July 3, 2019No Comments

Add Your Business to Search Engines

"I've opened my store and created a website. How do people find my business in search engines?" This is a valid question we receive daily. Want to add a business to search engines? This is your first step to search engine optimization. If you're a small business with a limited budget (we can do this for you, for a nominal fee) or want to take full ownership of your digital presence, Rust Creative has some handy tips for getting your business discovered in search engines. Fear not, this is not a complicated process. You won't wreak havoc on power grids if you input an incorrect value. You should do it correctly though. So, set aside an hour or so, grab a coffee, and start getting discovered in search engines.

Getting Started - Add your business to search engine Webmaster Tools

If your website is live, the first step in getting your business in search engines is to submit your website url (www.mywebsite.com) to Google Webmaster and Bing Webmaster. Create webmaster accounts with both Google and Bing with a business email address that you won't lose or forget (it happens). Both processes are easy to navigate, with helpful tips along the way.

Add a business sitemap to search engines

If your website operates on WordPress or another CMS (content management system) you likely already have a sitemap (a directory of all your web pages) stored at an address similar to www.mywebsite.com/sitemap.xml. If you don't, you'll have to create one. Once your sitemap is created or discovered, you'll want to submit that into your Google and Bing Webmaster accounts as well. This sitemap gives search engines a detailed overview of your website pages. From the sitemap, search engines will send "spiders" to crawl your website for content - and indexing those pages with high quality, original content.

Add your business to search engine business listings

Using your business email address, sign up for search engine business listings. Once logged in, you'll need to add photos of your business, your address (you will be mailed a verification postcard) and other info like your phone number, hours, and accessibility. These listings help to improve your local search results.

Integrate analytics to your website

For even more control over your web traffic, add an analytics code to your website. Again, go to Google Analytics and Bing Analytics to create accounts, get your tracking code, and helpful information for how to add this code to your website.

Ask for a link from your local Chamber of Commerce

Lastly, ask your local Chamber of Commerce to add a link to your website. Oftentimes, CoC's websites have been around for a long period of time and have good domain authority (a term used to determine the value of a link). These links will help your website climb up search rankings.

These are just the foundations of getting your business discovered in search engines. You will need to continuously monitor your traffic, analyze the data, and add high quality, original content to your website to both maintain and increase rankings - and traffic.

July 2, 2019No Comments

Content Marketing Resources

Content marketing is a complex machine, whether you’re overseeing a huge team or you’re a company of one. If you feel like you’re floating untethered in the content marketing cosmos, that’s understandable. Luckily, there are plenty of content marketing resources and tools out there to help you do your job.

We've gathered our favorite content marketing resources to help you stay grounded, gather inspiration, and find guidance. It’s everything you need, in one place.


  • Alltop: An aggregator of the Internet’s most popular stories.
  • Answer the Public: Visualizations of the questions people ask Google.
  • Brainpickings: An inventory of cross-disciplinary interestingness, spanning art, science, design, history, philosophy, and more.
  • BuzzSumo: Insights on the most-shared content on any topic.
  • Brandwatch: Search for the sub-topics web users are reading and writing about surrounding a certain keyword.
  • Discover: Tool to help discover inspiration, research opportunities, and collaborate with your team.
  • Feedly: Aggregates all the content from your favorite publications, blogs, and keywords.
  • FiveThirtyEight Newsletter: News, statistics, and trending topics.
  • Forekast: A real-time record of upcoming events and holidays.
  • Google Trends: Tracks trending subjects.
  • Oz Content: Software to help you generate data-informed content ideas by consolidating research and ideas.
  • Portent’s Content Idea Generator: Generates ideas based off of keywords.
  • Trendspottr: Shows emerging trends and pre-viral content.

