If you are running a restaurant these days it is more important than ever to rank on Google. Everything around Covid-19 has made it even harder for business owners to attract more clients to their business. Prices for ads have skyrocketed because the ecosystem has been flooded with desperate businesses trying to get any client they can get at a price that is not necessarily good for their business. In other words, your organic traffic has more value than ever before!
How is restaurant SEO different from everything else?
For restaurants, local SEO is a must. You don’t want to rank with informational articles nationally because you can’t convert that traffic into potential leads/customers. You have to dominate your local search in order to have customers. You have to focus solely on your local results.
Let’s start with our 7 practical restaurant SEO Tips for your better search visibility:
1. Focus on keyword intent and not on keyword volume
When you optimize for local SEO you might end up with super low-volume keywords that won’t make you excited about the results that might come your way. You might think that it will be better to target words that have higher search volume because they might bring more people to your website but always remember that it is not about the quantity of the organic traffic it is all about the quality of the traffic.
100 loyal customers are more valuable than 100000 website visitors.
2. Rank on Google Maps!
If you haven’t created your Google My Business account then you haven’t really started the SEO for your restaurant. It is probably the most important element of your SEO strategy. If people find you on the map they can come and order food. They can call and order food. They can leave a review and build your credibility and much more!
The worst thing you can do is not create your GMB profile. Even if it is not the best one, you should have one. It is a must for your local SEO.
I will leave my guide on how to create and optimize your Google My Business account here when it is ready!
3. Build your content strategy for local people
Every restaurant’s website has a menu, has a location, and has a reservation/order page. This is what the main part of a restaurant website is all about. When you have everything and you are 100% sure that it is done in the right manner and it is well optimized then you have to think outside of the box in order to attract more clients.
One idea that I suggest that you try is to write about local keywords that are closely related to your area.
Note: Again, this should be done only when you have optimized your website for all main keywords and the ones that will bring your customers like “vegan restaurant in Denver” or something like that.
Something that I can suggest is to create an article about “Things to do during the weekend in location” and when you create your guide, you can list your restaurant as a stopping point and point out why they should come. This type of article is more into the tourists’ niche but you shouldn’t worry because if you do it better than the rest you can rank and I guarantee that people will get to know your place.
4. Optimize your on-page SEO
This is obvious and I already mentioned it a couple of times but I will say it one more time. Your website should be optimized if you want to rank. You should apply all of the best SEO practices to your website. Some of these practices include:
- Optimize your H1 and description tags.
- Make sure your page is mobile-friendly.
- Build an internal link structure with some strategic keywords pointing to the main article.
- Use bold, italic, and headings for better readability and keyword emphasis.
- Use schema markups for local businesses or other schemas like video embeds, reviews, etc… depending on what you have on your website. This makes your webpage more attractive to the Google search engine bots in general.
- Make sure you have a great meta title and description! Don’t forget to add your location in them, it will help you rank locally!
If you want in-depth information and tips, read my On-page optimization guide here.
5. Claim your business on review sites
There are many sites built for reviews like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and many more. They have big visitor traffic and it is very important that your restaurant has the most positive reviews out of all of the local restaurants. These are what will make people choose you above the others.
If you already have a profile on these sites then keep an eye on the reviews and respond to every single one of them. The best way is to refer to happy clients that come often to your restaurant and maybe offer some kind of special discount if they leave a positive review. This is what I would do if I owned a restaurant.
Owning a restaurant these days is a hard enough job. There are so many things to worry about when it comes to running a business. Your SEO shouldn’t be on that list. If you start practicing all of these restaurant SEO tips you will see that your organic traffic will increase in no time.
If you want to ask me any question about it then don’t hesitate to do so in the comments section below!