SEO for bars and bakeries

Hospitality has been the most severely affected industry during the pandemic, together with events planning. Now finally we are back to the way we used to be, experiencing our favourite places and exploring new locations.

What do you do when you want to dine out?

First, if you do know the name of the place, you check their website or use Google to find the phone number and contact details.
If you don’t know which place to go, then you will search for something like “restaurant near me” or a specific type of cuisine, like “Indian restaurant near me”, “Italian restaurant near me”.

This is a typical example of geo localised search.

Particularly if you are researching from mobile, it is possible to see the difference by doing a small experiment: try researching something like “Italian restaurant near me” then walk or take a bus, or move somewhere else. Then try searching again, and you will see that the results change based on where you are based. This is called “proximity to the point of search” and it matters for geo localised searches.

The results that you find will be based on Google Maps and you may have noticed that the results that you find on Google Maps can be very different.

In some cases, you can see listings that look much more complete.

Some may have images that show photos of dishes, preparations, photos of the menu. Some may have exterior photos, so you can recognise the façade straight away, and interiors so you can get an idea of what the decor is like. These are particularly helpful because sometimes you can really get an idea if it’s the place you are looking for just by their images.

Some show opening times, and this makes it so much easier for you to understand if they stay open later when you need it or if they’re open early just when you’re craving something and you’re nearby. You can find out if they do take-away, if you can have a contact-free delivery and if you can dine in.

You can see information regarding accessibility for people with mobility issues, how easy it would be to pay with your credit cards and which ones, and how inclusive the venue would be for people with gender-neutral toilets or a transgender safe space. You can see if the business is owned by a woman in case you want to support particularly a female-led venue.

You can also find immediately on Google a succinct description of the venue, their most famous menu options and cuisine. Sometimes, on Google, you can also see immediately a link to book a table at that restaurant. And then reviews; how many of us have been reading reviews before going to a place? I would say all of us.

How do some venues achieve all of these in the listings on Google Maps and why do some others have nothing? Is Google unfair? Actually, no. All venues have the same tool available and for free! This tool is called Google My Business.

For local businesses, if it’s well used, Google My Business can be a powerhouse for local SEO and local rankings.

Then there’s the venue’s website.

In one of our previous articles, we mentioned structured data. This is a sort of dictionary that the biggest search engines came out with, back more than 10 years ago, in order to understand what the content of a website can be.

A specific type of code that explains what the content of a page is about. Particularly for local businesses, there is a lot of different structured data that can and should be added to their websites. Nowadays, this can make quite a nice difference in terms of rankings.

And there are so many things that you can indicate and let Google and the readers find straight away:

  • If you accept reservations
  • Which type of menu, cuisine, star rating
  • Currency accepted
  • Opening hours
  • Food source policies
  • The founder and the founding date
  • If you are a member of an organisation
  • Maximum attendee capacity
  • If smoking is allowed
  • Your motto!
  • Which type of food establishment you are: are you a Fast Food Restaurant? Bakery? Bar or Pub? Brewery? Cafe or Coffee Shop? Distillery? Ice Cream Shop? Restaurant? Winery?

There’s so much that your website can do and can tell Google.

As we always say, you don’t want to play hide and seek with Google!

The easiest you can do is let Google understand what you can offer; the easiest you can Be Found Online.

Get in touch if you would like us to help you to let Google understand better what you offer so you can get more customers to your beautiful place.