  • Ann Handley’s Blog: Great tips from a great writer.
  • AP Stylebook: Twitter feed that posts AP Style tips for news writing.
  • Chicago Manual of Style: Searchable stylebook to follow best practices.
  • Grammar Girl: Quick and dirty tips for good grammar.
  • Grammarly: Useful Chrome plugin to catch spelling and grammar mistakes.
  • Headline Analyzer: Analyzes headlines for SEO and compelling words.
  • Hemingway Editor: Points out long, overly complex sentences.
  • Merriam-Webster Dictionary: Must-have reference to make sure spelling and usage is on point.
  • Smart Quotes: Tool to help you punctuate quotes the right way.
  • TapRun: 53+ tips to make your writing explode.
  • Thesaurus com: Easy reference for when right-clicking for alternatives just doesn’t cut it.
  • Title Cap: Tells you if a word should be capitalized.
  • Title Generator: Generate solid titles for SEO.
  • Transfluent: Professional translations for your global audience.
  • On Writing Well by William Zinsser: Principles of how to write well on any topic.
  • RhymeZone: Tool to make your writing punderful.
  • WordHippo: Find synonyms, antonyms, or rhyming words. Search for things like “adverb of” and “words containing.”


  • All The Free Stock: Free stock images, video, music, and icons.
  • Audacity: Record, edit, and publish podcasts and interviews with this free software.
  • Contentful: CRM that allows editors and developers to oversee and serve content into mobile and web applications.
  • Coolors: Tool to generate color palettes.
  • Creative Market: An online marketplace for handcrafted design assets like graphics, fonts, photos, and more
  • Typogui: Resource for all things typography.
  • The Data Visualisation Catalogue: Great way to learn about data visualization.
  • The Noun Project: A huge icon library.
  • Pexels: Site for free high-quality stock photos.
  • Pikwizard: Free image library, including many high-quality people-centric photos.
  • Raw Pixel: Free images, PSD mockups and vectors.
  • Unsplash: Site for free high-quality stock photos. 10 new photos every 10 days.


  • Awwwards: The awards for design, creativity, and innovation on the Internet.
  • Call to Idea: Inspiration for web design.
  • Behance: Portfolio site to search a variety of work types.
  • Designspiration: A simple way to search for inspiration for any design-related project.
  • Dribbble: Portfolio site/place to find freelance designers.
  • Grain Edit: Vintage design examples from the 1950s–1970s.


  • Basecamp: Create to-do lists, collaborate with your team, and send deliverables to the client.
  • Dropbox: Store, share, and organize your files in a secure place in the cloud.
  • Google Calendar: Customize your calendar for a more productive day.
  • InvisionApp: Collaborate with team members on design feedback, review, and approve designs in interactive prototypes before they go into development.
  • ProofHQ: Easily track comments and edits from multiple collaborators in one location.
  • Teamweek: A tool for project management and team planning.
  • Trello: Organize projects with Trello boards and easily collaborate with others on your team.
  • Slack: An instant-messaging app with all the features of email.
  • Smartsheet: Shareable, up-to-date timelines and task scheduling for any project.


  • Copyblogger: Blogs, podcasts, and lessons on mastering the art of content marketing.
  • Inbound: Tips, tricks, and marketing news.
  • Content Marketing Institute: Tips, studies, etc. from the Institute.
  • HubSpot Academy: Case studies, trainings, and other stuff to get inspired.
  • Kapost: B2B content marketing platform with additional resources like webinars, templates, and e-books.
  • MarketingProfs: A virtual hub for online marketing resources, articles, tutorials, and training.
  • Moz Blog: SEO and marketing advice, how-tos, and insights.
  • NewsCred: Platform and info for content marketing creation, distribution, and measurement.
  • Neil Patel’s blog: Great tips on SEO, growing your blog, etc.
  • Search Engine Land: Everything you need to know about SEO.
  • Seth Godin’s blog: Awesome thoughts from a branding whiz.
  • Simon Sinek’s blog: Great thoughts from a TED superstar.
  • Sophisticated Marketer’s Podcast: Jason Miller’s conversations with marketing geniuses.  
  • The Content Strategist: Latest and greatest industry news from Contently.
  • The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten: Insights and actionable advice straight from the trenches of startup and business life.


