Local SEO for Restaurants
Search engine optimization, or SEO, as we all know, is a reliable way to get lots of free and targeted traffic to your business. That being said, every business is different including their individual business models. So, when it comes to local seo for restaurants for example, we can’t use the same approach as we do for other service-based industries.
In order to optimize local SEO for restaurants, we need a clear understanding of what drives the decisions of customers in the restaurant industry. When used properly, local SEO has proven to be one of the key differences between a thriving restaurant those with empty tables.
Why local SEO is different when Promoting a Restaurant ?
Well, to answer that question, we need to take a closer look at why conventional approaches to SEO can’t be used when promoting restaurants.
Local search results for restaurants will include the following:
- an image of the venue in a Google Maps listing
- type of Cuisine
- Hours of Operation
- and that ALL IMPORTANT Star Rating.
Potential customers are looking at this information first when making their dining decisions. Not just who shows up first in the search results! It is vital to make sure all of this information is kept up to date, and that you are presenting the best snapshot of what your business has to offer. First impressions count.
How to make sure your restaurant is a winner in local SEO wars
Here are some things that you can do to make sure your restaurant stays on top of the local SEO.
Optimize your website content – Never ignore the on-page optimization of your website, be sure to use the right keywords and keyword density. Focus on the use of location-based keywords as these terms are the ones most searchers use when looking for a place to dine.
Be sure to write quality copy and include all the relevant information that a potential patron might need when they land on your website. Attention spans are short, so you must present all necessary information in a clear and appealing fashion or the searcher will move on to the next listing. Think like an elevator pitch, short & sweet :)
Google + Business Page – You absolutely MUST have a Google+ Business Page for your restaurant. Google+ is a social media platform owned by Google, and thus is unofficially ‘favored’ by Google when it comes to local SEO. Keep it active and updated with fresh new content each week and you’re right on track.
Local Directory Citation – Local directory citations are critical in improving local search results making your restaurant appear on top of most searches. It is one of the primary pillars of local SEO, and it is what will allow you to have your restaurant’s name, address, phone number, and hours of operation showing on the search results.
Real pictures of the restaurant – It is very important to include high quality photos of the restaurant and food presentations on the internet. Image is everything in this niche and you should absolutely consider hiring a professional photographer to showcase your creations. Searchers are visual and showing them visually pleasing glimpses of your fare, will convert into new patrons. Most restaurants never include their real photos, and as a result they miss out on getting more patrons. This is a simple way to set your restaurant apart from the rest.
Enable online reservations for customers – It‘s not just enough to have your restaurant appear on the top listings. In order to make the most out of the listing you need to stand out. Allow online reservations for customers. This will increase your click-through rates, and set you apart from restaurants who don’t offer this convenience. With the popularity of smart phones, we are now catering to the searchers thumb. Think tap to call, tap to make a reservation, tap to leave a review. Show them you care enough to make it easy for them and enjoy the fruits of your labour.
Local SEO for restaurants is an ongoing process
Success in local SEO is going to be an ongoing task, but it is absolutely worth doing. Certain things can be done once, but others must be checked for accuracy and updated regularly. Remember the search algorithms change from time to time as do the various platforms your restaurant may be listed on. Also, search trends change too, so it’s vital to stay appraised on the all the latest trends.
Updating information and photos on the restaurant’s website, checking on the performance of keywords and building on the social media platforms should continue even after better rankings are achieved. It’s one thing to achieve good rankings but over time, it’s completely another to maintain them so committing to an ongoing monthly campaign will always be your best bet.
Thanks for reading!
Also published on Medium.