How to Increase Restaurant Website Traffic for Online Ordering

increase restaurant website traffic

Did you just get a website for your restaurant business so you can take online orders as well? Generating traffic on your restaurant website is the first thing you should focus on if you want your online orders to skyrocket. But it’s easier said than done.

The methods below will teach you how to tell your restaurant’s customers about your new website that allows online ordering.

Keep in mind that while it’s perfectly fine to use other food ordering portals to attract new customers, ideally, they should order from your website the next time they do. Food portals can charge up to 40% out of every order so not all profits will go to you. With your own online ordering system, not only will you save money, but you will also drive traffic to your website.

So, without further ado, let’s see how to increase restaurant website traffic for online ordering!

How to Boost Your Website on Google

Just to set the right expectations, you should know it takes some time for a website on a new domain (or an existing domain that was unused) to rank high in Google. Ranking depends on many factors, including restaurant search engine optimization (SEO), traffic, and backlinks.

Read more: Complete On-Page Restaurant SEO Practical Guide: How to Rank High

Learning how to boost SEO is just the first step. Below, we primarily look at the things you can do on your website and online ordering system to get first orders ASAP and set the stage for organic growth.

Upload high-quality photos in your menu

The phrase “pictures speak louder than words” is true for a reason. When it comes to food, people want to see what they’re going to order and be persuaded by the delicious looking images. Your menu should only contain high-quality photos that present the dish in the best possible light.

Edit your online menu following our video tutorials:

action plan to increase sales in a restaurant by using online ordering

Have a sales optimized website

If you want people not just to visit your website, but also to spend some time there and ultimately place an online order, you need to make sure your website is optimized for sales.

Here are a few essential characteristics of a sales optimized website:

  • Works flawlessly on mobile devices
  • Is designed to maximize conversion to cart and ordering
  • Loads fast on all devices - you may check your website’s performance with PageSpeed Insights
  • Has well-targeted restaurant SEO keywords on restaurant name, cuisine type, and restaurant location.
  • Features professional pictures of the food, the restaurant, etc.

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Offer a first online order promo

This type of promotion should be aimed at new online clients or existing clients that try your online ordering system for the first time. If you don't have a better idea, we recommend a 20% discount on first order for the most popular main course dish /item.

However, you can customize your promo as you wish in our online ordering system admin area. It will look like this:

increase restaurant traffic on your website with promos

Then, here’s how you should advertise your promo.

Print 500 flyers to start

One of the best ways to advertise your online promo and get more people to your website is to print and distribute flyers. You should add a flyer to every delivery and pick-up package, and have one on every table in the restaurant (as the case may be).

The flyers should be very simple and designed with the sole purpose of driving people to the website. So use one amazing food picture along with a promo deal available only online on your website. That's all.

If you don't have the skills or time necessary to design your own flyer, use the resource from the marketing area of our platform.

shift restaurant traffic trends upward by printing promo flyers

Depending on how well the flyer distribution goes you can always print additional flyers. To make the delivery or pickup package even better, you may consider giving away a free item like a drink or a dessert for first time clients.

Add a little note to every bag with a personalized message and your signature to show customers you appreciate their business.

Display a large format poster

Besides flyers, you should also feature the promotion on a large poster that you display behind the counter or at the entrance/on a window, especially if you want to keep it for a while. This will be an effective way to inform all walk-ins of your promotion and turn them into online orderers too.

If you don’t plan on using the promo for a long time and you feel like putting it on posters would be a waste of resources, you can keep the poster more generic and simply advertise that people can now order from you online.

best keywords for restaurants to rank on flyers and posters

Post about it on Facebook

First, set up a Facebook page for your restaurant if you don’t have one yet. This will come in handy on multiple occasions in the future. Then, add the URL of your sales optimized website there for easy access.

Next, use the Facebook button functionality to add a button to your page that will send customers right to your website where they can order.

This is how it should look like:

the facebook order button can help with seo for restaurants

Finally, you should also create your first boosted and pinned post on Facebook using a similar promo deal and picture combo. Feel free to use the hot link we provide in the admin area.

ways to increase restaurant traffic: post promos on facebook

Boost the photo so it shows up for people you want to target, and pin it so it always appears at the top of your page.

Facebook is a platform where you should post weekly about your promo deals, dish of the day, or specialties. Make sure that almost all your posts have a call to action and link to your website.