  • Buffer: Tool for social media management.
  • BuzzStream Discovery: Find the right influencers for your content marketing efforts.
  • CoSchedule: All-in-one blog editorial calendar and social publishing tool for WordPress.
  • Curata CCS: Curate content to become a thought-leader.
  • Guide to Social Media Content Creation: Helpful tips for creating compelling social content from Firm of the Future.
  • Hootsuite: Manage up to 35 different social networks. Customize your feed, schedule posts, and track analytics.
  • MailChimp: Create multiple lists and segments for targeted email marketing.
  • Meet Edgar: A tool that schedules and catalogues your social media updates.
  • Narrow.io: Build your social following on Twitter.
  • Nuvi: Visualizations of social data.
  • SlideShare: Upload and share your PowerPoint presentations, Word docs, or Adobe PDF portfolios.
  • Tweetdeck: A customizable dashboard that displays timelines, trends, hashtags, and more.


  • 6 Ways to Do Keyword Research: Useful tips on how to find the best keywords.
  • AeroLeads: All-in-one prospecting and lead-gen software.
  • Crazy Egg: See where users are clicking on your website with heatmap reports.
  • GetSiteControl: Tools for newsletter popups, social, etc.
  • Google Analytics: Monitor all site visitor behavior.
  • LeadQuizzes: Captures leads through quizzes and engaging content.
  • Optimizely: Test and personalize your site and mobile apps.
  • OptinMonster: Make and A/B test lead capture forms.
  • Picreel: Increases conversion rates and recovers abandoning visitors.
  • Sumo: Great tools to help grow website traffic and increase leads.
  • Unbounce: Create landing pages that convert.
  • WPForms: A contact form plugin for WordPress.
  • Yoast: Website optimization and SEO.


  • Brian Balfour: Great essays on hacks for customer acquisition and growth.
  • Contently: Creative marketplace to help your content marketing.
  • Coursera: Online courses from top schools, accessible to the masses.
  • Lynda.com: Find tutorials at all levels, from technical and software-specific subjects to project management and leadership training.
  • Product Hunt: An ongoing curation of new products and tools.
  • June 19, 2019No Comments

    Local Search Optimization

    We recently used local search optimization and keyword gap analysis to increase traffic for a new client that was looking to gain more visibility in search rankings. Like any Rust Creative client, we ran free audits of their online assets including their website and social media (we run monthly audits for all of our clients). Our discovery wasn't much of a surprise - they ranked extremely low on every keyword except for their name. So, we proposed a solution.

    Local Search Optimization & Keyword Gap Analysis

    Their ideal keywords ("eyewear," for example) are highly competitive. So, we ran a gap analysis to see discover keyword strings related to their market, how competitive each string was, where their competitors ranked, and how much search volume those strings received. With this information we settled on two keyword strings that are both competitive and receive high search volume. The key though? Their competitors do not have much search volume for these keyword strings.


    1. Client wants to rank for "eyewear."
    2. Gap Analysis to discover keyword strings we can start building search visibility for
    3. Discover the search terms "ballistic eyepro" and "tactical eyepro" - both terms that are relevant for their product

    At the same time we ran analysis, we started building up their local search optimization. Oftentimes, this is a largely overlooked area that is easily remedied with a quick audit and edit of your homepage and other online assets.

    This is where we often tell new clients that results take anywhere from 3-6 months. We edited all their online assets, posted from their social media, and kept a close eye on analytics. This client didn't see a boost in search rankings in 3-6 months, they went from ranking 121st to 4th in a week. That's right, one week! By improving their local search rankings, posting with regularity on social media, adding fresh, optimized content to their website and optimizing their web pages for search engines, we were able to significantly increase traffic, lower bounce rates (the rate at which visitors quickly leave your website), and increase sales.

    Client: e-Tint

    There's a reason our clients rank high in local search and global search - we know what we're doing, we make necessary changes that last in the long run, and we're transparent about what we're doing. Local search optimization should not be ignored. Let Rust Creative fix your local search optimization!

    This is another decidedly different and brilliant post from Rust Creative. If you would like to receive a free website audit, contact us. If you're website needs optimized for local search traffic, contact us. We can help. See more search engine optimization.

    Rust Creative - Search, Social, Design, Marketing and Photo Agency

    Rust Creative - Search, Social, Design, Marketing and Photo Agency



    June 5, 2019No Comments

    Instagram Marketing for Restaurants

    If you are looking to reach new customers and interact with existing ones, there's no better way than by using Instagram for your restaurant marketing. With more than 340 million posts tagged #food and 37 million with #drinks, food and beverage photos are easily some of the most popular types of content on Instagram. There’s perhaps no industry for which Instagram is better geared than the restaurant industry. Research has shown that people 18-35 spend five whole days a year browsing food images on Instagram, and 30% would avoid a restaurant if their Instagram presence was weak.

