Making dough with Diane: December 2012

SEO strategies
Diane Chiasson
November 22, 2012
By
The pizza business is a very competitive one. Type “pizza” into your Google search bar and you will probably see hundreds of millions of results. So how can you get your pizza operation to appear on the first page of a search? To accomplish that feat, you need to create an online presence.

Today, your website needs to offer much more than just an address, phone number and menu. It needs to engage your visitors, and get them to visit your website over and over again. Your website also needs to have proper search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to improve in search engine rankings.

SEO is a must for all businesses today. Here are some tips to improve yours.

1. Good keywords
Good SEO starts with your keywords. Research the most important keywords and phrases that relate to your pizza operation by asking your customer what keywords they would use to search, studying your competitors’ websites, or using a keyword research tool. Include these relevant keywords in your homepage, your title tag and the rest of your content. Make sure you mention your location (city, town, province) repeatedly.
 
2. Update often
One of the key things that search engines look for is whether or not a website is constantly changing. Make sure you update your website on a regular basis (once a week at a minimum). Update new photos of your pizza or other products, promote your specials, upload videos, or start a blog. All the movement on your website will help you move up in the search rankings.

3. Build reciprocal links
Another way to increase your SEO is by building more reciprocal links to and from your website. Work with all the local non-competitive businesses in your area to help increase the number of links leading to and from your website. You can also get your suppliers to do reciprocal links.

4. Provide value-added content
Yes, your website should provide important information like location, operating hours, your menu and a map. But you should also provide value-added content like recipes or how-to videos. Offer recommendations for wines that pair well with your pizza. Develop a series to entice your customers to visit your website on a weekly basis.

5. Use social media
Social media will help you increase your search rankings significantly, but make sure that you research which social media tools would work best for your pizza operation. Certain social networks may not be very effective, depending on the demographics of your operation’s customer base.

6. Make your website attractive
Convey the personality of your pizza operation through your website via colour, text, graphics, videos, games, design and content. Your website should be like your storefront – it should draw potential customers inside to try your products.

7. Build relationships with customers
Make your website a place where you can interact with your customers. Allow customers to order pizza or make reservations online, have them sign up for a newsletter, allow them to post their comments on a comment board – the possibilities are endless. Whatever you choose, make your website interactive.


Diane Chiasson, FCSI, president of Chiasson Consultants Inc., has been helping restaurant, foodservice, hospitality and retail operators increase sales for over 30 years. Her company provides innovative and revenue-increasing foodservice and retail merchandising programs, interior design, branding, menu engineering, marketing and promotional campaigns, and much more. Contact her at 416-926-1338, toll-free at 1-888-926-6655 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or visit www.chiassonconsultants.com.

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