In today’s connected world, creating a website for your café is practically a no-brainer. Potential customers use it to check out your menu, get an idea of the ambience and see what other customers have said, before deciding to try your café out.
To get more visitors, your website needs to appear in the search results of popular search engines. This is where SEO or Search Engine Optimisation comes in.
Here are a few ways you can give your website a higher ranking on search engines:
Think like a customer
What would someone type into Google if they were searching for a café in your area?
Maybe 'café + [suburb]'. But what if they want something specific? Like Eggs Benedict? You should consider incorporating similar terms in, such as 'best Eggs Benedict in [suburb]', 'most recommended breakfasts in [suburb]', 'late night café [suburb]' or 'all day breakfast [suburb]'.
The word 'best' is a favourite among people who search online. So, add it to your content. Just don't go overboard or your copy won't read well.
If you want to be scientific about keywords, try a tool such as Google's keyword planner that shows you what terms people are using.
Make sure it’s mobile friendly
Google has made no secret of the fact that it now prefers mobile-friendly websites. So, if your site is only suited to a desktops and laptops, you risk being left out of listings.
Invest in an upgrade and make sure your website looks fantastic and works well on a mobile. (Tip: Make the address and contact details easy to find on every page).
Keep it fresh
Search engines prefer websites that are ‘fresh’ or regularly updated. The more frequently you update your website with new content such as articles, downloads and new web pages, the more frequently a search engine will stop by to visit your website.
Regularly updating your website with fresh content will not only earn appreciation and loyalty from your visitors, but will put you in good standing with search engines.
It's not just your website that matters, it's your entire online reputation. For good SEO results and a higher rating on Google, encourage your customers to leave reviews (positive, of course!) on sites such as goodfood.com.au, zomato.com or tripadvisor.com. You could also ask them to rate you on Google.
The more good ratings you have, the more likely your café will show up high on search results. You should also consider creating a basic social media presence on Facebook, Instagram and Google+ to help increase traffic to your website.
Add direct data
Google gives your business the chance to stand out by adding specific information to their search pages. This means that when a user searches for your café, they can see the address, the phone number and the opening hours without even having to click through to your website.
It is easy to set up an account in Google My Business to display these details.
Create cross partnerships
Search engines favour websites that link to other websites and have links from other websites. Consider a partnership with a local business like a gym, hairdresser or news agency and share links and cross promotions between sites.
Many cafés don't make the most of their website as a marketing tool. Take advantage of this to stand out online and bring in more customers.