    Why care? As a restaurant, you know connecting with customers and keeping your restaurant top-of-mind is an important key to your success. Instagram allows you to put your best food forward, interact with your customers in an authentic way and reach new people. So whether you’ve tapped into Instagram already or need some instruction to get started, here are some tips to help maximize your success on today’s most powerful social media platform.

    Statistic: Distribution of Instagram users worldwide as of April 2019, by age group | Statista

    • 79% of Instagram users are between the ages of 18-44. These people are either firmly in your demographic, or soon to be. Most likely, your target audience is engaging with Instagram on a daily basis. To reach these customers, you need to post 3-5 times a week and create engaging content to keep them interested.
    • 88% of people are influenced by reviews and online comments, having an intentional digital strategy is important to your restaurant or bar.

    The Basics of Posting on Instagram for Restaurants

    1. Always post your best images.

    Your goal is to get a customer’s attention. If you are posting food, make sure the photo is appetizing. Your restaurant interior? Inviting. A photo of your staff? Make me want to work there. Avoid blurry images, images that are too close up, or ones you simply don’t love. Use imagery that reflects your brand by sticking with a consistent filter or Lightroom preset. Need a food photographer - we can help with that.


    View this post on Instagram


    We’re delicately crafting new cocktails for you this week. See you at 4pm.

    A post shared by Franklin Hotel Bar (@franklinhotelbar) on

    2. Be consistent.

    Your Instagram feed is a representation of your brand. When a potential customer is deciding whether or not to follow you or interact with your photos, they are going to base it off of looks. Establish a theme you can maintain, such as a general color scheme, editing technique, or photographic style.

    3. Post often.

    The more you post, the more likely people are to see your content, and therefore, your restaurant. As a rule of thumb, I aim for one post a day. You can always post more or less often than that, but avoid posting photos too close together (space out photos by at least 4 hours). It’s okay to test out posting more or less often to find your sweet spot. We typically post weekend specials for clients on Thursdays to entice existing and potential customers to make a reservation.

    Increasing Your Instagram Restaurant Following

    1. Use appropriate hashtags.

    This is key for potential new customers to find your restaurant. To determine the best hashtags to use, think of keywords that describe your photo. For instance, if you’ve photographed a burger, search “burger” in Instagram’s hashtag section and use those results as starting point. For instance: when I search #burger, it gives me #bestburgers, which gives me related hashtags such as #burgertime and #burgerlove. Instagram caps you off at 30 hashtags, so maximize the effectiveness of the hashtags you use by choosing ones which relate to your location or cuisine type. You can include hashtags in your caption, or post them separately as a comment below your caption (this is visually cleaner).

    2. Interact with people.

    It’s important to establish a relationship with your followers. I recommend responding to every comment you receive on your posts, and at the very least, “liking” the comment. Your customers will be incentivized to interact with you more, and that engagement increases the chance that your post stays closer the top of people’s feed, or makes the Popular Page of Instagram.

    3. Post at strategic times.

    Having a business account on Instagram makes it easy to see what time of day your customers are seeing and interacting with your posts. Make a note to post during those times, and set reminders for yourself.

    4. Cover your special events and community interactions

    Do you have an interesting event that you're hosting? Do you donate food or coffee to a shelter or community event? Photograph it, or hire someone to cover the event for you and use that content to build trust with your community. Your restaurant's Instagram is the perfect place to show how much you care about your community.

    Take Instagram Marketing for your Restaurant up a notch

    1. Run Instagram Ads.

    Instagram makes it easy by allowing you to target locals and set up an ad straight from your phone. Pick an appetizing food image, brainstorm a simple and eye-catching caption with your staff, and get ready to advertise!

    2. Use Movement

    Video creates an entirely different type of engagement. If the first few segments are interesting, your audience will respond by interacting with the post longer than an image post.

    August 16, 2018No Comments

    What is SEO and Why Do I Need It?

