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This article is for restaurant owners that need some guidance with their digital presence. The year is 2012, and you have a restaurant based business. Do you honestly think traditional print media is worth you time and money? Leveraging social media networks, working on your SEO, and collecting good reviews should be your primary focus. If you are a local restaurant you have a dozens of competitors, no question about it. With the power of Internet you can bring in current and new customers.

Today we will provide a few useful tips that you should take advantage of.

Display Social Proof

Social Proof is the psychological mechanism that heavily influences the decision making process of new customers. If somebody said good things about a restaurant, chances are you will probably take their advice and dine there yourself. These so called Social Proofs come in many forms; ratings, testimonials, photos and more. A recent survey by the Washington Post solidified that feedback from previous customers, and not the business itself, is golden.

Many review sites, such as Yelp, Qype, etc, have API’s you can connect into. This allows you to display your ratings the same way Amazon shows product ratings. I know many personal friends that make their purchasing decisions based solely on ratings & reviews. This sort of credibility builds trust in consumers and increases reputation.

Schema Microdata

Schema is a rather new technology available in order to make your website content better understood by search engines. This site provides a collection of schemas, i.e., html tags, that webmasters can use to markup their pages in ways recognized by major search providers. Many sites are generated from structured data, which is often stored in databases. When this data is formatted into HTML, it becomes very difficult to recover the original structured data. Many applications, especially search engines, can benefit greatly from direct access to this structured data.

On-page markup enables search engines to understand the information on web pages and provide richer search results in order to make it easier for users to find relevant information on the web. Markup can also enable new tools and applications that make use of the structure. Google, Bing and Yahoo have teamed up to create this method of enhancing content on your website. It’s very important for restaurants and other businesses for two major reasons:

  • It can help search engines understand your content more accurately so that it can be associated with  far more relevant search queries.
  • They may enhance the search results someone sees when searching (also called “Rich Snippets”), thus already providing more information without making someone click a link.

Facebook Like Box

As obvious as it seems most businesses forget about it. Facebook Like Box provides a great way to stay in touch with first time visitors. Now that they have liked your business, every single status update will show up in their news feed. It’s the most popular social media channel out there and is far easier for a user to opt into than a newsletter. You can easily add a like box to your website by visiting the Facebook page to generate it. Try to actually engage your new audience on Facebook, do not spam them. This will frustrate them and potential customers will be lost.

Facebook Open Graph

The Open Graph Protocol helps Facebook make better sense of websites containing real world things and shared on Facebook. So if your website represents a restaurant, you can help Facebook recognize it as such when people share the link or click “Like” on the page. After a user adds your app to their Timeline, app specific actions are shared on Facebook via the Open Graph. As your app becomes an important part of how users express themselves, these actions are more prominently displayed throughout the Facebook Timeline, News Feed, and Ticker.

This enables your app to become a key part of the user’s and their friend’s experience on Facebook. Yes, this is a lot to take in and might sound confusing. Facebook is the second most visited site on Earth. Understanding how things work is going to help you succeed.

Conclusion

More tips are on the way in the upcoming article, so stay tuned! Did you enjoy this article? Got any feedback regarding this industry? Don’t be shy, comment below and let us know! For more useful articles, please don’t forget to subscribe to the RSS-feed and follow Inspirationfeed on TwitterGoogle+ and Facebook! If you enjoyed the following article we humbly ask you to comment, and help us spread the word!

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Posted by Igor Ovsyannykov

I'm a digital nomad and entrepreneur bouncing around South East Asia. When I'm not working here, I'm out taking photos. Follow me on Instagram: @igorovsyannykov

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