Blogging has grown in popularity over the past five years with 175,000 blogs now created each day, and by starting a restaurant blog you could be one of them. From the personal musings of an individual, to multi-millionaire professional bloggers making a living from online writing, your blog can be anything you want it to be, including an active part of your restaurant marketing efforts.
Search engines love websites that are updated on a regular basis. In fact, if you update your website on a regular basis you’re far more likely to receive higher rankings in search engines such as Google, which means you stand a better chance of displaying above your competitors when potential customers are searching for a place to eat.
But blogs aren’t just useful in helping you to increase your search engine rankings, they’re also a fantastic way of providing a personal touch; a way for you to show your customers and indeed potential customers your human side. By showing people there is a face behind the dining experience, you will find it easier to build relationships with customers and find repeat business.
Blogs are also ideal for promoting your latest offers, displaying photos, or sharing news. With options available for people to subscribe to your blog, it’s very easy for customers to receive an email each time you post something new, allowing you to share your latest offers and news easily to a well-targeted audience.
When choosing what to write about, think carefully about your audience.
When choosing what to write about, think carefully about your audience. Your audience for your restaurant blog will be customers and potential customers, so consider what they may be interested in.
Customers will be interested in special offers, upcoming events and recipe ideas from their favourite restaurant and chef. Potential customers may be interested in special offers too, but they will also be interested in seeing your personal touch; photos from the restaurant and recent events, a message from the chef and stories from your customers who have had a particular good dining experience. All these things will show potential customers how they will be treated should they choose to become a customer.
Try to write at least once a week, even if you just write about the activities of the week gone by. By doing so, you’ll keep readers interested and remind them you’re still there and looking for their business, and you’re website will benefit from increased search engine rankings.
While having a blog with no audience will still help improve your search engine rankings, especially if you update it on a regular basis, what you really want to do is provide an engaging and interesting place for customers and potential customers to find useful information. But to do this, you need to attract those people to the blog in the first place. Here are four methods you could use to start attracting visitors.
Run a Competition – With each bill you hand out in your restaurant, provide a business card advertising your blog and a competition. For example, anybody that subscribes to your blog via email could be entered in to a prize draw to win a free meal for two at your restaurant.
A good blog increases repeat visitors to your website (and ultimately, your restaurant) so convincing them to subscribe via email is a fantastic way to keep them coming back. Once subscribed, they will receive an email each time you update your blog.
Use Social Media – Using social media to promote your restaurant is a fantastic way of increasing turnover, but it is also a good way to promote your latest blog posts. Each time you publish something new, post the website address of the blog post on your Facebook and Twitter accounts so the followers you already have in these circles are inclined to visit your website.
Display Your Blog Address on Your Print Marketing – While it is common place to display your website address on menus, flyers and bills, it isn’t as common to display the specific address of your blog. But by doing so, more people will be inclined to visit. People like to read what is on the minds of businesses they deal with, and they will be interested in seeing the ‘behind-the-scenes’ of your restaurant, so by making customers aware you have a blog they’ll be more inclined to visit your website.
Invite Customers to Participate – Blogs are naturally very interactive, allowing readers to comment and engage with the author. But they have potential to be even more engaging. Invite your restaurant customers to visit the blog and submit their favourite recipes for the world to see. Maybe run it as a competition, as discussed above, by allowing your chef to choose his or her favourite recipe and providing a prize to the winner.
However you use your blog, to promote your latest offers and news or to interact with your customers, be sure to post updates on a regular basis to ensure you make the most of the search engine ranking benefits and to ensure you keep your readers entertained.