Restaurant Websites

How to Get Free & Easy Traffic to Your Restaurant Website

Duffys MVP Restaurant Website

Do you want some free and easy traffic to your restaurant website?

Google Analytics Referral

Links to your site absolutely matter if you want your restaurant to get found online. And I’m going to share with you an easy way to pull more in.

Let me rephrase that. I’m going to remind you of a way to pull more traffic to your website that I’ve shared a variation on before.

It’s not enough to have a well-designed site, a responsive site, or even a useful site that features extraordinary search and ordering capabilities.

If you want this free and easy traffic to your restaurant website, you’ve got to also be useful.

That’s particularly true with single location restaurants, where this tactic I’m about to share is even easier to implement.

I’ll save the full list of items that should be on your radar for making your website more discoverable for an upcoming post. For today, let’s focus on that free and easy traffic.

Here’s a really powerful way — that I can’t really take credit for, though I hinted to it in a past post — to get the links you deserve:

Add recipes for your menu items to your site.

This isn’t just my creative idea. Check out where this comes from in the real world: A Surefire Recipe to Getting the Links You Deserve.

The article is found at Search Engine Land, and here’s the gist:

The author, Julie Joyce, wanted to make a homemade version of Olive Garden’s salad dressing. She loves it. That desire prompted her to search for recipes of said salad dressing online. And what did she discover?

Olive Garden themselves puts recipes of some of their menu items online. In fact, as the author puts it, “a search for ‘Olive Garden recipes’ returns over 6 million results, and guess who’s number one? That’s right: Olive Garden.”

Here’s proof. Check out the screenshot below. They’re number one in the organic search results, after the ad.

Olive Garden Recipes

Now, let’s dig into this a little bit more, shall we?

Julie points out that P.F. Chang’s doesn’t come up quite as high as Olive Garden when you search for its recipes. But more important, a random site called Damn Delicious is ranked one spot higher than P.F. Chang’s and has 94 inbound links to their web page featuring variations of P.F. Chang’s menu item recipes.

Read:  Google Analytics for Restaurants: The Essentials

Are your creative wheels churning yet?

Let’s try this with Chipotle and Cheesecake Factory.

We’ll start with Chipotle.

Do a search for “Chipotle recipes” and you’ll discover that Chipotle has only one page that shows up at all in the first several pages of search results, and it’s merely a menu page, not a recipe page. Missed opportunity.

I love what Julie says in her post: “You could be failing to capture traffic that is rightfully yours.”

People are searching for ways to make poor-man’s versions of your menu items. They like your restaurant. They like specific menu items. They just want to occasionally make their own versions of them.

Why not give consumers that yourself, rather than hand that traffic over to someone else?

Now, how about Cheesecake Factory?

Boom. They come up #1, just like Olive Garden. Nice work.

Cheesecake Factory Recipes

If you’re not convinced yet, digest this statistic…

Know what Google tells me the estimated number of searches per month for the phrase “Cheesecake Factory recipes” is? Five thousand, four hundred, people. 5,400.

Cheesecake Factory Recipes search

Okay, maybe people aren’t searching THAT often for YOUR restaurant’s recipes. Fair enough.

I’ll share what Julie suggests in her post. Ask yourself these three questions:

  1. What do I have?
  2. What do people want from me?
  3. How can I give it to them?

A careful review of your Google Analytics and, if you’ve setup a Google AdWords account, some thoughtful usage of the Keyword Planner tool will give you a multitude of answers.

Maybe you should revisit our post on Content Marketing for Restaurants.

In that article, we share a variety of ready-to-implement approaches for capturing traffic to your restaurant website from people searching for something related to your brand, your menu items, or restaurants in your area.

You can own that traffic, if you’re simply willing to dedicate some time.

I’m bullish on content marketing for restaurants.

I know there’s a tremendous opportunity for restaurant websites to be more fun, useful, engaging, and to drive more sales for restaurants as you apply more creative approaches.

Who’s with me?

About the author

Brandon Hull

Brandon is the original founder of He has helped thousands of restaurants implement innovative marketing strategies, campaigns, and tactics by incorporating new technology, in order to attract loyal guests.