When people need catering services, where do they go first? If you answered “online” or “Google,” you are correct. According to Forbes, 70% of businesses that get online traffic by appearing on the first page of search results. Customers are surfing the web and they’re looking for your catering services. Will your website show up?
Caterers, just like any other business, need a solid SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy. Luckily, there are a few quick ways you can optimize your web presence today to drive traffic to your site and increase the visibility of your business online. By spending some time working on your SEO strategy, you can reach people searching for catering and, ultimately, make your business more profitable.
We’ve done exactly that with a few companies, such as the full event service South Florida Events, producing thousands of event leads from small birthday parties being catered and bounce rentals, to full corporate events of 200 people to County fairs and shows of thousands of people.
How Caterers Can Capitalize on SEO
When, where, and how your business gets found online all comes down to SEO. Catering is a competitive business and customers today expect a lot when it comes to their web experience. They expect your site to load quickly, offer relevant information, and make it easy to contact you. They also want you to show up where they are – primarily on Google and social media.
Basically, a good SEO strategy translates to more business. Catering businesses that effectively use SEO have better local search results and get more qualified leads. Also, having a strong online presence is a great way for caterers to connect with potential clients who will someday need help catering a wedding, party, or other events.
To get the most out of your SEO efforts, begin with an audit. Take an honest look at your website and your online presence. List all your social media accounts and whether or not they’re updated weekly. Is your website easy to navigate? Do you have landing pages and content geared at specific customer needs? Is your blog full of great content?
Look at the way your business appears online from the viewpoint of a customer and make notes about what works and what doesn’t. Knowing where you currently stand will help you more effectively use the following tips to create a solid SEO foundation.
Five Ways to SEO for Your Catering Business
1. Claim Your Business in Local Online Directories
Google My Business is a must for any business that focuses primarily on local customers. If you haven’t heard of Google My Business or you never got around to setting up your page, you’re missing out. Claiming your business on Google means customers can find you organically by searching for services near them. You can also receive the coveted “Google Review.” Getting several quality reviews can help skyrocket your listing in search results, but you can’t get this benefit if you don’t claim your business. You can also get listed on Yelp to gain even more exposure.
2. Start Using Keywords on Your Site
Keywords (words and phrases used in search boxes) are how your website gets found, whether you’re using pay-per-click marketing or focusing on organic traffic. Finding keywords that are relevant for your catering business and using them on web pages and in blog posts is a simple, effective SEO strategy. Popular keywords for catering services include:
- Catering Services Near Me
- Wedding Catering Services
- Local Catering Services
- Company Catering Services
- Catering Services Packages
- Wedding Catering Services Near Me
- Party Catering Services
- Local Catering Companies
- Local Wedding Caterers
- Full-Service Catering
This list will get you started with brainstorming additional keywords that are relevant to your business. Once you have the keywords you would like to use, look for ways to put them into title tags, metadata, blog posts, and page text. A word of caution though: don’t over-do it. Google frowns on “keyword stuffing,” so only use the most relevant ones and make sure the wording on your website is still appealing to customers.
3. Think Locally
Is your website speaking to a broader audience or are you targeting the local customers who will ultimately hire you? Catering is a very locally-focused business, so your website should represent that. When creating content, remember to include information that’s specific to your neighborhood. For example, if you operate your business in Miami, instead of creating a blog post about “Best Wedding Appetizers,” be specific and write about the “Top 10 Appetizers for a South Beach Wedding.”
4. Don’t Neglect Your Blog
When someone needs catering, you want them to think of your business first. In the days before the internet, businesses gained this top-of-mind awareness with lots of paid billboards, brochures, and commercials. Today, you have a very powerful tool to capture potential customers and you don’t need a lot of money to use it: your website blog. People love reading about events and they love browsing through pictures of beautifully plated food. Start updating your blog weekly with images of events you catered along with plenty of helpful tips and valuable content. If you can become a resource for people online, they’ll happily subscribe to your updates even if they don’t currently need catering. Then, in the future, they’ll come to you first.
5. Learn the Ins and Outs of “Alt Text”
If you’ve ever wondered how Google finds images for search results, the answer is Alt Text. Put simply, it’s a text description of an image you can enter when uploading photos to your site. Every photo on your website should have Alt Text. To help with SEO, remember to use keywords in Alt Text descriptions.
Being a caterer is a challenging yet rewarding career, and your online presence doesn’t have to be a source of frustration. You now have a solid SEO foundation to help your website show up in local search results, to drive traffic to your pages, and to keep customers interested in your catering services.