4 Restaurant Search Trends You Need To Know
As we start the new year, you may be planning the goals that you have for your business. Here are 4 restaurant search trends that will help you inform the moves that you make this year.
Important note: Food-related searches take up a staggering majority of all web activity. And since search is data-driven, you need to implement some sort of technical optimization to outrank your competition.
1. Search queries are becoming more complex & so are search algorithms.
The fact of the matter is that search queries are becoming more complicated year over year. The days of web users searching one or two words are long gone. And most users, especially hungry consumers, are using longer search queries when searching for dining options.
The main reason for this is that users are including characteristics that they are looking for such as:
- open now
- live music
- happy hour
- pet friendly
Therefore, search queries have evolved from short queries, such as “italian restaurant” or “mexican brunch “, to more detailed queries like “best italian restaurant deliver open now”.
As such, search algorithms are designed to accomodate more detailed searches. How do they do that? They crawl listings for data points such as:
- star ratings
- hours of operation
- special attributes
- business descriptions
These data points assist search engines in finding the ‘best’ restaurant that is ‘open now’ and has a certain vibe or offering. As a result, your listings need to have these data points in order for your business to be returned for more detailed searches.
2. Web users are trying to answer questions.
35% of searches are longer than four words. As mentioned in the previous section, users are also adding more details to their searches. They are looking for a certain type of food with a certain dish. Therefore, it is important that you are able to answer these ‘questions’ on & off your site.
If you do not optimize your listings & website for these questions, then you do not stand a chance of being found by hungry consumers. In fact, your competitors will.
Not to mention that restaurants see 12x the traffic on third-party sites as they do on their websites, which means that online directories, such as Google My Business, TripAdvisor, or Yelp, are playing a key role in answering these questions, especially in the restaurant space.
Reasons for this include:
Online directories having “ranking power” that an independent restaurant’s website cannot compete with. As a result, you need to list your business in online directories in order to be relevant.
3. The food delivery space is search-based.
If food delivery is your business’ thing (it definitely should be), then you cannot ignore third-party delivery services. Not only does it behoove you to outsource your food delivery needs, these sites act as additional directories on which you can increase your reach.
In addition, food delivery queries are high-intent. More often than not, a consumer who is searching for delivery options is ready to make a purchasing decision right then & there.
As a result, ranking for these searches via paid channels can be costly. However, being listed organically can be more cost-effective.
Our Listings for Food service automatically integrates your business’ information with food delivery & transportation websites. Learn more here.
4. Search engines rely on AI & so should you.
Search algorithms are the systems that supply users with relevant search results. Embedded in these algorithms is AI that is looking for unique signifiers, or data points, about businesses that can answer a question.
With that in mind, you could see how it is important that you make your businesses data footprint not only presentable, but rich with aspects that differentiate you from other businesses.
Structured data is the only way to efficiently translate these data points in a way that search engines can understand.
Our listings packages & custom-made websites come with a knowledge graph that stores all of your business’ data so that it is synced to the backend of your listings & website.
When you make a change to your business’ information, it will be changed on the frontend & backend of your listings & site so that you do not confuse web users or search engines.