    What is SEO?

    SEO is an acronym that stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is a complex series processes on the front and back ends of your website - along with marketing and content creation - that help your website be discovered by search engines.


    Do we really need to explain this? Everybody uses search engines to find information on the internet - price comparisons, articles, how-to's and more. When you enter a search term, or query, the search engine uses an ever-adapting and complicated algorithm to return what they think are the most appropriate and useful results.

    This is different than browsing a news site or scrolling through social media looking for information. Users are actively looking for a specific answer, which you should keep in mind when creating effective content.


    The search “engines” that people use to find information are essential because they return prioritized results for users. They first use crawlers (spiders) to explore the web, then they record everything they find in databases (or indexes). When you perform a search, the engine is actually returning results from its index rather than the live internet.

    The important thing to remember is that all these engines use specific criteria for returning results. They look at factors like keyword density and meta tags to understand what your pages are about. Also, they keep track of which pages have linked to your content, and they use that information (along with other factors) to determine what page has the most authority.


    In order for users to find you via search, you need to show up on the first few results pages (usually the first) for their search terms. That’s why you need to optimize your content for the search engines. This doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does require some attention.

    If you want to rank highly in search engines, you need to make sure:
    • The search engines can find you
    • They know what each web page is about
    • They feel your page/site has authority and credibility for the content you’re publishing

    How Does SEO Work?

    Ultimately, SEO is about coding your information for search engines and making it accessible or discoverable by their crawlers. Their goal is to provide the most resourceful information to visitors when they need it. In order to do that, we have to understand SEO, changes in search algorithms, publishing and how it all works conjunction with each other.

    Why Does My Business Need SEO?

    Many businesses believe that SEO strategies do not apply to them. Either they see it as too complicated, or they think their brick-and-mortar or small business won't see any tangible benefit from search engines. Both are untrue. SEO helps your business in many ways and is an essential tool in your marketing and outreach efforts.

    Everyone Uses Search Engines

    Even if a customer is frequents your business and knows your name, they are more likely to search for you rather than remember your domain. At the very least, then, you’ll want to make sure searchers can find your site when they’re looking for you.

    SEO Increases Traffic

    If you provide valuable information and make it easy for search engines to find and organize it, they will reward you with higher rankings. This increased exposure means more visitors to your pages.

    As with most marketing, you want to get your content in front of as many eyeballs as you can. Especially when your audience wants what you have, and SEO is a great tool for targeting.

    SEO Brings You Qualified Leads

    Since search engines return results to users who are actively searching for a particular term or phrase, getting to the top of that stack means you’re providing information to the people who want it most, when they want it.

    Unlike advertising, you aren’t trying to push information in front of people who might not be interested at the time. So, you have an active audience, and you don’t have to pay to get the message to them.

    Overall, search engine optimization is one of the most effective and sustainable ways to build your online presence. Rather than seeing it as something to “fix” after you’ve created content, keep SEO top of mind from the beginning.

    By following best practices at the start, you’ll create interesting, useful content that potential customers want (or need) to read. Then, the search engines will be happy to put you in front of a larger audience.

    July 13, 2018No Comments

    Why Can’t Google Find My Business?

    Why Can't Google Find My Business?

    According to a recent Forbes article on small businesses, research demonstrates that smaller businesses, by and large, are not maximizing the benefit of their Internet presence. This may be surprising to hear, and even disappointing to some, but it should be pointed out that those taking advantage of it, are really experiencing significant gains.

    So, why can't Google find your business? Why aren't you showing up in searches? Rust Creative's SEO Division will explain how to get discovered on search engines.

    1 . Your Website is Not Optimized for Crawling

    Search engine optimization isn’t just about meeting searchers’ needs. Your first priority should be optimizing your website for search engine crawling so that search engines can index it and serve it up to searchers. If you don’t have keywords in these places on your webpages, Google will have a hard time indexing you, and users with finding you. (This is not a comprehensive list. It is however a good starting point.)

