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Restaurant SEO

Would you like to get more customers to your restaurant by boosting your rankings on Google with SEO? With 70% of consumers searching for cafes and local restaurants online. It imperative that you optimize your restaurant SEO strategy. Since 80% of clicks go to the first page of a Google search result. It’s important as a restaurant that you are on the first page, as potential customers are looking for convenience above all else when people are hungry and are trying to find a place to eat.

What Is Restaurant SEO?

Search Engine Optimization is the best marketing strategy apart from having a mobile/online ordering system for a restaurant in 2019. Restaurant SEO can optimize your restaurant’s website, website speed, social media, and overall digital presence by adding relevant content to your sites like blog posts or recipes. Engaging with your customers on social media, and making sure information about your restaurant is consistent such as your address and phone number on your local listings so that Google understands the relevance. All you need to know are the basics to help you get started.

Your Restaurant SEO Strategy With Keywords

Implementing your restaurant SEO strategy. The very first thing you want to do is to clearly define what audience and demographic locations you are targeting. When doing so you are getting into the mind of what potential customers would type into Google when searching for a restaurant, and how to tailor your SEO strategy and content around your potential customers.

Once you determine your targeting audience, then you can research keywords that are centered around your potential customers by maximizing your Google search results. Restaurants there are generally three keyword groupings which are: niche-specific, broad, and brand related.

Broad Restaurant Keywords

An example of broad key terms grouping for a restaurant would be “Restaurant near me” or “Restaurant in Los Angeles”. Depending on the geographical location your restaurant is located in, you would have to take into consideration how competitive your keyword is. There are hundreds of “Restaurants in Los Angeles” as it is an enormous city. By using a broad keyword in that city you would face more competition opposed to if your resaurant is in Hesperia, California you will have much less competition for a keyword like “Restaurant in Hesperia”.

Restaurant SEO

Restaurant Niche Words

An example of a niche-specific keyword grouping for a restaurant would be “Vegan Restaurant” or “Italian Restaurant in Los Angeles”. By being niche-specific you are narrowing down your targeting to your restaurant’s niche and will face less competition. Sometimes niche-specific targeting can be tricky for example if you have an Italian Restaurant in Los Angeles do you use niche-specific keywords such as “Italian Restaurant in Los Angeles” or “Asian Restaurant in Los Angeles”? The “Asian Restaurant in Los Angeles” might have more competition but the best course of action would be a niche-specific keyword you should use for your restaurant is to simply look at websites like Yelp or Foursquare to see the categories and criteria they use for your area.

Restaurant SEO

Tools for Researching Your Restaurant Keywords

There are various tools for SEO that you can use to help monitor your position of your keywords and give recommendation on not only other keyowrds you should target but how you improve your ranking overall. One of the best tools is the Google Keyword Planner, but I prefer ahrefs. Here’s how you can use this tool for you to keyword research through Google.

  1. Log in or sign up for Google Adwords account and visit Google Keyword Planner on the dashboard.
  2. Input your target keyword.
  3. Click on “Keyword” and you will be presented with a table that shows your keyword and their respective search volumes along with helpful data.
Restaurant SEO

By researching keywords, you are able to get first-hand information about your target audience. This is crucial if you want to write content and headlines on your website that rank well in Google search results.

Restaurant Brand Story

What makes a restaurant unique? Is it a family owned business that has passed down recipes for decades? Make sure that you capture your brand story on your website so that you make yourself distinct and stand out to the customer’s eye. Your brand story should be placed on your home page. If you have a video that’s even better.

Restaurant SEO

Have Your Restaurant Phone Number And Address Visible

Your target audience should be able to find your address easily on your website. Consider putting it on your homepage in the most visible place as most users will be searching for your restaurant on mobile looking to contact the restaurant in regard to reservations or quick directions on how to get there. Doing so will greatly increase your conversions.

Restaurant SEO

Business Hours

Working hours being displayed is another crucial piece of information. Are you open daily? What kind of meals of meals do you serve for breakfast, lunch, dinner etc.? It is a competitive advantage, as it might be the difference between a customer choosing your restaurant over another restaurant because you are open longer than them.

Restaurant SEO

Optimize Your Website’s Menu

Make sure your website contains information on how potential consumers can make a reservation with just one click of a button. This needs to be optimized to work on mobile as well. If your potential customers check your menu, location and are happy with what they saw. They would more than likely book right away without leaving your website page. Make it easy for them to book a reservation.

Restaurant SEO

Online Ordering App

With 80% of millennial’s (18-35) having ordered food through an online app. It is important that if your restaurant provides online ordering, the button is located easily on your homepage. The reason being is people who have placed an order online easily, will be more inclined to visit that restaurant over and over again. By having your online app easily accessible, you will convert more transactions and foot traffic into your restaurant as it will be easy for mobile users to order food at a click of a button.