Use Google My Business

If you haven’t yet, set up your Google My Business page and add the URL of your sales optimized website there too.

Google My Business is extremely helpful to get your business noticed on Google and increase restaurant website traffic.

Read more: How to Optimize Google My Business for Your Restaurant: Must-Know Tips

How to stop food portals from hijacking your brand

It is very common for food delivery portals like Doordash or UberEats to do brand hijacking. To find out if they’re doing it to you, google your restaurant and check the box to the right. If they’ve added links to their own portals under the order feature, the answer is “Yes.”

improve food delivery seo so food portals don’t hijack it

These links feed the portals with the organic traffic your restaurant website should be getting. We recommend you remove those links because they are hurting your business. In order to do that, you will have to contact the portal and ask for removal.

Read more: How to Remove Your Restaurant from Third-Party Food Delivery Apps

However, be mentally prepared for resistance. Here’s what they may tell you:

  • Google can remove this (FALSE)
  • The person who does this is on vacation (FALSE)
  • They can only remove the link if you also remove your restaurant from their portal (FALSE)
  • You need to send an email (do this and then call again right away)

Here’s what you should do:

  • Insist on written confirmation that they will remove it immediately
  • Insist on written confirmation that they will not add it again later (they sometimes do this)

Food delivery portals have plenty of tricks up their sleeves and restaurant owners should beware of that if they wish to optimize their revenue stream.

Sometimes, you might spot ads from these portals targeting over the restaurant brand.

use restaurant seo keywords to prevent brand hijacking

If this happens, you should seriously run your numbers and see if you wouldn’t be better off completely ending all collaboration with such portals. Remember: no one can have a business without clients.

Use other local directories (TripAdvisor, Yelp, etc.)

You can also increase restaurant website traffic by claiming your TripAdvisor and Yelp profiles and adding the URL to your sales optimized website as well. You might also find other local review portals that are worth pursuing.

For each one of these portals, make sure the restaurant address is always correct and written the same way everywhere.

Read more:

Send SMSes

Another way to get traffic on your restaurant website is to send a batch of SMSes about the first time online promo to existing phone ordering clients.

Here is how you can SMS all your clients using our solution:

how to increase restaurant website traffic by sending SMS promos

Next Steps

When food orders surpass 50/month

Start doing Facebook boosted posts weekly. Find out how in the Business Help Center.

When food orders surpass 100/month

Activate the advanced multi-promo module in our admin area and run more types of promos simultaneously as needed, targeting reordering, first-time clients, big spenders, etc.

Paid advertisement

At some point, you may start thinking about creating online ads on Google too. But, how should you approach paid advertisement?

This depends on local charges from Google and Facebook. The price also depends a lot on how many other restaurants are bidding on the same keywords in your area, and how much they are bidding.

Read more about Facebook campaign objectives, targeting Facebook ads, budgeting ads, and how to create a Facebook ad:

Read more about Google Adwords advertising, keywords, creating ads, bidding and budgeting, and more:

To begin with, you could try making one AdWords search campaign with a total budget of about $70 and a Facebook boosted post for online ordering with a budget of $10-$30.

Remember to make use of the re-targeting functionality in AdWords so that anyone who visits the website and does not order (or has ordered too long ago) gets exposed to a banner or promo deal everytime they surf the internet.

Get a branded mobile app

If you are just beginning your journey with online ordering, focus on the website first. Don’t get a mobile app right away because then you’ll have to get people to install it too.

Convince people to order from your website and later on, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to tell them about your app. Some may even install it if they find it useful.

You can get a branded mobile app from us when you need one:

improve seo restaurant success by getting a branded mobile app

Conclusion

If you’re just getting started with your restaurant website and selling food online, these are the things you should focus on first to increase restaurant website traffic:

  • Have a claimed and verified Google Business listing pointing to the correct restaurant website and address;
  • Post regularly on Facebook linking back to your website;
  • Send regular newsletter/promotional emails or text message campaigns that link to the website;
  • Have printed materials (flyers, info cards) that link back to the website.

For a quality solution to all of your website related problems that will save you time and money, don’t forget to check out GloriaFood’s online ordering system for free.

Laura-Andreea Voicu

Laura is a content writer and marketing specialist with a knack for SEO. Her mission is to help restauranteurs make their business stand out and skyrocket sales by providing exceptional online marketing content.

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