food they’re looking for as well. For example ‘barbeque’, ‘seafood’ etc.
So if you only have a downloadable PDF or jpg image of your menu, search engines won’t rank these in the results so your site will be ignored.
Task for restaurants: make sure your menus are written up in text on your website like the following example, and not just PDFs.
Similarly for boutique hotels, make sure you have a page dedicated to each type of room you offer and include descriptive text like ‘sea view’, ‘hill view’, ‘cottage feel’, ‘modern’ or whatever is applicable that might capture someone who searches for these requirements.
Task for boutique hotels: create a separate page for each room that is available.
6) Bounce Rate and User Experience
The bounce rate shows the percentage of people who leave a page without a single click.
Task: check out your Google Analytics data and have a look to see what your bounce rate is for each of your main pages.
It will be represented as a percentage. If your web page is performing as it should then the bounce rate should be low.
The higher it is, the more indicative it is of a problem on that page that’s causing people to leave.
Google monitors bounce rate, so if you have a high one, that tells them that they may not have ranked you appropriately for the keyword, so inevitably they will start to downgrade you and you’ll slip down the listings.
It’s not only important from an SEO perspective, but you’ll want to make sure people stay on the site and book too, so if they’re bouncing off without booking, that’s not good for business…
If you’re not sure what might be going wrong on your site that’s giving you high bounce rates, get in touch with us and we’ll take a no-obligation look for you. Search engine optimisation as well as conversion rate optimisation is a vital part of our web design processes.
Problems may include sources of traffic that are irrelevant or pages that aren’t optimised for conversions (ie. They may have a poor design with bad usability).
In the third and final part of this series on SEO, you can expect more advanced steps for increasing visitors to your restaurant website or boutique hotel website, such as content marketing, inbound linking and blogging.
So if you’re really serious about improving your search engine optimisation then sign up below for updates to be the first to hear about it.
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