Why is SEO for catering companies important?
When a potential client needs a caterer, they turn to a search engine for recommendations.
To help inform caterers about the ins and outs of search engine optimization, we teamed up with our friends at Qwick (Qwick is a hospitality staffing platform that instantly fills shifts with high-quality Professionals for caterers, hotels, restaurants, event venues, and more! They work with over 1,800 Business Partners and have more than 120,000 Professionals across 10 cities) to host a free SEO workshop for catering businesses.
In the workshop we cover the following:
- What is SEO and how it pertains to a catering company
- How to identify the right catering keywords to attract inbound traffic and leads
- How to satisfy the search intent of potential customers through content marketing
- How to audit the online presence of the competitors of a catering business
- Q&A ranging from social media presence to increasing search rankings
If you’d like to watch the full workshop, here’s an embedded video of the SEO for Catering Workshop:
If you prefer powerpoint, here are the embedded SEO for Caterers slides:
Otherwise, here’s a text recap of how to do SEO for Catering Websites:
SEO Content Marketing for Caterers
Content targets keywords that will drive inbound traffic to your catering business.
There are a few steps to creating SEO content that will drive online visibility for your catering services.
- Identify the right keywords
- Create content that satisfies search intent
- Publish content with best practices
- Promote the content
Let’s dive into these areas.
Identifying the right catering keywords
There are more than 15,342 catering keywords that catering industries could potentially target.
How can a caterer identify the right keywords that will connect them with their target audience?
There are a few variables to consider:
- Search Volume: how often a keyword is searched
- Keyword Difficulty: is it possible to rank for the keyword?
- CPC (Cost Per Click): what is the cost to advertise for the keyword?
- Search Position: do search engines look to my website now for this type of information
- Qualitative: does the keyword align with objectives
Let’s consider the list of keywords below.
As you can see from this list, there’s several keywords a caterer in Northern California could consider, like “caterer san francisco ca” or “kosher caterer san francisco” or “caterer berkeley” or “wedding caterer san francisco.”
To prioritize keyword selection, a Northern California caterer could ask questions to themselves like:
Do we offer (or could we offer) kosher catering services?
Do we serve (or could we serve) the Berkeley area?
Do we offer (or could we offer) wedding catering services?
The answers to these questions may help guide the direction of a catering business, based on the actual search query of a customer.
Satisfying Search Intent With Content
Authoritative websites like Yelp, The Knot, and Wedding Wire may rank organically for the most popular keywords.
How can a caterer create content to outrank these results in an online search? The short answer: satisfying search intent of a keyword.
Here are a few variables to consider when satisfying search intent through content creation:
- Write: Expertise, Authority, Trust (EAT!)
- Existing Content: do I have content that can be updated?
- Content Type: landing page or blog post?
- Word Count: how many words should I target?
- Content Topics: what’s the outline?
- Questions: what else are searchers asking?
Consider keywords like “party catering services nyc” or “corporate catering services houston.” To attract organic traffic for these keywords, a caterer should consider creating a dedicated landing page that focuses on these services.
Writing about a specific service on a dedicated landing page will create an optimal user experience and positively influence conversion rates. Plus, search engines recognize dedicated landing pages as valuable content, and will be much more likely to serve up the content in organic search results.
Publish content with best practices
Technical SEO allows search engines to discover and index content on a website.
There are many different aspects of technical SEO to consider, including HTML tags, on-page SEO, site speed, and more.
Here’s a general technical SEO checklist caterers should consider when publishing content:
- Get Google Search Console
- Install an SSL certificate
- Test Robots.txt file
- Build and submit a sitemap
- Use WebP images
- Fix 404 errors
- Select a web hosting plan
- Optimize home page title tag
- Use Header tags
- Leverage browser caching
- Pass Core Web Vitals
By completing the checklist items above, you’ll ensure that content will be published on a solid foundation and have a more likely chance to rank for target keywords.
Promote the content using Digital PR
Once the content is published to your website, it’s time to promote the content using a variety of digital PR tactics.
Digital PR is a service that prioritizes external backlinks, brand mentions, and brand awareness online so that content can outrank competitors.
Some of the types of digital PR include:
- External Backlinks
- Internal Links
- Social Media Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Reverse engineering competitor link profiles
Those digital PR types are very broad in terms of fitting into an overall digital marketing strategy. However, there are a few specific types of backlink opportunities that exist for catering companies.
- Venues (Vendor pages)
- Events (Pre-event pages…Catering By:)
- Blogs (Post-event photo recaps)
- Internal Links (your own website)
- Your Expertise (Terkel + HARO)
Using these tactics should help round out an effective SEO strategy.
Other SEO tactics for catering companies
There are several SEO topics that we didn’t get to go into detail about. Some of those areas included:
- Google My Business (and what to do with multiple locations)
- Customer Reviews (and how to generate more)
- Link Building Strategies (and how to build authority)
- Google Analytics (using GA4 for conversion tracking from SEO efforts)
To learn more about these areas, click on the links above and you’ll be taken to a dedicated blog post about each topic.
How do I know SEO works for the catering industry?
How do you know that SEO works for catering companies?
Well, take a look at our case study with Qwick, an on-demand staffing as a service platform that connects service industry Professionals with food and beverage shifts in real-time.
Qwick originally came to Markitors in February of 2020 looking to increase app downloads and leads through SEO so that the hospitality industry could say goodbye to understaffing.
Through the tactics discussed in this blog post and webinar, SEO helped Qwick achieve the following:
- 10x increase in “traffic value” due to increased visibility around keywords like…server interview questions (#1); dishwasher interview questions (#1); staff quick (#5); restaurant temp agency (#1); banquet server jobs (#10) and more
- 7x growth in total organic keywords (429 -> 3k)
- 3x increase in backlinks (750 -> 2.2k) and referring domains (131 -> 442), resulting in an increase of domain rating (44 -> 49)
- Increase in monthly organic search traffic
If you watched the webinar recording, you’ll hear from Zack McCarty, Director of Growth at Qwick share that Markitors was the only vendor that Qwick kept on through the pandemic. Keeping Markitors as a vendor speaks volumes about the importance of investing in SEO.
If your catering company invests in SEO, it is an investment in developing sustainable and predictable leads for your business in the years to come.
Put what you just learned to the test!
Hopefully these resources will help your catering company build your business through organic search.
To recap, here are the next steps you should consider taking:
- Identify catering keywords: use Google Search Console and Google Keyword Planner to identify keywords with high search volume that are relevant.
- Audit competitors: Establish a baseline for where competitors currently stand so that you know what it will take to surpass them in search rankings.
- Predict Return on Investment: Is an SEO campaign worth it for your catering business? Based on keyword research and competitor analysis, decide what to invest into an SEO campaign.
- Develop SEO Content Strategy: Develop content strategies based on keyword research to begin delivering quality work that meets expectations.
- Project Management: Build out content strategy in a project management tool to keep everyone on track and moving towards the goals.
- Create & Promote: Publish content and use digital PR strategies to promote externally to help build the authority you’ll need to rank.
Or, if you’d like to inquire about our SEO services for catering companies, contact us. We’ll set up an initial 15-minute consultation, conduct a free SEO audit for your catering business, and submit a proposal if we believe we can be of service.
Cheers to your success!