SEO for Venues: An Online Guide to Conquering Google


SEO for Venues


SEO for venues is an effective and organic method for getting new customers.

Google any product in the world and the most successful brands will appear at the top of the search results.

Books – Amazon, trainers – Nike, watches – Rolex, you’ve heard these names before and you trust them because you know they’re so popular.

The same goes for venues. If you search for the ‘best nightclubs in London’ you’ll see XOYO, Cargo and Phonox appear at the top. You’re more likely to give them a go because the names have been put in front of you and you trust that Google isn’t going to lie to you.

These venues are all perfecting their SEO strategies to get to the top of the results on Google. You’ve probably heard the term SEO before, but do you know how it works?

We’ve skimmed the surface in our previous guides: online marketing for nightclubs, digital marketing for pubs and 50 bar marketing ideas.

In this article, we’ll really sink our teeth into SEO and provide you with the know-how to rise up the ranks.

Click on one of the topic headings below to jump ahead or follow us through the process step-by-step.

1. What is SEO?
2. Knowing your customers
3. Optimising your website
4. Making your website accessible
5. Links from other websites
6. Measuring your success

1. What is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimisation. The aim is to get your website ranking at the top of Google for various ‘search terms.’

For example, if someone searches for the ‘best restaurants in London’ you want your restaurant to appear at the top of Google so more customers are likely to see you.

A lot of venue owners and managers believe that SEO is too hard and not worth the effort, but that isn’t the case at all.

The truth is, you only need to get the basics right to see positive results.


Google search engine optimisation


Before we move on to the next section, take a look at the five questions below:

  1. Do you know what your customers are searching for?
  2. Have you optimised your website for certain keywords?
  3. Is your website accessible for humans AND search engines?
  4. Are other websites linking to yours?
  5. What will you consider success?

Have a think about your answers to these questions, jot them down and then move on to the next section.

2. Knowing your customers

SEO for venues starts with knowing your customers.

There’s no way you can appear at the top of Google if you don’t know what your customers are searching for.

Let’s say you are a pub in Notting Hill. Realistically, your customers are searching for the following:

i) Pubs in Notting Hill
ii) Pubs in London
iii) Where to drink in London
iv) Where to eat in London

Jot down what you think your customers will be searching for and then type them into Google and what do you see?

You see these search terms in the page title, every single time. This is important. A venue has to personalise their page title to answer their customers’ search terms.

So, let’s say your pub is called ‘The Monkey’s Tail.` Your page title would need to be: The Monkey’s Tail – Pub in Notting Hill.

It seems simple, but it’s amazing how many venues aren’t doing this.

If you want to delve a little deeper and find out if there are other search terms your customers are looking for, such as ‘cheap pubs in Notting Hill,’ you can register an ahrefs account, type in your search terms and request a ‘search suggestions’ report.


SEO for Venues


So, you have your search terms jotted down. Now you want to make sure you have content on your website using various specific ‘keywords’ that relate to your search terms.

Why not add a blog? If you know that your customers are searching for ‘best places to eat in Notting Hill’ you can start a blog and run through your menu using the keywords.


3. Optimising your website

Understanding your search terms and keywords is just the first step to SEO success. The next step for successful SEO for venues is to adjust your website to satisfy Google’s customers.

Step one: Search Intent

First thing’s first, make your website user friendly. Does it work on mobile? It needs to. Do you have annoying pop-ups or opt-in boxes? Get rid of them. You don’t want to give your customers any reason to leave.

Now that your website looks great, it’s time to optimise the pages.

Let’s rewind back to your search terms. Your customer is looking for the ‘best pubs in Notting Hill.’ You need to figure out what Google thinks will satisfy these customers.


SEO for Venues


Type ‘best pubs in Notting Hill’ into Google and you’ll see the following results:

– TimeOut: 14 best pubs in Notting Hill for boozing
– DesignMyNight: Best Pubs in Notting Hill
– Standard: the best pubs in Notting Hill

You’ll notice all of these results are blogs or listicles. Google has realised this is the content that customers want to read, so you’ll need this to appear on your website too.

Step two: URLs and titles

Now you know what to write about on your website, you need to tidy up all the pages. It’s no good having as the URL for your blog post.

Instead, tidy it up and include your keywords:

Within your articles, you’ll need to structure the content too.

Use ‘Header 1’ for the on-page title and include the keywords.
Use ‘Header 2’ for sub-headings and try to include the keywords again (if possible).

4. Making your website accessible

When building a website for your venue and making it as SEO-friendly as possible, it’s easy to forget about your customers.

But don’t forget that humans are the ones that will be visiting your venue, not robots.

Here are the basics:

i) Make sure your website loads fast
ii) Make sure your website is mobile-friendly
iii) Install an SSL certificate for safety and trust
iv) Internally link between pages and posts


Page Load Speed

Google will punish you if you are failing on any of these four points, so keep on top of them to guarantee the best results.


5. Links from other websites

This is the exciting part. It’s all well and good having a well-structured website that is optimised for your customers, but to get the best SEO results you’ll need to build ‘backlinks.’

Backlinks are links through to your website from other websites. Even Google has said that this is of the highest importance when it comes to rising up the ranks.

This is because having links to your website from others creates an element of trust. We know that other websites are willing to promote you and therefore we’re more likely to put a customer in front of you as well.

A good starting point is to think about who your competitors are and see where they are getting promoted. You can then reach out to them and see if they will promote you too.

Take this one step further and consider bloggers.


Backlinks for SEO


Are there bloggers out there writing about the best pubs in London? Could you invite them to come to your venue and ask them to feature you too?

If you fancy yourself as a writer, why not offer to contribute as a guest blogger and skip the middleman? Content is king and most bloggers will be willing to accept guest blogs, assuming the content is still informative and unbiased.

This is also where Bloc comes in.

When you advertise your venue on Bloc, you’re ticking off two big SEO wins:

Firstly, you’ll get a post published in the blog section of Bloc’s website, driving traffic straight to yours.

Secondly, you’ll get lots of click throughs to your website via the advertisement placed within the Bloc app itself.

It’s quick and easy to get started on Bloc so make sure you advertise your venue now before moving on to the final section below.


6. Measuring your success

Naturally, we’re all going to say “I want my venue to appear as the top result for the best pubs in London.” But there are 47,000 pubs in London and only one slot is available on Google. We need to be a bit more realistic, at least initially anyway.

The two terms you should instead be focusing on instead are:

i) Organic traffic
ii) Average ranking position

Assuming you’re using Google analytics for your page, you can quickly view your organic traffic by going to Acquisition < All Traffic < Channels < Organic Search. Is the number going in a positive direction?


SEO for Venues


You should then measure if your SEO strategy is working by seeing how your page ranks on Google over time.

Use the Google analytics console to view data based on average position, impressions and clicks you get for various search terms.

You’ll be able to see what’s working, what isn’t, and decide any alterations you need to make.


In summary

SEO is a very competitive field for venues but is still by far the best way to drive traffic to your website.

Don’t expect to see results overnight. SEO works best over time when you consistently prove to Google that you are producing regular, informative content that is in-line with the above requirements.

Remember to consider the five questions we’ve answered:

  1. Do you know what your customers are searching for?
  2. Have you optimised your website for certain keywords?
  3. Is your website accessible for humans AND search engines?
  4. Are other websites linking to yours?
  5. What will you consider success?

Consistently answering these questions over time will help you build up a domain authority and your venue will appear higher up on your desired search terms.

Fast track your results by advertising your venue on Bloc. Click here to get started.

About Calum Ward

Blogger | Journalist | Lifestyle Writer