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Restaurant SEO: 10 Awesome Tips to Boost Your Online Presence

What is Restaurant SEO:

Restaurant SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, refers to the strategies and techniques used to optimize a restaurant's online presence and improve its visibility in search engine results. In today's digital landscape, where customers rely heavily on search engines to find local businesses, having a strong SEO strategy is crucial for restaurants.

By optimizing their website content, keywords, and online directories, restaurants can increase their chances of appearing at the top of search engine results pages. This visibility translates into more organic traffic, higher online visibility, and ultimately, more customers walking through their doors.

Whether it's optimizing for local search terms or creating engaging content, Restaurant SEO empowers restaurants to stand out in the competitive online space and attract hungry diners.

Why is SEO important for your restaurant marketing:

In a given month, almost 9,900 people in Chennai search for "Restaurants in Chennai"

If we go further, just in Chennai, 2,400 people search for "restaurants in T Nagar"

This means, 2400 people are ready to try a restaurant around this area/zone and are seeking out help from Google.

Now, let's understand this from the searcher's perspective.

I'm living in Chennai, T Nagar and I'd like to visit some restaurants near me. I would directly jump to Google and type something like this:

"Restaurants near me" or "Restaurants in T Nagar"

And Google is the most useful website on the planet, showing me the top results like these.

Restaurant SEO: Google My Business local listing for searches like restaurants near me

Now, I would click the top links and either go to the restaurant's location using Google Maps or directly place an online order from their website, or make a call to choose a curbside pickup.

The outcome: Restaurant gains new customers through Google and makes more sales.

Just like me, there are 2,399 other people in T Nagar who are searching for restaurants. And SEO helps you win the top rankings in Google and bring you more business.

4 super cool restaurant SEO stats for restaurant business owners

  1. Almost 97% of users used Google to search for local businesses (can’t stress enough why you need a strong online presence)

  2. Every month, searchers visit 1.5 billion locations related to their Google searches (wow)

  3. “Near me” mobile searches grew increased by 136% last year (more people are visiting local places and are seeking help from Google)

  4. Over 50% of all “near me” searches will result in an offline store visit (Cool! Clear ROI from restaurant SEO)

All these pointers make SEO one of the primary marketing channels for a winning restaurant business


Here are 9 proven Restaurant SEO tips to get your website #1 at Google:

1. Update & Optimize your Google My Business

Setup your GMB

Add your restaurant business name

This is self-explanatory. Enter your restaurant business name as it is. Do not make any changes. The business name you provide in Google My Business will have to be the same throughout the web.

List your business categories

You can choose your primary category as “Restaurant” or if you are a niche-specific restaurant like an “American restaurant”, “Family restaurant”, “Vegan restaurant” etc.

Add your business address

Type your complete business address, and your area or location is the most important aspect of it. Based on this information, Google will be able to rank your Business page when someone is nearer to your restaurant.

Add your business phone number

Make sure you add the right number and double-check them because the last thing you want your customers is to call a wrong number thinking it was you.

Add your website or online ordering links

Website link allows your target audience to know more about your business and gets a chance to book a table reservation, see your gallery, videos, or other important assets you have on your site.

If you do not have a website, you can have your online ordering links at that place. This enables your customers to directly order from your own online ordering store.

Add your business hours

This lets you attract the right audience and also helps you rank at specified hours.

For example, if your restaurant is open till 11.00 pm at night, and if someone near to your business location searches for “restaurants open near me” at 10.00 pm, you are more likely to rank higher because you have already mentioned them in your business hours section.

Add your service options

Service options include Dine-in, takeaway, Curbside pickup, and door delivery. This gives a clear picture of your business and service options. The searcher is well equipped with the information they need to take an action.

Add high-quality photos

Photos of your dishes (with good lighting), menu, interiors, customers, exteriors, events, special occasions, team photos, kitchen area (to showcase your hygiene measures and build trust), etc.

