How to Grow Your Restaurant with Local SEO
- by Edward Simpson
Establishing an online presence is an essential tactic for most restaurants marketing their business in today’s world, and if you’re looking to grow your brand it’s one of the first things that you should consider.
Many elements go into establishing an online presence, including organic and paid strategies. However, if you’re looking to achieve long-term growth with little ROI, local seo is one of the first strategies you should implement around your website.
More than ever, people are using the internet to find their next meal, and search engine optimization, also known as SEO, can help you make sure you're amongst the top options on their search results page.
Search engine optimization is what makes your restaurant pop up when people make searchees like “Italian food near me” or “Best tacos in Denver.” With an SEO strategy in place, over time your restaurant will be able to boost dine-in visits, online orders, and generate more revenue without relying on paid strategies.
What Is Local SEO?
Local SEO is a honed approach to SEO that prioritizes making your restaurant visible in search results for your local area. It’s an important strategy for restaurants in particular because a local seo strategy can generate a lot of dine-in traffic and help you reduce your marketing costs with an effort that promises a high ROI over time.
Optimize Your Website’s Content
Local SEO for restaurants starts with optimizing the content across your site with information on your location. Include your address in the footer of your website and identify relevant areas to add your location. Elements of your website that need optimization include:
- Page Titles
- Body Copy
Blog for Your Area
A blogging strategy can help you rank first in the search results for local questions and topics. With an informative blog, restaurants can boost retention rates on their website and signal to search engines that they are valuable sources of information.
Blogs can also be used as fodder for your social media and email marketing. By generating interesting content that people engage with, you can increase the likelihood that people rely on your brand for information, search for your restaurant online, and spend time on your website.
Consider making your blogs on local topics, share events, one-off recipes, and get creative with how you grab the attention of your audience. Blogs are an excellent tool to grab attention, generate interest, and solidify your restaurant as an authority in its cuisine.
Create a Google Business Profile
There’s no denying that Google is the most popular search engine used today, sharing 87.27% of the market. Creating a Google Business Profile will make it much easier to show up for searches when people search for your business or a service related to it.
An essential piece in making a good first impression, a Google Business profile offers several benefits for restaurants that choose to use it:
- It lists your restaurant on Google Maps.
- It allows you to share photos of your menu.
- You can respond to reviews and manage public relations with direct messaging.
- You can create posts, promotions, and share events.
Register Your Business in Local Online Directories
People are bound to use a variety of apps to help them find their next meal and make a decision on what to eat. Make sure people can find you on any potential listing websites they may use to find their next meal. Some of the best listing sites for restaurants include:
- Yellow Pages
Ask for Reviews
Reviews across the internet can benefit your restaurant’s reputation and help people choose your restaurant over your competition. Don’t be afraid to ask your customers to leave a review after they finish dining. Some restaurants even incentivize reviews with special discounts to ensure they build customer loyalty and keep them returning for repeat visits.
For our clients, we created automated email flows that do this automatically, to take it off your plate and keep the good reviews flowing. Ask us how we do this >>
Streamline User Experience
User experience across your website should prioritize user engagement, easy decision-making, and a clear CTA throughout the entire customer journey. After all, search engines like Google factor in bounce rates, retention rates, and conversion rates to decide where a website ranks online.
Make it easy for customers to find your menu, order online, book reservations, and contact your restaurant with any questions through intuitive navigation features. The easier it is for them to use your site, the more likely it is you’ll earn their trust and their business.
Provide High-Quality Imagery
When you’re representing your restaurant online, you want to make sure everything looks as delicious as it tastes.
All too often, restaurants make the mistake of uploading low-quality photos of their menu to their website and social media, thinking that it should just be enough to post their food.
But the truth is, poorly done photography can do more harm to your online reputation than good.
High-quality imagery can help people understand your menu better if they aren’t familiar with it, and it can also support a better user experience, in turn increasing your position on the search engine results page (SERP).
Take it a step further and optimize the imagery on your website by including geotags, alt text that includes relevant location keywords like your city name, and captions that provide context.
If you need more photos, we can help. Our team travels all over the US to shoot for restaurants.
Including videos on your website is also a great tactic to help increase your website’s retention rate and help it gain favor in search engines.
Be sure to share your videos on Youtube as well. Like Google, Youtube relies on SEO in its algorithm to decide what to show users on their homepage and in a search. By putting your videos on Youtube, you increase your chances of growing your audience and expanding your brand awareness.
Videos are also great content for social media platforms like Instagram and Tiktok. Although these platforms don’t directly contribute to your SEO efforts, publishing content on them can have a secondary effect on your audience, increasing the likelihood they search for your restaurant later on.
Get on Social Media
We just mentioned how videos on social media can indirectly influence your SEO, but the rest of your social media presence can too.
By increasing your brand awareness across social media, you increase the likelihood that your website gain’s direct traffic and people search for your restaurant on the internet.
When signing up for social media, consider the following platforms:
Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly
Today, mobile searches outnumber queries from desktops so it’s important to be mindful that most of your users will likely be on their phone. In fact, 49.14% of online traffic in the USA comes from mobile devices.
Google’s algorithm prioritizes websites that are mobile-friendly so you need to make sure that your user experience is seamless and responsive. A few ways you can ensure everything is running smoothly include:
- Make the design simple
- Use standard fonts.
- Optimize image size to fit mobile devices and decrease loading time.
- Avoid plug-ins, pop ups, and videos that may increase how long it takes for your website to load.
- Test mobile responsiveness with a Google Mobile-Friendly Test.
Collaborate With Your Partners
A content strategy that collaborates with any of your partners or other restaurants in the local area can help you reach new audiences and spread brand awareness, resulting in direct traffic to your website, branded searches, and other engagement that helps increase your ranking across SERPs.
Work together to build backlinks for each other’s websites and share user traffic. A good collaboration can help build brand authority in your industry while expanding your customer base at a faster rate than organic traffic.
Inquire About Local SEO Services by Twist & Tailor
If you’re looking to establish an online presence for your restaurant, our team of marketing professionals are here to help you. With varied backgrounds throughout the hospitality industry, we’re prepared to help your restaurant increase brand awareness and grow your business. Contact us today!