    • Title Tags: This is the title of your pages or post, and the first piece of information Google collects to “read” it.
    • Meta Content: This is the brief snippet that appears on search engine results pages and further describes your page or post to search engines. Your meta content will include your title tag, your description, and schema data for indexing. There is even more schema data you should consider including if you review products on a blog, write news articles, or sell products. Each piece of meta content is relevant to the purpose of your website and should not be ignored.
    • URL: The URL is the unique address for each page or post. These should have trailing URLS that are user-friendly to remember. If any of your web urls end in ".html" or ".php" you will experience issues.
    • Alt Tags: Alt tags create a text alternative of photos that Google can read them
    • Add Google Analytics to your site
    • Submit your .xml sitemap for indexing
    • Sign up for Google Console

    2. You Need to Work with Localized Search

    When people search for products and services, they commonly type in [industry, product, service] + [their city or town]. If your website does not make your business’s location known to search engines, you’re likely to be buried down the search rankings. It will also throw your website into the larger industry bucket, rather than your local area, making it even harder to rank.

    3. Your Website is Not Mobile-friendly and Slow Loading

    Your website is needs to be responsive or mobile-friendly. Google loves to provide websites to users that are easy to use and meet their needs. If your website crashes, loads slowly, or functions poorly on mobile devices, Google will want to hide it to protect its users from a poor experience. A good web design company or SEO agency will test your design across all popular browsers, making adjustments accordingly.

    4. Your Website is Not User-friendly

    Having a working website is not enough (and purely subjective). Users need to be able to move around on it easily and intuitively.  Google can detect poor navigation structure through its users’ behavior. Make sure your website is optimized for seamless navigation and longer engagement. Otherwise it will get buried under competitors’ websites that are more user-friendly.

    5. You’re Not Targeting Keywords Effectively

    Each page on your website should target a different keyword, and the keywords should be placed into the body of the page naturally. If you can’t find your website when you type relevant search terms into Google, make sure the page associated with that keyword has accurate, up-to-date, useful information. The keywords that you should use are ones that your customers are going to be most likely to look for. To find this, it’s best to put yourself in the shoes of your customer and figure out what they would search for based on their priorities and experiences. Careful though, keyword stuffing worked in the past but will not get you blacklisted!

    July 11, 2018No Comments

    We Create Stories

    We're living in a new era in product development, placement, and our means to advertise and market those products. Print ads are mostly dead, TV ads are bought by the large corporations, and you likely don't have a budget to hire a director to film a video that will go viral on YouTube. We're living in an era where you need creatives to help find new ways of promoting your service or product to an audience who will return to you again and again. That being said, we don't work for people with disposable products, who hire disposable employees. We work for people with new ideas, with handmade products, who have stories to tell.

    We go into the field, to create visual stories about your product or service. Sometimes, we go to far off places. We're writers, artists, photographers, sure, but we're also educated consumers tired of the same old trickery.

    June 4, 2018No Comments

    Seven Courses – Main Street Kent

    Main Street Kent hosted the annual “Seven Courses of Kent” dinner party in downtown Kent at Treno Ristorante, an upscale Italian restaurant situated in the historical train depot overlooking the Cuyahoga River.

    Guests enjoyed a delectable seven-course meal comprised of dishes from seven Kent eateries. Each course was paired with a beer or wine selection chosen by a representative of Heidelberg Distributing Company. All-inclusive tickets included the seven-course dinner complete with wine and beer pairings, tax and gratuity.

    This event was generously sponsored by Instantwhip Foods, Inc., Portage Community Bank, and Heidelberg Distributing Company. All food was donated by our generous business owners, and event proceeds benefited Main Street Kent.

    Guests enjoyed a variety of soup, salad, hors d’oeuvre, entrée and dessert courses from these seven Kent establishments: Burnside Barbecue, Franklin Hotel Bar, Lucci's Place, NINETEEN10, Twisted Meltz, Popped!, Treno Ristorante. It’s a great opportunity to indulge in some of Kent’s best cuisine, all in one night!

    June 4, 2018No Comments

    Food Photography

    Food Photography

    Commercial photo studio specializing in food photography for local and national brands, restaurants, chefs, cookbooks, lifestyle and food-related subjects. We can shoot in studio, on location, and travel/lifestyle photography. We know our way around a kitchen, so we’ll stay out of the way, or, better yet, we can prepare your meals in-house and shoot them from our studio, provided you supply us with a recipe. Tired of over-styled food photos? Us too. Our minimal approach to food styling lets the food speak for itself. Our recipe for food photography success is as follows: 1/4c Jackson Pollock, 1/2tbs Francis Mallman, seasoned with natural light and a dash of Daido Moriyama.

