SEO for Caterers
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short, is a process used to get greater online visibility, more website traffic, better and more consistent conversions, and ultimately, more business through organic search engine rankings. It is becoming increasingly important for caterers to rank well in search engines, as consumers are more distrusting of advertising, and ad blockers are more prevalent than ever. You can learn more about how SEO works in this post from MOZ, but if you’re ready to learn more about the foundational, “must-do” items, continue reading below.
Online content is hands down the most important tool for optimizing your site. Content like blog posts, answers to Frequently Asked Questions, or success stories, are a great way to reach people who are looking for your services, even if they are just in the initial research stage of the buying process. Providing the information your prospective clients need is going to make you an invaluable resource, and keep your catering business top of mind. Groovin’ Gourmets Catering has a blog full of awesome information that is helpful, interesting, and relevant to their clients. They cater a lot of weddings, so they have some excellent advice on affordable wedding flowers and important questions to ask your wedding venue.
While it’s great for your content to show up on the first page of search results, remember to think local. This blog post on “Beer Infused Food to Make for the Super Bowl” does a fantastic job of providing value (it gives recipe suggestions and beer-pairing suggestions) while attracting local visitors by teaming up with Richmond’s Hardywood Park Craft Brewery. Locally-optimized content tells search engines to serve your website to people in your area–you know, the folks who would ultimately end up hiring you!
Recipe videos from sites like Tasty and Delish have exploded onto the social media scene. These videos often go viral because they are quick, easy to follow, and feature a wide variety of seasonal recipes. Recipe videos work well for caterers because it gives you an opportunity to show off different menu items and provide serving suggestions, like pass-around appetizers vs. buffet-style. “About us” or “why to buy” videos are also a great way to showcase your business and generate excitement about your catering company. Purple Onion Catering has an excellent homepage video that gives prospects a tour of their office, showcases their employees, and helps potential clients get comfortable with the process. Be sure to link back to your website whenever sharing videos on social media!
In addition to locally-focused content, you can show up more frequently for searches done in your area if you’ve optimized your local listings. This is the process of claiming and updating any profiles of your business; for instance, Yelp, Google+, YellowPages.com, and Facebook are a few profiles you should create, providing a consistent name, address, and phone number for your business across all listings. Some sites may automatically generate a profile for your business, which will not provide the most accurate information. In this case, you’ll need to claim the profile as your own and update the information. The process is different for each site, but this is a critical project, because search engines use the information across these websites to give users the most relevant search results. If that information is inaccurate or inconsistent, search engines will not recognize it as valid, and your business will not show up in local search results. There are services that will manage all of your listings for you, like Yext or Moz Local if you don’t have the time to do this yourself.
Link building, or backlink building, is the process of getting other relevant websites to link back to your websites. An example of this would be the two links I’ve provided above, to Yext and Moz Local. When a useful, trusted website links to your website, it shows search engines that other users can trust your site and the information you are sharing, which gives you a boost in search rankings. This process can be tough, but if you spend time focused on your local listings, you can create your own backlinks! Yup, search engines like Google and Bing recognize the link from local profiles to your website as legitimate (and usually well trusted) backlinks. Another great reason to optimize all of your local profiles. The importance of high-quality backlinks has proven to be more and more important to search engines, so don’t neglect this step!
When you post links back to the content on your website or share videos on social media, you will get more people clicking on your posts, which is a huge indication that your content is valuable and interesting to users. Social media is a great way to promote your business and get noticed by search engines, but you must actively use it! Many caterers will create a Facebook page, only to post once every other month, or not at all. This is a FREE platform to generate business–don’t waste the opportunity!
Being present and engaging on social media is not just important for search engines, it’s important for your potential clients! Clients want to see your brand personality and photos of your food and events. This shows them what it would be like to work with you, and gives them a sense of your range and abilities.
The Bottom Line
Search engines want to provide users with the most useful and valuable information. If you want to show up in search rankings, you’ve got to put some effort into your digital marketing strategy.
No matter how strong your online presence, no catering business can succeed without the tools to stay organized! Register for a demo of Total Party Planner to see how you can easily manage your events and grow your catering business!