REWrite - The Restaurant Equipment World Blog

How Dealers Should Reach Out To Promote Their Web Sites

February 4th, 2011 by REW Blog Team

By Brad Pierce, President Restaurant Equipment World

via The Schechter Report

There’s a line from the movie Field of Dreams that goes, “If you build it, they will come.” While this may be true for a ballpark, it couldn’t be further from the truth when it comes to a foodservice equipment supplier’s web site.

This is the reality I know all too well personally. After spending months developing my company’s first site, I eagerly looked at the visitor logs a few weeks after it went live. To my shock, I had attracted a total of 10 visitors, nine of which I’m quite sure were family members. I realized that I needed to do some promotion quickly or the world wouldn’t know about the great content I had developed. The tools have changed since those early days of the web, but the premise is the same: You must get out there and promote your site to make it successful so that operators can find you and the equipment you’re promoting.
Ensuring that your site is listed with the Google and Bing search engines is essential, but this process can be time consuming as you work to gain relevant rankings and is often competitive and costly, especially if you’re using these companies’ paid advertising services. Starting a company blog on the other hand and syndicating your content to the blog search engines is, however, a quick and inexpensive way to start getting your name and site out there.
News releases can also work well, especially if they’re distributed via one of the many established online press release agencies. One caveat is to ensure that the information being presented in your release is relevant and interesting to readers. Sure, it’s alright to toot your own horn to attract operators or promote your equipment, but be sure to spell out the value you’re actually providing and why it’s relevant to them or it’s likely to be dismissed as a sales pitch disguised as a press release.
Lastly, foodservice equipment dealers need to engage in social media networking. Start with Facebook and Twitter, since those have a minimal barrier to entry and the largest audience sizes. Don’t just head right into promoting your site, however, or you’ll likely be blocked by people instantly. Instead, engage in the ongoing discussions, form personal relationships and get to know your existing and potential operator-customers Once you’ve established trust, then — and only then — should equipment dealers  promote your brand and products, and ask operators to visit your site. Before you know it, they will come to see what you’ve built — and they’ll bring their colleagues and business associates with them, as well.
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Avoiding Common Web Site SEO Mistakes

November 3rd, 2010 by Brad Pierce

By Brad Pierce, President Restaurant Equipment World

Via The Schechter Report

It never ceases to amaze me how much “bad advice” there is out there when it comes out to suggestions about how to improve a web site’s search engine optimization (SEO). Here are three common site development strategies to avoid:

1. Generate Hidden Text: Here’s what has been widely considered a brilliant idea – Developers work to fill their web pages with lots of ‘hidden’ keywords to improve a site’s ranking. They do this by coloring all text the same hue as the background of their web pages. That way, search engines “see” the text, but visitors to the site never know it’s there. That was a quick way to rocket a restaurant’s or foodservice department’s web site to the top position of search engines… back in 2000. Unfortunately, many people still errantly advocate using this development technique. Major search engines have gotten much smarter and now see tricks like this as spamming and will downgrade a site’s ranking rather than upgrade it.

2. Stuff “Meta Tags” With Keywords: Here’s the reality – meta tags are dead. They’re no longer recognized by search engine ranking algorithms, due to spamming techniques that made meta tags too easy to exploit. As a result, inserting meta-keyword tags will no longer help to improve a site’s ranking. However if foodservice operators do choose to use meta tags, don’t stuff them with keywords. Instead, keep the list of keywords to a minimal size and never, ever repeat keywords or phrases multiple times or you’re likely to be labeled as a spammer.

3. Guarantee To Position Sites As #1 On Google, Yahoo Or Bing: Many restaurants and foodservices have been pitched by companies selling search engine optimization services “guaranteed’ to place their web sites in “the #1 position.” If you ever hear this promise again, run! Sure, there are reliable ways to get a site into a number one position, but the results of those techniques are very short lasting and almost always will get a site banned from the search engine for violating their business practice terms. These bans can run anywhere from six months to forever, depending on how sneaky the tricks were the optimization company used to get a site into that coveted #1 position. Overall, It’s simply not worth it. Operators will be much better served by going with a reputable search engine optimization company that doesn’t “guarantee” pie-in-the-sky results.

Now that I’ve shared several common SEO mistakes to avoid, I’ll leave you with the magic key to improving the ranking of your site: Develop strong content. Yes, it really is that simply. Content is king. Build it and they will come (and your site will rank high up in search engines rankings, too!)

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