9 Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Restaurant's Website

By Raubi Perilli

      Jun 13, 2019     Solutions    

Your website is your home base for all of your restaurant marketing efforts. You post important information, make it a core part of your brand identity, and use it to draw customers into your restaurant.

But what's the point of having a restaurant website if customers aren't seeing it?

Without the right marketing strategy, your customers could be missing your website -- and your brand! So, follow these nine promotional tactics to drive traffic to your restaurant website so you can drive customers into your business.

#1) Create and Promote Blog Content

One of the biggest mistakes restaurant owners make is creating a static website. They launch a site, move on to other restaurant marketing ideas, and never take the time to update their pages. Don’t let your website grow stale.

Keep it alive by creating blog content and regularly publishing new information. Even a weekly blog can help you keep your website engaging. Plus, you can use your blog content marketing tactics to rank higher in Google and engage customers on social media.  

Not sure what to publish on your blog? Check out our guide on Why Every Business Needs to Start Acting Like a Media Company to get ideas.

#2) Answer Questions About Your Restaurant

Think about all of the questions your team is asked throughout the day. Some are going to be repeated throughout the day (When do you close? Is your avocado toast vegan?) while others are going to be more obscure. Use your website to drive address customer concerns and answer questions when they come up.  

This can be accomplished with a basic Frequently Asked Questions page if you want to keep the process simple. Use the FAQ to address concerns about vegan dishes, gluten-free options, kids menu items, and where your products are sourced. You can also break these questions out into a blog series if you need content ideas.

#3) Drive Your Social Followers to Your Website

Social media channels are a powerful driver for your website. Your customers are already online and already connecting with your brand. It only makes sense that the next step is to click through to your website. However, you need to give customers a reason to click. You can’t just push your homepage every day and expect customers to care.

This is where your blog content and explanations about menu items comes in. Create engaging social media stories and share photos and post updates that people care about and make clicking completely irresistible.   

#4) Drive Traffic from Review & Directory Sites

Most of your customers won’t visit your website directly. Instead, they will hear about your brand on social media, Google, and review sites. As you maintain and update business directory profiles on sites like Yelp and MyArea, make sure your website is prominent. Encourage people to visit your website to learn about your restaurant and have your questions answered. These review sites can be powerful traffic driving tools for your business.  

Is your restaurant on MyArea yet? If not, add it or claim your existing business page today!

#5) Add a Calendar to Your Website

If you run a restaurant that hosts special events and concerts throughout the week, consider adding a calendar to your website. This is a great way to turn your website into a resource that customers can turn to when they want to know what is coming up at your business. You can also promote the calendar on social media for fans to mark their calendars for upcoming bands or events that they won’t want to miss.

Don't forget to promote your event once you create it. Learn how in our guide: 6 Ways to Promote Your Event (That Have Nothing to Do With Creating a Facebook Listing).

#6) Implement a Targeted SEO Strategy

Your blog content shouldn’t be random. While you can post important updates like events or specific menu items, set aside a few spaces on your editorial calendar for targeted SEO content.  

One of the most popular search terms is the “near me,” search, which has seen more than 500% growth over the past few years. These terms include everything ranging from “mechanics near me” to “best hamburger near me.” Knowing this can help you create articles for SEO that are also on-brand for your restaurant. For example, if you run a hamburger joint, you want to rank highly for that “best hamburger near me,” phrase.

Not sure where to get started with an SEO plan? Let this post be your guide: The SEO Strategies and Best Practices Every Business Needs to Know.

#7) Ask People to Leave Online Reviews

Google is an incredibly powerful driver of traffic and customer decisions. Within the restaurant industry, people identify restaurants and read reviews within the Google interface before deciding where to go. Many of these customers also leave the Google interface and explore a restaurant’s website before deciding to try it out.

Your mission is to get in the top listings and recommendations by Google so customers can engage with your brand. If you have dozens of people leaving online reviews, then you increase your chances of showing up on Google Maps and in search, which will, in turn, drive traffic to the restaurant website and customers to your store.   

Want to make sure your reviews pop up on Google? Create a MyArea profile page so your brand shows up in search.

#8) Develop a Text or Email Marketing Campaign

Along with promoting your website on social media, consider starting an email or text marketing campaign to drive customers to your pages. This is a great way to promote your blog content and keep people coming back even after they have seen your website once.  

Campaigns like these highlight the importance of creating interesting blog content. If you’re not publishing posts that engage customers, then they will tune out of your other marketing materials.

Not sure how email or text marketing can work for you? Check out our posts This Is Why Restaurants Miss Out By Not Using Text Marketing? and Email Marketing for Restaurants: 7 Ways to Bring Customers Back.

#9) Promote Online Ordering

Drive traffic to your website by promoting online ordering. Highlight and link to your take-out and delivery options so customers visit your website to create an account and place their order.

When customers place online orders, it helps you build your customer database as you can lead them to create an account with their contact information.

Related: Drive More Online Restaurant Orders with These 8 Tips

Make Sure Your Website Is Mobile-Friendly

In 2019, every website on the web needs to be mobile-friendly. Almost 80% of adults in the United States own a smartphone and 72% of people expect the websites they use to be mobile-friendly. As a restaurant owner, you can’t afford to have a slow mobile website or a poor mobile experience.

More than half of your traffic is likely to come from mobile, and your customers will bounce somewhere else if your page won’t load. All of your other efforts on this list will go to waste if your audience can’t easily navigate your site.    

Explore Other Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Restaurant Website

These are just a few options for boosting your website traffic and getting your brand known to your area. To find more ways to promote your site, reach out to the team at MyArea Network. We are happy to look at your current promotions strategy and identify opportunities for improvement.