Local SEO for Restaurants: A Recipe for Success


Your menu may be fresh and local, your dishes delicious, but if your customers can’t find you in a quick online search, it won’t help your business. Here are some ways to use the tools of SEO to attract your local customers and keep them coming back. 

What is SEO?

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a way of getting all of your online tools – your website, social media, local listings, to work together to attract customers, provide consistent information and make sure your website climbs up the Google search rankings. Since most people use online searches to find restaurants it is important that your SEO is working for you.

Search engine optimization is as important as making sure you have building maintenance. It is a powerful digital marketing strategy and like any marketing strategy, it is important to know what your goals are and who your target audience is. Knowing who you want to reach will help you focus your strategies and take advantage of keywords and search phrases used by your potential customer. 

Here are some ways to improve your SEO rankings. 

Help Your Website Stand Out From The Rest. 

Every restaurant is unique, your website is the place to tell your story and get your customers excited about eating your food. Use your website to stand out from the rest of the crowd. Show beautiful pictures of food, the decor and paint a picture of the unique experience your restaurant has to offer. Use your homepage to show off your story and create a unique impression. 

Make Important Information Easy to Find

Have your address, phone number, hours of operation and any other important information readily available on your homepage for visiting customers. They shouldn’t need to click around to find out how to make a reservation or place an order. 

Include Your Menu

Most customers will want to take a look at your menu before they decide where they want to eat, so make it easy to find. If your menu changes daily maybe you want to make it a daily post on Instagram or Facebook and direct customers there?

Make Your Website Mobile Friendly

Most customers looking to eat will use their mobile devices to search rather than a desktop computer. Make sure your website is easy to see and optimized for a mobile device. Google also ranks mobile-friendly websites higher in their searches – so by making yourself visible to everyone on mobile devices, you are also improving your overall ranking. 

To check if your website is optimized for a mobile device, Google offers this Mobile-Friendly Test Tool. Just enter your website URL and it will tell you how your page did and ways to improve it. 

Make Use of Local Business Directories

Most neighbourhoods have listings of local businesses and organizations. Make sure your restaurant is included in these listings and the information is correct and up to date. The more your business appears in local listings or directories, the more it is seen to be a credible and trustworthy business. Visibility in these kinds of listings also improves your authority with the search engines. 

Be Consistent With Your Online Information

It is important to be consistent with your information across all of your digital platforms – this includes social media, local listings and your website. Always include the same business name, address, and contact information. Search engines will penalize sites that are not consistent across all platforms. 

Emphasize Your Location 

It can be hard to stand out in a big city of restaurants, but you can stand out in your local neighbourhood. Restaurants Near Me is one of the most used search phrases, so make sure your physical location is listed and all your relevant information included in places like Google Maps, Local Google and Google Places. Google Places will show your physical location on a map and also provide your address, business hours and contact information. 

Communicate with your Customers

What if one of your customers would like to know if you offer celebration of life catering? Ask your customers for feedback and reviews. If there is a problem and someone posts about it on social media it is important to respond to them right away. Customers like to know there is a real person behind the business and that you care about what they think and want to make the mistakes right. 

Analyze the Data

One of the most powerful SEO service tools is the ability to analyze what is working or not working with your digital marketing strategy and see if your SEO work is paying off. Google offers a tool called Google Analytics that can track the number of visitors to your website, where they are coming from and what words they are using to find you. 

Once you have this information you can start to see how your SEO plan is working. Remember it takes time for SEO to work, but with these tips and your amazing food, you’ll soon see those tables filling up.