Write a short description of your business

Include your targeted local keywords in the description. Demonstrate what your business is about, your specialties, and why people should choose your restaurant. Give them a chance to try your restaurant once for an exceptional experience.

Restaurant SEO for Google My Business listing

Add FAQ and respond to questions from real people

You can add some basic questions like

How to make a table reservation?

Where can I place an online order?

Do you serve alcohol?

Update posts on GMB

You can add Google My Business posts at least once a week.

Publish posts like special offers, events, celebrations, and other business-related content

Encourage your customers to drop positive reviews & ratings

Get more positive reviews like asking for feedback after the meal and if they’re satisfied, they will be happy to drop a positive review.

Also, let them know that their review helps your business in a much bigger way to attract more such customers.

2. Do keyword research

Know where and how your website should ideally rank for. If you own a restaurant in Anna Nagar, your website or Google My Business local pack will have to rank for keywords like "Restaurants in Anna Nagar"

A few more important things to consider are your restaurant type & service mode.

Restaurant type: Is it a vegetarian restaurant, family restaurant, rooftop restaurant, pet friendly, midnight restaurant, etc.

Service mode: Cloud kitchen, delivery only, curbside pickup, online order accepted, etc.

Restaurant Google My Business service options updates for SEO

Once you know these details, you can slightly expand your keyword universe and target more niche queries that your business offers.

Remember, you can only show up in Google rankings when the searcher is somewhere around a 4km radius with your business location.

3. Have proper Title & Meta Description tags on the website

This is the first thing searchers see in Google and this directly speaks about your business.

It’s highly important to provide a good impression to your potential customers in the first instance.

You can explain what your business is about, your expertise, and what customers can expect from your restaurant.

Here are 2 important things you need to remember when it comes to Title Tags & Meta Descriptions for your web pages:

Title tags should be within 55-60 characters

Meta description should be within 155 characters.

Here is an example of a restaurant businesses that has good title tags and meta descriptions.

The title gives away information about what the restaurant is. The description goes a little deeper into explaining why they are the best restaurant, service excellence, and what guests can expect.

Providing a complete picture and letting the searcher visualize or transport to the place virtually.

4. Do local SEO

SEO for local businesses is called local SEO. It's all about having proper NAP: Name, Address, and Phone Number throughout the web. You do not have to confuse search engines and future customers.

To achieve the best results, you need to use exact local keywords on your website and Google my business page.

If you're own a restaurant in Chennai, Anna Nagar, you need to use exact match local keywords like "Restaurants in Anna Nagar" in Google My Business page info and in the website content.

To be even more precise, you can even include specifics at which your business is located.

For example: "Restaurants in Anna Nagar East"

Remember, this is recommended only when the area you serve is fairly big. For smaller areas, it's always advised to use your direct zone/area name

5. Have a mobile-friendly website

Here’s one interesting stat about mobile users: 78% of local searches on mobile result in an offline purchase.

People search on the go. They want instant help and Google exactly helps with this.

Make sure your website loads quickly. The ideal website load time for mobile users should be around (2 to 5 seconds)

In addition to a fast-loading website, your website design should also provide a good user experience.

This includes proper CTA, showing the important information about your business at the top of the page. Helping the users to take quick action without bouncing off your site.

Here are 5 important aspects of a mobile friendly restaurant website:

  1. Viewing menu & online ordering made easy

  2. Images are loaded properly

  3. Proper line & character spacing for readability

  4. Easy to navigate to different parts of the website

  5. Call To Action buttons are placed at right places

6. Build backlinks & citations

Backlinks are just like votes. The more backlinks you have for your website, the more prominent your rankings in Google

List your restaurant in online directories, marketplaces, food blogging websites, and other relevant pages to improve your search rankings

The difference between a backlink and a citation is that backlinks are clickable links to your website that are strategically placed on other relevant websites.

Whereas, citations are your brand information like your business name, address, present in other websites, and are not linked back to your website. They're just nonclickable text elements.

