If you’re running a local business, local SEO is extremely valuable for increasing awareness and getting more customers.
If you are on the first Google page, you will be found. Find out what’s behind it and how local SEO works for restaurants!
Local SEO for restaurants
Local SEO stands for optimizing your website so that it appears first in local searches in Google.
To succeed, your website must be attractive and informative. It should therefore provide all the important information at a glance and at the same time make you want to visit your restaurant.
For search queries, it is important that Google classifies your website as relevant and knows that when someone searches for a restaurant, they are in good hands. That’s why the right keywords and good on-page optimization are essential.
Rating portals and business directories support your website in achieving a good ranking. In addition, you can be found quickly by customers and they know right away that you like it.
With so many searches coming from smartphones, you need to optimize your page for fast retrieval on any device, anywhere.
1: The right background knowledge
What is Local SEO? Local SEO is about getting your restaurant found in your area, not two hundred miles away. Hungry people in Los Angeles will probably not come to you to eat if your restaurant is in New York.
Note: Local SEO is optimizing your restaurant’s website to make it visible on search engines like Google. The goal is that you get the best position for local searches, namely page 1 on Google. Examples of a local search query are:
- Restaurant Manhattan
- Good Italian restaurant in Las Vegas
- Burger Columbus
- Tavern nearby
2: The content
If you’re making a salad, you probably don’t use tomato sauce as a dressing. And the same goes for the content of your website. Be honest with your customers, and show them what to expect.
Highlight the benefits of your restaurant and add them to your website. Do you have a rustic ambiance? Write about it! Do you offer Italian specialties? Highlight it! Got the best TVs for sports? Write about it! With the right advantages, you stand out from your competition. But these benefits alone are not enough.
Don’t hide the menu but place them as prominently as possible on your side. In this way, undecided connoisseurs can take a look inside before their mouths water and they come to you.
The best way to make reservations easier for your guests is to include a call-to-action (CTA) that includes your phone number and a call-to-action-to-call. In addition to the telephone number, a correct address is of course also important. Unless you want to lose your hungry customers off the beaten track to a witch’s gingerbread house.
People eat with their eyes. This also applies to your website. With a professional appearance, you manage to convince your customers of your restaurant. Find out more here.
3: The right keywords and on-page optimization
When you hear the word “soup”, you immediately reach for the spoon and not the fork. When you hear the word “dessert,” you’re preparing for dessert, not a walk in the desert.
It’s similar to Google too. With the right words, called “keywords,” Google understands that your website is that of a restaurant.
This is important when people search for one in the search query, because only if Google knows that the search query matches your restaurant will your website be served to customers on a silver platter.
This works if you use the right keywords. But don’t overdo it! Readability, i.e. how well your text is written, still remains important. You not only want to convince Google but also your customers. So the following applies dose well, instead of oversalting.
How it works:
Refine the texts on your website with the right words that have a regional reference.
Important keywords are, for example, the name of your city, your category (e.g. takeaway, restaurant, delivery service, bar), and your orientation (e.g. Italian, Chinese, American).
- In the headings, especially in the H1 (the first of your page), use the city name as well as the Main Keyword.
- Optimize the page description (meta description), customize the page title, and small text visible on Google.
- Add appropriate alt tags to your images (texts that describe the image and create a local reference).
- Build backlinks from other websites and on your own pages (link your page in the text).
4: Ratings and business directories
Nowadays everyone has to add their two cents. Use that! Good ratings, such as the Google reviews from Google MyBusiness, ensure that potential customers are encouraged to visit your restaurant. While you sweeten the guests’ day with your excellent dishes, they increase your ranking through the ratings. Feel free to tell them to rate you, because good reviews mean they climb up the Google menu and become the eye-catching menu of the day!
Business directories such as Google MyBusiness are ideal for being found and rated. For example, your restaurant can be entered into Google Maps in just a few simple steps.
Now, when someone is at the intersection and suddenly hunger strikes, he or she can simply open Google Maps on their smartphone and be guided to your restaurant. And that brings us to the last ingredient.
5: Mobile Optimization
A large proportion of Google searches now come in via smartphones. Especially when it comes to local searches.
It is therefore essential that you optimize your website accordingly. Google recognizes whether your website is user-friendly and it is particularly so when it can be accessed from anywhere on any device.
The page must therefore be designed in such a way that all images and text can be viewed easily on a small screen. To do this, the website should recognize the device on which it is currently being accessed. The best way to check this is with helpful tools that show you the page in different formats. So you can test in advance whether it works. After all, you don’t put your food in front of your guests without first tasting it, right?
But other things also play into user-friendliness. Just like you don’t like to wait long for your food when your stomach is growling, patience has its limits when it comes to a website. So ensure fast loading times.
There are a few things to consider with Local SEO. In the end, it might not be a recipe that you can follow, but rather the individual creation of a new dish where you only know which ingredients could go well together.
It takes a long time for Google to recognize that your page is relevant and the above points do not always lead to the goal. Sometimes it’s just nuances that need to be adjusted.