With more diners turning online to find a new café, fine dining restaurant or online to-go orders, SEO for restaurants is becoming more of a necessity than an option nowadays. After all, it’s easier to access information through desktops and smartphones, and getting the best Google suggestions are just a few keywords away.
The right SEO recipe can pave the way to online success and business growth. By securing the top seats in the search results, it can provide you with a constant stream of customers that may have never otherwise found about your restaurant.
While search engine algorithms update now and then, there are tried-and-tested strategies that can give your website an edge and stand out from your competitors. Here are six steps you can take to start positioning your brand in front of your audience.
1. SEO Keywords
To make it easier for your restaurant to get found online, you need to use the right keywords. Define what audience and geographical locations you are targeting so you can determine what keywords you should use for your strategy.
There are three keyword groupings commonly used for restaurants: broad, niche-specific and brand terms.
- Broad Restuarant Terms – Examples of broad keyword grouping include “Restaurants near me” and “restaurants in Woollahra”. Depending on the location you’re located in, you need to consider how competitive the keywords are.
- Niche-Specific Terms – This refers to terms related to specific categories your restaurant fall into, like “vegan restaurant”, “romantic restaurant” or “Italian restaurant in Darlinghurst”. Compared to broad terms, they are less competitive, which makes it easier for you to rank in the search results.
- Brand Terms – This refers to the name of the restaurant itself, like Gelato Messina, Chiswick Restaurant, etc. They can be challenging to make them rank high in the search results because there’s a chance that another restaurant in a different state has the same name as yours. It’s also likely that your restaurant’s listings and social media pages may rank higher than your website, that’s why It’s imperative that you address these roadblocks by making sure your website provides more value.
Once you’ve determined your keywords, be sure to incorporate them in your website copy, as well as other SEO elements like title tags, meta descriptions, URL, alt text and more. Be careful not to overstuff, however.
2. Google My Business
Google My Business is a perfect supplement to your existing website by providing your business with a public presence on Google. It regularly rolls out new features, and some of them are only available for restaurants. For one, you can list your menu directly in your listing so people can see it immediately when they look for your business. It also has a booking option that you can add to your profile, thus making it easier for customers to get through your door.
Once you claim your listing, make sure you provide the most useful and relevant details about your restaurant, including:
- Your website
- A photo gallery that showcases your dishes and establishment
- A brief description of your business
- Map/driving directions to your restaurant
- Address, phone number and email
3. Local Citations
In addition to Google My Business, it’s crucial to build and optimise your local citations. It involves getting your business, address and phone number (NAP) in recognised online business listings like Yelp and Foursquare. Not only it is a huge part of local SEO for restaurants but also a reliable traffic source.
Such business listings can generate calls, views and enquiries for restaurants. That said, we recommend that you claim your listing and make sure that your business information is up-to-date and complete with images. On top of that, you should monitor and respond to customer reviews promptly as this is one of the first things your prospects check out before transacting with your business.
Another way to set your restaurant apart from others is to use schema markup. It’s a structured data that interprets your website to search engines so it can present information to users the best way possible in the search engine results page (SERP). You can mark up your menu, cuisine, star ratings, opening hours and more.
Search engines are constantly trying to know more about your business, such as your contact information, customer reviews, and so on, a properly coded schema will make their job easier. In turn, you have better chances of appearing on the first page of the search result when someone in your area is looking for a restaurant.
Many business owners think that testimonials are just icing on the cake of good customer experience. In reality, testimonials do an excellent job in strengthening your brand and supporting your expertise. They are not only about the food you offer but also about your positive interactions with other people. They can be one-liner statements or short video clips from your satisfied clients or even from your business connections.
There are many favourable places where you can place your testimonials. You can put them in your website, blogs, press releases and social media channels. Most restaurants add them near the reservations button as a way to entice prospects to convert.
6. Unique and Optimised Content
We can’t stress enough how important it is to have a wealth of engaging and useful content on your website. It doesn’t have to be all copy; you can also showcase your brand through photos, videos, and even your menu.
Share your restaurant’s story – everything from the culture to the product. Talk about how you source your ingredients and develop recipes that make your dishes worth the try.
Keep your place fully booked year round with proven online marketing strategies for restaurants from DigitalMaas. We can help you bridge the gap between your business and your customers so you can drive actual visits and reservations. Sign up to our digital marketing platform today and get your site audit report for free!