Either way, backlinks & local citations act as one of the core pillars or ranking factors for restaurant local SEO.

7. Update schema markup & structured data

Your website has a lot of information. Right from the menu, to business hours, from testimonials to events videos, you can have almost everything on your site.

Using schema markup, you can show specific information for super-specific user queries.

For example, if someone searches for “Restaurants that accepts reservation”, Google can pick the exact "Yes" or "No" information from your website and display it right away without showing the entire content on your website.

And here are some of the other important schema markup or structured data that you can use in your restaurant website

  1. Menu

  2. Service Cuisine

  3. Star Ratings

  4. Currencies accepted

  5. Payment Accepted

  6. Opening Hours

  7. Price Range

  8. Areas served

and so much more

8. Get more Google ratings & reviews

Google loves reviews. So do your customers.

Google always wants to show the best information to its users. Just like you want to serve the best food to your customers.

And how can Google know that you're the best? Yep, you got it right. Only through more positive reviews and ratings.

We purchase music systems and almost everything based on reviews and word of mouth. The same applies here.

Try to get as many reviews for your Google My Business page (just like you get reviews on Facebook improve your restaurant Facebook marketing game)

This includes getting more reviews from friends & family members. Getting reviews from customers during checkout. Ask them if they have enjoyed the meal. If they're positive about it, request them to drop a review and let them know how much it means to your business.

If possible, go a step further and incentivize their actions by offering discounts on the next visit.

Running a restaurant doesn’t always guarantee you always get positive reviews and ratings. Sometimes you come across angry customers who are dissatisfied with the service, food quality, or for whatever reasons.

At that time, they are most likely to drop a negative review. You need to step in and respond to these negative reviews. Why? Because it makes your brand more humane.

Always start off your negative review response with an apology. Let them know that situations like these happen rarely. If possible, let them know why or how it happened to stay honest and accountable to your business.

This helps you come across as a business that is more concerned about every customer and most importantly, Google confirms responding to reviews helps you improve your SEO.

9. Start a blog

A blog section on your restaurant website would act as a column of support for the website and enhance your online reputation.

We have this section at the last because it is the least important when it comes to restaurant SEO.

But, the best part about your restaurant business blog is that you can subtly brag about why you're the best restaurant and why customers need to choose your business over others.

To showcase your expertise and authoritativeness in food, you need to start blogging about informational content your customers would love to read.

Here are some of the best blogging ideas for your restaurant website:

Food history series:

Informational content on how food has evolved over the years. How you engineer your menu, and how food is made, and also include food quotes & restaurant quotes.

Informative Blog: Best food in <Your City Name>

Eg: 9 Best Foods you need to try in Chennai

You can include your restaurant’s dish in the blog and make it lucrative

Behind the scenes:

How food is being prepared: Easily establishes your hygiene and people get to connect with your business. They clearly know what's happening in the kitchen and have no second thoughts about the quality of the dish.

Meet the team:

This shows that you care about your team and your team members from restaurant management to chefs can let their original passion speak. People love to visit a place where employees are passionate about what they are doing on a daily basis

Your awards, recognitions & special occasions:

You can write a brief post about all of these to let your customers and future customers know that they're in the safe hands

Document your journey:

This is just like meet the team kind of posts, but more inclined towards business. This is all about documenting your journey. Your ups and downs, how you overcome difficult situations like COVID-19, etc. It helps your customers and target audiences to connect with your brand on a deeper level.

In conclusion, optimizing your restaurant's online presence through effective SEO strategies is crucial for attracting more customers and staying ahead in today's digital landscape.

By implementing the tips outlined in this blog, such as optimizing your Google My Business listing, conducting keyword research, creating compelling content, and maintaining a strong online reputation, you can enhance your visibility, engage with your target audience, and drive more traffic to your restaurant.

Remember to prioritize user experience, provide valuable and digestible content, and adapt to the evolving SEO landscape to ensure long-term success. Happy optimizing!

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