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Increase Visibility For Restaurant Searchers With Local SEO

You run a fantastic restaurant with great food, friendly staff, and top-notch entertainment. The guests who visit your restaurant have come to love the experience, but you know you are leaving money on the table.

With everything you have to keep track of, you may be wondering why local restaurant SEO is something you should even consider spending time on.

Here are just a few ideas that you can use to improve your restaurant’s visibility:

  1. Start With Google My Business For Restaurant SEO
  2. Ask For & Respond To Reviews
  3. Create Unique Content For People Who Search For A Local Restaurant
  4. Pay Attention & Optimize Restaurant Review Sites

These are just a few of the best restaurant SEO tips that you can use.

Are you still worried that local restaurant SEO is not worth your time?

Well, let’s take a look at some stats that show the value of SEO to get found by local restaurant searchers:

  • 43% of all Google searches done are location-based. This means that people are looking for information about local services whenever they turn to Google.
  • Over 50% of mobile searches are local and location-based. This makes sense since people using their phones to find information are likely on the run and need quick information. This is perfect for restaurant owners.
  • Mobile traffic is growing for all industries, and this is especially true for restaurants looking to maximize their visibility and drive more local restaurant searchers through their doors.

You have a great website with SEO for restaurants, and engaging social media content that speaks to your local searchers. However, the problem that many restaurants experience is that they are not using local SEO properly to stand out from other local restaurants.

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As a restaurant owner, you know that your job is never done, and you can always improve your operations. When it comes to marketing, you should always be looking for ways to get found when someone searches for a local restaurant.

One of the best ways to ensure you get found by restaurant searchers, you should implement a local SEO strategy to rank your location above your competition and provide information that patrons are looking for quickly and easily.

Instead of dividing your time and energy across too many efforts, you can follow a few tips to help customers find you when they search for local restaurants. Here are our four favorite tips to get found by local restaurant searchers today!

1. Start With Google My Business For Restaurant SEO

Google My Business (GMB) is one of the best ways that you can rank for local restaurants in your area. After you verify your restaurant GMB page, you need to optimize your Google My Business listing by setting your:

  • Google My Business Category (Restaurant)
  • Physical Address
  • Local Service Areas
  • Hours of Operation
  • Phone Number
  • Profile Short Name
  • Website URL
  • Appointment Links (for reservations, etc.)
  • Products
  • Services
  • Highlighted Attributes
  • Optimized Description of Your Restaurant

This may seem like a lot, but it is vital that you keep all your restaurant information accurate and consistent across all directories and listings. You can use a local SEO template to keep your info in one area- this type of document will reduce the chances that you will post inaccurate or inconsistent information online.

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Along with the above elements, you can also add your menu to your GMB listing. This is a great way to give local guests quick access to find out more about your restaurant to give you a call or book a reservation online.

Finally, you need to upload quality images and videos to your GMB page. This is one of the most important things that you can do to improve your online visibility and show how much fun your restaurant is to potential patrons.

A pro tip is to upload 2-3 images or videos each week. This helps Google see that your restaurant is active, and this can make a big impact on how and when your local restaurant ranks in the local SEO Map Pack.

2. Ask For & Respond To Reviews

The most successful and best restaurants often have lots of positive reviews across the Internet. This is because your customers conduct a lot of research before choosing a restaurant to dine at, and nothing helps patrons make a decision than seeing lots of positive reviews raving about the food, atmosphere, and friendly staff.

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Following up with patrons after they dine with you is a great time to ask for a review on their recent experience. If you have their email address, then you can simply send them an email thanking them for visiting with a request for a review on your GMB page, or one of the other restaurant review pages that you are currently on.

It’s important to know that it is illegal to offer customers a gift or discount for a review. This is because many websites (including Google My Business) consider this a paid promotion, and goes against their Terms of Service.

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This means that you need to find a way to ask your customers for a review without a monetary offer in return.

One last thing- you should always reply to reviews (positive and negative) since this shows patrons that you are active and looking to provide a great time. In addition to helping local searchers, replying to reviews on GMB and other restaurant review sites can actually help your restaurant SEO efforts!

3. Create Unique Content For People Who Search For A Local Restaurant

You need to provide information that answers questions and addresses the needs of every restaurant searcher near your location. Creating great content to help your restaurant SEO needs to start with what’s important to your audience and not just what search engines are looking for.

One way that you can tie technical SEO together with local SEO practices is to build unique pages on your website with information specific to local events. You can push qualified traffic to your local pages with Facebook ads for your restaurant. These ads are a great way to reach specific people in your geographic area based on their interests.

These pages can help you appear in search results whenever someone turns to Google to learn more about a restaurant that meets their needs and desires. A few ideas that you can use to build local pages are:

  1. [city] live music (or entertainment)
  2. Best [city] dessert
  3. Best [food/dish] in [city]
  4. Amazing bar in [city]
  5. Top romantic dining in [city]

Your website will have different pages to promote different aspects of your business, and you can use local pages to share specific information about your restaurant and the community.

Each of these pages should hold unique information about your restaurant, and on each page, you need to make sure that you have some vital information like:

  • Restaurant name
  • Phone number
  • Physical address

4. Pay Attention & Optimize Restaurant Review Sites

Restaurant searchers have more information at their fingertips than ever before, and they will turn to different restaurant review sites before calling in to book a reservation. You need to pay attention and optimize restaurant review sites if you want to increase your chances of a customer choosing your restaurant over one of your competitors.

It may sound strange that part of the local restaurant SEO includes optimizing sites other than your own website. Still, the truth is that if a patron may not choose your restaurant if they turn to a restaurant site for more information and finds an outdated or negative profile.

As you think about the time and resources available for restaurant SEO, you should think about the most popular review sites for restaurant searchers, like:

  • Yelp
  • Zomato
  • Zagat
  • OpenTable
  • Dine
  • Gayot
  • TripAdvisor

Every review site offers its own take and information about local restaurants, and most of these sites allow you to build an online profile for free. In addition to the free profile, you can also include things like your menu, online ordering, and even make reservations through the services.

Be sure to include accurate information about your restaurant on each review site, because having inconsistent data across different sites can hurt your restaurant SEO strategy. A great way to keep all your information consistent is to use our local SEO template so you can have a central location for all your restaurant information.

Once you have the fields filled out and several images are chosen, you can simply copy/paste your information across the various restaurant review sites without the worry of confusing patrons searching for local restaurants!

Get Found By More Local Restaurant Searchers Today!

It can be tough to balance everything that you have going on in your restaurant. But it’s important to remember that getting the attention of the right local searchers is just as important as having a great menu and friendly staff.

You can drive more qualified leads through local SEO restaurant strategies like Google My Business, increasing restaurant reviews, create local content for specific search queries, and optimize restaurant review sites.

We hope these tips will help you, and look forward to seeing your restaurant drive more guests with local restaurant searches today!

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