As more and more people are opting to order food online, it’s becoming increasingly important for restaurants to have a good local SEO so they can be found quickly and easily across multiple platforms.
Unfortunately, a lot of restaurants are still not using local SEO to boost their online presence.
They think that enlisting their restaurants on online business directories like Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business) and making a Facebook page is enough to drive local customers to buy from them. They don't realize that they're actually missing a lot of leads and thousands of dollars worth of revenue because of it. They need more than that - they need to invest in local search optimization.
Big restaurant chains have the budget to draw customers in through TV ads and extensive PR campaigns, making it difficult for small and medium restaurants to appeal to people.
If you're a local business owner who runs a small restaurant, you need to understand that having strong online visibility is no longer an option. It's a MUST.
For you to thrive in this digital era and compete with large restaurant chains in your area, you need to get found first every time a potential customer searches for a restaurant near them. In other words, your website should have high local rankings.
In this article, we will give you tips on how to dominate the local restaurant SEO game through the right keywords, so you can get more leads and make more sales!
Before we can get into that, though, let's talk about some of the other rewards you'll reap from your local SEO efforts.
More and more local businesses today have started to incorporate local SEO into their marketing strategy. With these fantastic benefits, it's easy to see why:
Local SEO is all about boosting your ranking in local search results. The higher you rank, the more local prospects will find your website and visit it. And, the more they enjoy what they're seeing, the more likely they'll give your restaurant a try.
Enhanced traffic leads to more sales.
That's mostly because local searchers are often ready to buy. They'd rather discover a nearby business and learn more about it, rather choosing one that's miles away or having to make a random purchase.
Plus, with a high ranking in local search results positioning you as a reputable industry leader in the eyes of your target audience, you'll earn their trust in no time, taking them a step further to converting.
Online reviews are instrumental in attracting more customers for your local restaurant. As a matter of fact, they're among the local SEO ranking factors.
It goes without saying that positive feedback can influence purchase decisions. Bright Local found that 87% of users read online reviews before buying from a local business. Another study revealed that 97% base their final choice on what others say about the product or service.
However, you need to optimize your website for local SEO to attain more customer reviews. Don't wait for your customers to leave comments whenever they feel like; rather, be proactive by encouraging them to write a review on your Google Business Profile.
Make sure to respond to all the comments you come across, including the negative ones. Not only will you show your customers that you value them, but you'll also show Google that you're all about providing better customer experience, enabling it to rank you higher in its local search results.
If you're not aware, Google 3-Pack refers to the first three results you see when searching for a local business on Google. So, if you've made it there, consider it a huge accomplishment.
Showing up in the Local 3-Pack will benefit you in ways more than one.
For starters, it's one of the most visible search results, up to 33% more than search results. This means local businesses with a 3 pack listing will be seen by more people, allowing them to get their message out to a larger audience and draw in more potential customers.
Also, searchers are more likely to trust local businesses with an official Google 3 Pack listing than those without. This is because the listings appear in prime real estate, letting customers know that the businesses highlighted have met the standards set by Google and are reliable for their needs.
Another reason you want to have local SEO as a priority in your local business marketing plan is that it results in a conscious business growing period. That's because you'll likely be one of the top local sites in the search engines.
Local search engine optimization focuses on increasing traffic while boosting local rankings at the same time. In turn, the number of potential customers keeps rising.
Add your location to your keywords to make sure that people who conduct local searches can find you easily.
If your area has a well-known tourist spot, landmark, or a famous street, you can use them too.
Being specific about your location establishes which areas you want to target for a local search. It can also filter out searchers who aren’t likely to contact or buy from your restaurant.
For example, if you own an Italian restaurant in Los Angeles, use more specific geographic terms to your keywords like “Italian restaurant in Santa Monica” or “Italian restaurant in Venice Beach CA”.
You also want to make sure that your keywords include all the places you serve so you can reach people in all those locations.
Aside from specifying your location, it’s also crucial to use niche-specific terms in your keywords to generate more qualified leads. By niche-specific terms, we mean words that focus on a particular dish or adjective that describes your restaurant.
For instance, you can add terms like “homemade,” “family-owned,” or "organic" to a more generic keyword. “Homemade organic pizza in Santa Monica” is a good example that can help elevate your ranking in local search results.
Niche keywords may have a lower search volume, but they tend to produce more organic results and attract a local audience who'll more than likely to buy from your restaurant. These terms can also help your business rank higher on Google Maps results and in local SERPs.
Long-tail keywords are longer, more specific phrases that can help your restaurant rank higher in local search results. They can help you boost your local search visibility, thus attracting more qualified leads to your website.
For example, instead of using a broad keyword like "German restaurant," go for a long-tail keyword like "authentic German restaurant in San Francisco" and you'll see your local rankings slowly going up.
Quality modifiers like “best” or “top” add credibility to your local business. They make local searchers think that you’re one of the best restaurants in the area.
It's not uncommon for many online users to include such modifiers in their search to generate the best results possible and guarantee that they end up choosing an outstanding restaurant.
Here are some examples of quality modifiers you can add to your keywords:
• Top 10
An example key phrase is “Best Italian restaurant in Santa Monica” or “ Affordable Vegan Italian Restaurant in Boca Raton”.
You can also take advantage of occasion modifiers and drive more qualified leads to your business.
If your restaurant offers catering you can include phrases like “wedding”, “birthdays”, or “Christmas.” It will allow people who are looking for catering services for those occasions to find you.
Or, if you're targeting those looking for restaurants that are open on holidays, you can use key phrases like “wedding catering services in Santa Monica” or “ Italian catering services for Los Angeles wedding.”
Special offering keyword modifiers is also a great way to capture leads.
You can use phrases like “free delivery”, “holiday exclusive”, “all-inclusive”, or “affordable package”.
It will help local searchers know what’s unique about your company. An example is “ Affordable Italian Catering Package for Los Angeles Wedding”.
More than using modifiers, it’s also essential to add your restaurant’s name to your keywords.
It is one of the best ways to outrank your competitors.
Incorporate your brand name into your keywords and other on-page SEO elements. Having accounts on all social media platforms also helps.
When your name appears across multiple platforms several times for a search, it will help draw customers back to your restaurant and generate more leads.
Your GMB listing is an essential component of local SEO, so be sure to include your local keywords in your business name, description, and category. This can help your restaurant appear higher in local search results.
Creating location-specific pages on your local business website can help you target local keywords and improve your local search rankings. For example, if you have multiple locations, create separate pages for each location and include location-specific keywords in your content.
Apply these tips to help increase your chances of getting ranked on the first page of search engines! Remember, people today search the web to find information about new places to eat.
So, it’s important to invest in a good local restaurant SEO strategy to make sure that potential customers can find you first in search results!
At Digital Resource, we can help you develop the right keywords for your restaurant and increase your visibility online. Our specialists aren't only highly skilled at local SEO keyword research, but they also have the know-how when it comes to local link building and are up to date in the latest local SEO tools. Oh, and expect to have your business appear in all the leading local listings out there!
Contact us today for an instant SEO scan!