Six SEO Strategies to Boost Your Restaurant’s Visibility Online 

If there is anything this pandemic has taught the food and beverage industry, it is that an online presence is vital for a restaurant to succeed. However, simply having a website for your restaurant is insufficient. You need to stand out and be noticed so that more people will visit your site. This is why Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is crucial.

What is SEO? 

Search Engine Optimization has to do with increasing the traffic to your website. Beyond simply bringing in more visitors to your site, it involves directing the right kind of audience your way. 

Most customers find restaurants through generic searches. They go to Google, Yahoo!, Bing, or whatever search engine they favor and type out what they are looking for. Because this type of search generates hundreds of results, unless your restaurant appears on the first page (and preferably towards or at the top) there is a high chance that your site will be overlooked. By paying conscious attention to SEO you can push your restaurant website up the list of search results. 

Here are six effective SEO measures that will put your restaurant site in its prime spot.

01. Identify keywords

You need to start by making a list of the keywords which you would like your restaurant to show up in an online search. It is good practice to have a mix of single words and phrases, as people tend to conduct their searches using phrases. The keywords should cover both generic terms (“restaurants in Idaho” or “fast food places in Texas”) as well as niche terms that connect with your specialty (like “outdoor wine bar” or “vegetarian pasta”). Use your restaurant name alongside some other keywords so that your restaurant will show up on third-party platforms that you are a part of.

Profile your different customer groups and think about their needs and requirements. This will help you identify other important keywords that relate to specific categories of your target market. If yours is a pet-friendly restaurant, for instance, you can use that as a part of one of your keywords. 

02. Get listed on online directories

Include your restaurant website and contact details on all relevant online directories, including Google My Business and Yelp. Make sure you have all the vital information: your address, opening hours, contact details, and website. Check that the information is consistent across all sites. Update any changes to the information as soon as you possibly can. By including your information in more directories you increase your chances of showing up on localized searches.  

03. Have lots of pictures

There is no denying that we live in a visual era and even Google endorses that. It turns out that Google is more in favor of sites with pretty pictures. So take lots of pictures – outside your building, inside the restaurant, the food (of course the food!), special events, and anything else with visual appeal. Include these in your website and on all your social media platforms as well. 

04. Generate regular content

You can use blogs to generate more traffic because you can include your keywords in them. Address a range of different topics and cater to the different customer groups. You can write about internal happenings as well as more general topics like nutrition or sustainable farming. Before you write, figure out what keywords you can include and weave them in using them at least three times in your blog. 

05. Add your restaurant to review sites. 

Google likes reviews and tends to prioritize places with good reviews. Put yourself out there, listing your restaurant in all the review powerhouses, and actively encourage your guests to review you on those sites. A high number of positive reviews positions you as reliable and trustworthy earning you a higher spot on Google search results. Reviews also play a key role in encouraging new guests to visit a restaurant. When someone is searching for a place to eat at and when they read the fantastic things your customers have said about you they will be more likely to make a reservation or simply walk in. 

06. Foreground your online ordering option. 

Make sure you have a separate page for online orders on your website. Feature the words “online ordering”, “pickup”, “takeout” (as they are relevant) on this page. If you can, include the phrase “online ordering” in the URL of that page. With these words, you will be more easily found by people who are conducting broad searches like “takeout places in Orlando”.  

Each person who visits your site is a potential customer. Therefore, the more people who check out your restaurant website, the more opportunities you have to make money. Pay close attention to SEO and you can enhance your restaurant’s performance.