Add Photos Of Interior Throughout Your Website

Add eye-catching photos of the interior throughout your restaurant. Most customers will decide whether they want to their time in your restaurant by looking at the interior and the way the ambiance is. Consider making it the best experience possible as most people tend to want to get away from their real life work to enjoy an hour or two and a great looking restaurant.

Have Your E-Mail List Sign-Up Accessible

Your e-mail list is an asset that allows you to continuously communicate and engage with your customers whether that be a new event you are hosting or coupons you will offer. Having your e-mail sign-up easily accessible makes it easier for customers who are interested in your restaurant to sign-up so that they can stay up to date which will build loyalty.

One way to get customers to sign up to your email list is showing an incentive. Maybe offer a 10% coupon that will give your customer a discount for your dish or product.

Restaurant SEO

Make Sure Your Restaurant Website Is Optimized For Mobile

Most users will be searching for a restaurant on their mobile device. The use of mobile ordering apps, the internet, and SMS text have accounted for nearly 1.9 billion food service visits and has grown by 20% this year.It is vital that you have a mobile responsive website for an enhanced user experience. Research shows more restaurants searches in the United States take place on mobile device. It is crucial that your website looks great and functions well on any mobile device. This means it needs to be solid on iPhones, androids, and even screen tablets.

Google actually ranks mobile-friendly websites higher in its search results. If you want to improve your search rankings you need to ensure you have a mobile-friendly website. Use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to determine if your website is mobile friendly.

The results will give you a list of page loading issues it encounters.

Optimize The Speed Of Your Restaurant’s Website

Most users visiting a website will be on a mobile device therefore your pages need to load at a fast secure rate. Google now punishes websites who have slow loading pages as Google claims this is a bad user experience but it also makes for an increased bounce rate.

Most restaurant websites have slow loading speeds due to images on your site. Make sure you are optimizing your images before uploading them into your website. Tools such as Optimizilla can decrease the file size of your images without effecting the quality of the photo.

Website SSL Security

To keep visitors protected on your website you need to make sure that your website is SSL secure. By making your website secure, you are ensuring that information stored on your website such as personal information stored on your website such as personal information is protected from all outside threats who try to steal information. Furthermore, as of July 2018, Google now identifies non-https website as non-secure which can also affect your Google ranking search engine rankings.

Analytics On Your Restaurant Website

You need to install Google Analytics on your restaurant website. Google Analytics help you determine the number of visitors your website gets and where they are coming from. More organic visits mean that your Restaurant SEO strategy is working.

Another tool you need to utilize is Google Search Console. This allows you to increase your visibility on Google by being able to add your website to Google’s index. This will make your website see and be properly indexed on Google.

Optimize Local SEO with Google My Business

It’s extremely important that you maximize your Local SEO efforts as a restaurant. Restaurants depend on local search more than any other type of business. Google gives local businesses priority when a user does a local search. It’s absolutely important for your local restaurant SEO. According to Google, 97% of consumers used the internet to search for local businesses. There are many local listing directories listings that your restaurant can be in. This most important one for Google search ranking for restaurants is Google My Business.

Google My Business For Restaurants

Listing your restaurant on Google My Business should be one of the first things your restaurant business does to improve its Google search rankings. The first thing most local restaurant search results on Google will be their Google maps with their restaurant location.

Restaurant SEO

Google My Business offers the best and most versatile features for your restaurant.

Add Your Restaurant To The Top Relevant And Local Listnings

Any reference to your restaurant on a local listing is called a citation. By adding your restaurant to local and relevant listings, you are increasing your credit-ability and trust with all major search engines. Some of the most relevant listings that your restaurant should be on is Yelp or Trip Adviser. The more citations that appear on the internet, the higher authority your website will receive which will result in higher rankings especially on local search.

NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) Consistency On All Directories

All your online listings need to be consistent. Most search engines like Google don’t like inconsistent listings and negatively impact your Google search rankings. You’ll want to make sure that all your important information is updated in every single directory. You can use a tool from MOZ to help check how consistent you are.

Local Link Building

When local businesses give back, the community loves it. As a restaurant, you can do free catering to kid’s soccer games, host networking groups, or provide free lunch to an elementary school. Not only does this benefit the community and build local awareness for your restaurant but it also allows opportunity for you to be featured on high authoritative local websites if media outlets happen to pick up these stories. Authoritative local websites include: .edu or .gov links that can greatly boost your local rankings if they link to your website as this will tell Google you are well recognized in the local community.


Running a restaurant business takes more than just appetizing foods to attract new customers to your restaurant. With most people looking for new places to eat online, it’s important to stick to your restaurant SEO plan and always keep your website optimized.

We know as a restaurant you are very busy, and if you want to decrease the amount of time it takes to see the results of your Google search rankings exponentially, contact us today as we are a premiere California SEO Agency and have worked with many restaurants in the past.

OMG Marketing deals with search engine optimization, web design and development, and social media marketing. We have the knowledge to grow your business. We look forward to working with you!