Consumers these days are beyond educated when it comes to authentic restaurants reviews and the quality of food & customer service your restaurant provides by making a few local searches on Google.
Restaurants can be shown your Google Business Profile, your Yelp page, website, and any other 3rd party local citations that might appear on a branded search for your restaurant (YellowPages, Twitter, Facebook, OpenTable, Foursquare).
Restaurant SEO is tough.
Marketing for restaurants takes not just getting people into your restaurant but it’s the whole experience that matters.
If a customer has a bad experience, they’ll go to your Yelp page or Google listing, leave a review, and let the (online) world know about their bad experience at your restaurant.
It is important to make sure that your restaurant is monitoring these online review sites along with any 3rd party website that lists your restaurant information as well as your Google and Facebook reviews.
Ways to Boost Local Visibility
- Post high quality images of your restaurant to your local listings.
- Utilize all available social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter to share your restaurant specials, build an audience, and drive in store purchases.
- Pinterest is a great SEO platform to share your restaurant images but also build backlinks to your listings, citations, social posts through Pinterest Pins.
- Online reviews on Google are like Gold, but also try to earn reviews from as many different online review sites like Zomato, Facebook, Opentable.
- Foursquare is one of the most overlooked SEO backlinks in the market and acts as a data aggregator. Read how Foursquare SEO can boost your local authority.
- Make sure your Apple Maps listing is claimed, verified, and filled out with your restaurants information. Apple Maps uses data from Yelp.
2023 is three years removed from 2020 when the world went into a panic because of Covid. If your restaurant survived, it’s even more important to at least do the basics when it comes to SEO and Local SEO. It will help grow your business and can become the highest ROI driven channel to market your restaurant. SEO is just one part of a congruent digital marketing strategy.
SEO Tips for Restaurants:
Your website has to be conversion orientated but also geared to collect information in exchange for a coupon. It has to be fast not just on desktop but on all mobile devices.
Your customer service has to be professional and your staff needs to be trained in asking for an online review if their experience was enjoyable. The offline to online communication is important when it comes to getting the most out of your marketing campaign.
Below are some of the easiest SEO tips available for any restaurant that would like to generate more in store traffic and increase the number of paying diners through online marketing:
1. Claim, verify, and fill out your Google Business Profile listing. If you see reviews, make sure to answer them. Upload your daily specials through an image and copy via Google Posts. Post daily for the best chance at being found online locally. Use #hashtags in the first 100 characters.
2. Utilize Your Yelp Listing but don’t advertise with them. Yelp hides reviews and sometimes makes it harder for restaurants to be shown within their rankings if you don’t pay. Yelp is still important so make sure you claim it, verify the listing, and populate it with business information and daily postings of specials and food items.
3. Schema code to the website with local business schema for restaurants. Also, add sameAs schema to allow Google to make the connection between your social media profiles and brand online. There are free schema tools online that are really good and we personally use this one from TechnicalSEO.
4. Optimize your Title Tags. This is by far the easiest SEO Tip that all restaurants should at least do. Title tags allows the consumer to understand what the page is on search results and gives Google the ability to rank for those words within your Title. Don’t keyword stuff, this isn’t SEO from 2012. Try to use under 57-60 characters in the Title Tag. You can enter your “Title Tag” with this free tool from Moz to see how it would appear in Google’s search results.
5. Consistent Restaurant Name, Address, Phone Number (NAP) is crucial. By standardizing your business data, it will allow Google to make the connection that your business is located where it is, that it’s the same phone number as your website, and the same name. To Google, this restaurant name – Lenny’s Subs is not the same as Lennys Famous Subs even though they are the same owner and name. Make sure that the name of your Google listing is the name of your business and that your NAP matches.
6. Data Aggregators can be one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to get your Business NAP out there online consistently. Submitting your data will list your business on some important business listings and citations included in the cost of a data aggregator license. For $20 USD you can verify your FourSquare listing and power a few of the top Local SEO Listings.
7. Use Facebook Ads to build authority to these URLs. Target you audience in your city so that Google Analytics can see there is local traffic hitting your website. Social signals are a strong indicator to Google that your content or website is an authority locally. Facebook Ads can help build your online community as well.
8. Offline to online and vice versa. Utilize the four corners of your table, of your hostess, waiter/ess, anyone who may have an experience with a customer and emphasize to find your restaurant online, leave a review on Yelp or Google. Make it easy to leave a review, show the customer the way through table signage or branded within any menu or printed advertisement. The dining receipt still holds weight. Leave a way to incentive diners to take an action and they will. Don’t be scared to merge traditional and digital by pushing the boundaries.