    We’re Gastronomes…

    Who also love food photography! We could all say that we have a long history with food. We need it, after all, to survive. Our founder, Roger Hoover, began life watching his grandfather, Charles, turn flour, a few eggs, and water into divine kluski noodles. The alchemy of cooking has always intrigued him.  It was his grandfather too who inspired Roger’s brother, Josef, to become a chef. In all, there are three chefs in our founder’s family alone. It was only natural that Hoover combined his fine art education with his love for food and became a food photographer.


    January 24, 2018Comments are off for this post.

    Search Engine Optimization and Social Media for Restaurants

    We've dined at Charlie Trotter's in Chicago, explored BBQ throughout the gravel roads of the American South, crushed grapes in Milan, and still take adventurous gastronomic trips in some of America's finest cities. We're food lovers with a lifetime of experience in design, marketing, and photography. That's why, a few years ago, we started focusing more on restaurants than any other industry.

    Search Engine Optimization for Restaurants

    Think about how you search for a restaurant. Google? Yelp (ugh)? Facebook? Its all digital. Its all online. The majority of prospective customers will find your restaurant by using a search engine. If you aren't thinking about search engine optimization (SEO), you'll be a foregone dining conclusion. Below, we identify the first steps you can take to boost your restaurant's search engine rankings.

    Food Photography

    We're visual creatures. This is the first thing any customer will see. It is your first chance to seating someone at your table. You need quality, high resolution food photography for your website, social media, and other marketing materials. If you haven't yet, hire a food photographer, now. For the sake of search engine optimization, when inserting an image on your website, you must include text inside the "alt" and "title" attributes - this helps the images get discovered in all search engines, boosting your rankings. For example, at a bare minimum, include your business name in these fields:

    <img src="https://rustcreative.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/taproot-2.jpg" alt="Taproot Catering" title="Taproot Catering" />

    Local Search

    If you're a restaurant in Cleveland, Ohio, you don't necessarily need to be discovered by someone searching for "fine dining" in San Francisco. Google, Yahoo, and other search engines have implemented local search results for businesses. You need to start by claiming, standardizing data, and optimizing listings for your restaurant across all of the major and relevant local search properties. This includes a mix of search engine directories, social media sites, and industry-specific directory sites.

    Accurate name, address, hours and phone data that is consistent across all data sources is a critical foundational element of local SEO. Make sure your business description and business categories align with your focus search engine terms.

    It is a lot of work. But all of this will work together to grow your online visibility.

    Engage on Social Media

    Its proven that social media engagement will drive users to your site. Social media is an experiential extension of your restaurant, food, employees and customers. Showcase what customers can expect to experience at your restaurant. A strong social presence often correlates with a strong organic search presence as content, engagement, and popularity align with the important SEO pillars.

    Develop a social media strategy that reflects your brand and follow through with consistency, quality, and awareness. Engage with your followers. How you communicate online sets a perception of your overall customer service and approach.

    Create Unique Content

    We started a Cocktail Blog for client Franklin Hotel Bar that highlights the history of some of the classic cocktails they serve. Along with humor and copy that reflects Franklin Hotel Bar's brand, the copy is original, highly shareable, and has driven many potential customers to their bar stools. Search engines devour original content. Start writing yours now.

    Along with unique content, you need to display your menu on your website...and we're not talking about adding a pdf, or inserting flash. Flash and pdfs are not searchable by search engines. You're losing customers by not sharing your menu in html.

    Search Engine Optimization for Restaurants

    You're crunching numbers, keeping staff working with consistency, trying to deliver the best food service in your local market. Search engine optimization and social media may be far down on your list of "things to do" but they're crucial to the overall vitality of your restaurant. Rust Creative has over twenty-years experience with search engine optimization. We have been at the forefront of social media since its inception. We're here to help you. Contact us for a free assessment of your current digital marketing health.

    How can we help?

    Feel free to ask a question or simply leave a comment.