It is often said that internet marketing – and Search Engine Optimisation in particular – is probably the most efficient and cost-effective form of modern marketing. However, due to its somewhat technical nature, it is often put to one side or ignored in favour of more traditional methods of marketing, which are easier to understand but may not be so effective in the 21st Century. Denis Kondopoulos, technical project manager, Naxtech, advises hopsitality businesses on how they can improve their visibility on Google.
If you want Google to know that your site exists, it certainly helps if you tell it so. Google regularly visits sites and follows links on them to find other sites, but you can tell it directly.
Simply submit your website for indexing at www.google.com/webmasters/tools/submit-url
Your site will then be added to a queue and Google will try to look at your site soon. While there is no timeframe given and no guarantees, in practice the process tends to take just a few days.
Put your business on the map
As technology evolves, search engines try to make their results as relevant as possible. This, combined with the popularity of GPS on smartphones, leads search engines such as Google to show results that are geographically nearby the user’s location.
Today, when you search for ‘restaurants’ on Google, the search results tend to be restaurants in the vicinity of your location. As many people know, this is because your phone or computer tells Google where you are and also knows the location of the restaurants.
While this may sound obvious you need to bear this in mind. A simple way to ensure that your business appears on these ‘local’ searches is to list the business on Google Maps. You can do this by registering your business at www.google.co.uk/business where you will be required to use your google account to login and go through the registration process. If you do not already have a Google account, it is very easy to open one.
Google will try to verify your entry; this usually happens via sms, phone, and /or postcard sent to the store. Once your entry is verified, your business will show on Google maps and potentially also in search results for local users.
When registering your business you need to ensure that:
- Your business information is accurate, including your opening times and contact details
- Your business description/classification sufficiently explains what you offer. The description/classification you use will be critical to whether you appear in search results
- You show what is unique about your business. Feel free to use photos, logos and other images to make your presence richer.
- Once the process is complete, you may start to notice that you are now easier to find online.
Focus on TAKEAWAYS
With the growing demand for takeaways, operators of such establishments would be well served by knowing what customers search for when looking for a takeaway.
Google has several tools and APIs (application programming interfaces) via which a web developer and other types of user can extract information. Harnessing information gleaned from an API in relation to the term ‘takeaway’ we extracted the following results.
Please note that numbers represent relative search interest. A value of 100 is the peak popularity for the term. A value of 50 means that the term is half as popular. Likewise, a score of 0 means the term was less than 1% as popular as the peak. All data are provided from Google. Google does not provide any further insights or explanations as to how the data were derived or classified.
Category: Restaurants - takeaway: 07/12/2015 - 07/12/2016, UK
|Pizza Hut takeaway||35|
|Takeaway near me||35|
|24 hour takeaway||15|
|Order takeaway online||10|
|Pizza Express takeaway||10|
|Burger King takeaway||5|
|Takeaway near me||80%|
|Burger King takeaway||70%|
* Top – the most popular search queries.
* Rising – queries with the biggest increase in search frequency since the last time period.
Denis Kondopoulos MBA MBCS CITP CEng CIM Google-Certified (Search, Display, Video, Shopping, Mobile) is technical project manager at Naxtech – a Microsoft, Google, IBM Partner; and maker of food-ordering.co.uk.