Search engine optimization (SEO) is an effective and low-cost marketing strategy you can use to gain more organic traffic. SEO helps you improve your rankings on search engines and increase your website’s chance of appearing on the first page.
If you’re not using SEO to help grow your online bakery or restaurant, like 70 percent of small businesses, you will remain invisible to your target audience. This can significantly diminish your sales opportunities and online authority.
Don’t worry, though. There’s still time to learn SEO and take advantage of it. It isn’t as complex as it seems, and you can start with these three SEO tips.
Focus on Local SEO
Local SEO is the process of optimizing your website, content and landing pages to rank higher on local searches.
Let’s say someone is searching for a service or a product in a particular area (e.g., “Japanese restaurant in California”). Google and other search engines will customize the results depending on the user’s location or the location that the user chose.
As you see, the searcher above (obviously) isn’t in California. So even though the search keyword contains the word “California,” the search engine results pages (SERPs) are tailored to the searcher’s location.
How To Implement a Local SEO strategy for Your Business
Whether you’re running a restaurant or bakery in your town, here’s what you can do to take advantage of local SEO:
Determine the keyword you’d like to rank for: Consider your main product or service when thinking of this. You may use common adjectives to appear better on search engines. For example, instead of just using “bakery,” you can add the modifier words “best,” “cheap,” “affordable,” etc.
Find out what keywords your competitors are using: If your competitors are ranking for these keywords, it means they’re doing something right. Identify what your competitors use to rank higher and apply it to your business, too. You may use software tools like Semrush’s Competitive Research Tool or SpyFu for this one.
List all geo-targeting keywords you can use: Geo-targeting keywords are location-specific. If your bakery is in New York City, list all the keywords you can think of. Here are some examples:
- “best bakery in New York City”
- “affordable bakery in New York City”
- “best affordable bakery in Queens, New York City”
List your business on local directories and Google Business Profile: Directories help search engines know where you are, what you do and how people contact you. When registering for local business directories and Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business), make sure to include all vital information and use your keyword/s on the description.
Start creating content: Include your keywords in blog posts and pages you’ll make.
Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly
According to Hitwise, almost 60 percent of online searches are done on mobile devices. You will become visible to a broader audience if your website is not only well-designed but also responsive to multiple platforms.
How To Optimize Your Site for Mobile
Improve your site speed and regularly check it: You can use plugins to boost your website’s loading time. Compressing images and picking a good web hosting also works. To determine your website speed, you can use Ubersuggest’s SEO Analyzer tool for free.
Image from Ubersuggest
Choose highly responsive themes: Only pick mobile-compatible templates.
Make your website navigable, clean and well-structured: Use sidebars and navigation menus properly. Texts should also match your brand, and make sure they are readable and professional-looking.
Avoid using pop-ups: Although pop-up forms are helpful for lead generation, pop-ups are not compatible with mobile devices, and they can ruin the user experience.
Apply viewport meta tag: Using this will adjust your site depending on the user’s mobile device, so they won’t need to scroll side to side to read texts or view images.
Start a Blog
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when it comes to starting a blog and all the concerns about what you should and shouldn’t do when creating a blog. So, here are some tips for you:
Create content for your audience: When blogging, your main priority is providing relevant posts for your customer personas. For example, if you’re offering Japanese food, you can create content for Japanese recipes, dos and don’ts when eating at a Japanese restaurant and eating ramen properly, etc.
Have a clear idea of what to write: Before writing anything, you must search for blog ideas. Think of the bigger picture when choosing topics for your blog. Make sure to create an outline you can follow so you won’t get sidetracked.
Avoid sounding like a robot: Write casually, as if you’re talking to your readers. Also, try to avoid using jargon and complex words.
Add statistics and data here and there: To show that you have done your research and have proof to back your claims, include data from high-authority pages.
The Benefits of Starting a Blog
Blogging is a great way to connect with your target audience and drive traffic to your site. Instead of just selling your products or services, you’re establishing relationships when you blog for the audience.
Blogs can also convert visitors into leads, which in turn can become your customers. It’s a long-term and cost-effective content strategy.
How To Optimize Your Blog for SEO
After following the tips above, it’s time to optimize your posts for SEO. Don’t forget to follow these steps:
Structure your content using topic clusters: HubSpot introduced this idea. It’s the process of creating multiple posts under one broad topic and using links to connect them back to the main page. This can improve your link building and make your content crawlable to search engines.
Image from HubSpot
Go for long-tailed keywords: Long-tailed keywords are usually 3-4 words and less competitive than short ones. For example, instead of targeting “Japanese food,” you can go for “how to eat Japanese natto.”
Use your keywords strategically: Once you choose the right keyword/s, you need to include them in your blog. Use them at least once in your headers and multiple times in the main body. You should also use relevant terms to avoid keyword stuffing.
Include visual content: Images, videos and infographics make your content more engaging and help you explain complex concepts visually.
Optimize your URL, title and alt texts: You should include your keywords in these three. Moreover, make sure that your title is catchy and you add alt texts to the most important images on your website.
Update existing content: After a few months or a year, go back to your content and see which information needs to be changed. Google tends to rank existing content better than new content.
Now that more businesses are going online, you should not miss this opportunity to follow suit. It might take time before you see the results of your SEO efforts, but it will be worth it. Start applying these tips, and you’ll start seeing improvements in your rankings or leads.