This article talks about local SEO for restaurants and how to master it. If you have any tip on the topic, please leave it in the comment section to start a discussion.
So you have opened your restaurant. Congratulations! It is a great start.
However, to transform your restaurant into a success, you will require more people eating at your restaurant and ordering food online from you.
How can you do that? How will you attract more people to your restaurant and increase online orders?
The answer is local SEO for Restaurants.
Yes, my friend, you can grow your business with the power of local SEO for the restaurant industry.
In today’s post, I’m going to share proven restaurant SEO tips to improve the online visibility of your restaurant.
But before that, a little light on the context.
Why the Restaurant Industry Needs Local SEO?
Unless you have a star chef or a novel cuisine, it is a bit difficult to stand out from the crowd without employing aggressive marketing strategies.
And the crux of restaurant marketing is,
You need to be there when people are hungry.
With more than 224.3 million smartphones in the US, people often search online to check the best restaurants nearby or they just order food online through restaurant aggregator platforms.
A hungry Joey sitting in his office (Noida sector 63) is most likely to search for ‘food delivery in noida sector 63’, ‘food near me’, ‘homemade food near me’ or something like that.
The second image is for ‘homemade food near me’, and I have left Google Maps result out.
The points here are:
- Google Maps results are more likely to appear for local queries
- You need to get featured on the top Google Maps results for local queries to stand out from the crowd
- You need to rank on the top Google Search results to grow your business
With the help of local SEO for restaurants, you can improve the online visibility of your restaurant and can get the top ranking on Google Search results and Google Maps.
Let’s talk about how to do local SEO for the restaurant industry.
Guide to Local SEO for Restaurants
Just like organic SEO, local SEO for restaurants has many facets.
If you want to get high ranking of your restaurant on Google, you should work all the important aspects of local SEO for restaurants.
Here are the six important areas you must work upon to improve the online visibility of your restaurant.
1- Optimize Your Restaurant’s Website
Optimizing your restaurant website is the first step towards achieving high ranking for locally-focused keywords.
Barring few things, optimizing a restaurant website for local SEO is the same as doing it for organic SEO – you will have to find the best keywords and write keyword-rich Meta tags for your restaurant.
Here are a few things you will have to do separately for local SEO for your restaurant:
Complete Contact Page
You must complete the contact page of your restaurant’s website.
Mention these following things:
- Phone number
Domino’s India has a perfect contact us page.
As more people use mobile phones than desktop to do online research, you should ensure that your contact number is clickable on a mobile phone.
Don’t know how to do it? Here, you can learn everything.
Add a Map to Your Restaurant’s Website
The main objective of local SEO for restaurants is to reach people when they need you.
So it would be a bad move if you don’t add a map to your restaurant’s website.
And it has been found that adding a map to a website supports in local SEO.
Here is how Biryani Blues added a map to its website.
Add Schema To Your Website
Schema helps search engines know what a particular website is about.
By adding local business Schema to your restaurant’s website, you will be able to show rich results in SERPs.
Once you have added Schema to your restaurant’s website, you should check it with Google Structured Data Testing Tools.
2- Claim Your Restaurant’s Online Profiles
Local SEO for restaurants is not limited to optimizing restaurants’ websites.
You should list your business on Google and other websites to leverage the power of local SEO.
Google My Business allows you to list your business on Google and helps your business appear on Google Search or Google Maps when somebody searches for your business or a business like yours.
It is easy to fill Google My Business profile. After filling all the necessary details, you will have to get it verified by Google.
Other than, Google My Business profile, you will have to claim your business profile on leading websites like Tripadvisor.
And, don’t forget to do Google Maps Marketing for your restaurant. I have written a detailed post on How to Do Google Maps Marketing.
Also, claim social profiles for your restaurant.
3- Create Locally-focused Content for Your Restaurant
Content is King!
High-quality content not only helps with organic SEO, it also helps with local SEO for restaurants.
However, to reap the benefits, you will have to create locally-focused content.
Create a blog on your website if you haven’t done it so far.
It is better that you create a blog on your website like “www.yourrestaurantname.com/blog” instead of “www.blog.yourrestaurantname.com”
Here is how Barbeque Nation has integrated its blog to the website.
Besides creating locally-focused content regularly on your blog, you should find opportunities to create content for your restaurant.
Here are some ways:
- Search for locally-focused blogs that accept guest posts
- Run online quizzes on social media. Google loves user-generated content
- Try to find opportunities to create content with local influencers
- Be active in forums and discussions in the food industry
- Write answers on Quora and find opportunities to leave the links to your blog posts naturally
- Participate/sponsor local events and write about it
- Take interviews of people and publish them on your blog
You should always create content that helps readers and builds trust. Doing so will help you get the attention of people.
If people love you, Google will love you eventually.
4- Build Backlinks and Citations for Your Restaurant
Google itself said that it determines local ranking on the basis of distance, relevance, and prominence.
You cannot do anything about the distance, but you certainly can build relevance and prominence on Google.
Build backlinks and citations for your restaurant. Doing so helps with local SEO for the restaurant industry.
When you are building backlinks for your restaurant, your focus should be on earning backlinks from relevant websites.
Also, try to acquire high-quality backlinks at the same time.
Backlinks work like trust votes for your restaurant. The more backlinks your restaurant earns, the more prominent Google will consider your restaurant.
After backlinks, local citations are an important factor to build relevance and prominence on Google.
What are local citations?
Location citation is nothing but the mention of NAP (name, address, and phone number of your restaurant) on different locally-focused platforms.
Here are some important places where you can build citations for your restaurant:
- Business directories
- Locally-focused blogs
- Blogs related to the food industry
- Local forums and meetups
It is not easy to get the mention of NAP on locally-focused blogs or local food blogs.
However, these blogs often write posts listing top restaurants of a particular locality. Try to be included in such posts. Whenever, you see such a list, request the blog owner to add your restaurant to the list.
Make sure that you build local citations manually, and you should try to find broken citations and fix them as well.
5- Get Reviews
As I mentioned earlier, Google local results are determined by distance, prominence, and relevance. And reviews help a restaurant build prominence on Google.
Here is how Desi Vibes has incorporated reviews.
How can you get reviews for your restaurant?
Following are some tips:
- You won’t get it if you don’t ask about it. Ask your customers to leave reviews. Also, you should not forget to let your customers know that it is easy to leave reviews on mobile devices and desktops.
- Respond to customers’ reviews. Doing so builds trust and encourage more customers to leave reviews for your restaurant.
- Verify your information so that you can become eligible to appear on Google Maps, Google Search, and other Google services. You should know that only verified businesses are eligible to respond to reviews.
It is obvious that only honest, unbiased reviews are helpful.
So, you should not offer any incentive or any kind of free credit to get reviews. You can get more information here on review posting.
Of course, there will be a few negative reviews as well. You should never leave negative reviews unanswered – reply to them according to Google to Google’s Guidelines for reviews.
In addition to Google reviews, you should also make your profile on leading reviews sites like Yelp.
The more reviews you have, the better it will for local SEO for your restaurant.
6- Optimize Your Profile on Aggregator Platforms
If I google for ‘tasty launch in sector 62 noida’, here’s what I find.
Are these restaurants’ websites?
The answer is a big No.
Zomato, Foodpanda, Dine Out, all are restaurant aggregator platforms. And all of them come on the first page.
The point here is,
You should optimize your profiles on these aggregator platforms if you want to grow online orders for your restaurant. Leaving them out means a significant loss for your business.
How can you optimize your listing?
Well, my friend, all these platforms have their own recommendations (which are often easy to follow).
You can also run paid ads on some of these platforms.
As some aggregators come on the first page, you will have a good ROI on paid advertisement if you pick the right platform.
Local SEO is an effective tool to grow the sales of your restaurant. Follow the best practices mentioned in this blog, and I’m certain that you will be able to grow sales.
What about you? Do you know some secrets tips on getting local SEO for restaurants right? Please leave a comment, I’d love to know about it.