SEO Inc. Blog

SEO 101 for Restaurants – Top Tips for Restaurant web sites

As a restaurant owner, you no doubt know what it takes to keep your food costs low and your profit high. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean you understand the nuances of digital marketing or search engine optimization. Take a look at these tips to help improve where your restaurant’s website appears in the search engine results.

 

 

Create a Strategy and Develop Your Content

Content strategy for restaurants is a bit different than a content strategy for other niches. Instead of blogging, it’s a good idea to focus more of your efforts on your social media profiles and to follow. That’s not to say blogging is a bad idea, but you’re not trying to drive traffic to your website to get people to make a purchase. You’re trying to get people to come to your restaurant. That means using other platforms will be more effective.

Make sure you have your menu on your website. If you offer any take-out services, include a PDF version of the file that people can print. If you have a menu that changes daily, take the time to update the website with the most current menu. There’s nothing that frustrates people more when trying to decide where to eat than not being able to see what’s on the menu. If you don’t update the website itself every day, at least update your social media profiles and direct people there.

Pictures of your food are paramount to the success of any digital marketing. Invest in a quality camera, or consider hiring a professional photographer to take photos each time you release a new menu.

Do Some Keyword Research

The Google AdWords Keyword Research Tool helps you find out what people are searching. Enter five to 10 phrases you think people would use to find restaurants in your category and location.

For instance:

Optimize your website for those specific keywords.

Focus on Local SEO

Local SEO is important. Start with Google My Business, Bing Places, and Yahoo Local. Then turn to other directories like Yelp, Trip Advisor, Zomato (formerly Urban Spoon) and Open Table. You may find that you already have listings in these directories. If you do, claim them and update them, so they all have the most current information. Keep the name, address, and phone number consistent across all the listings to help improve ranking.

If you spell out “Street” on one, do so on all the others. Do not abbreviate “St.” on some and spell it out on others. This will create inconsistencies and may cause issues with your ranking.

If you have money to invest in help, rather than the time to sit and manually go through everything, you can use a service like Yext to handle all of this for you. Or, you can reach out to us here at SEO Inc., and let us handle it for you. Otherwise, a spreadsheet is helpful for tracking purposes.

Use the Posts feature on Google My Business to post special events and promotions. You can even list start and end times. When people search for your restaurant, they’ll see that information along with your listing.

Use Social Media to Engage Customers

At the least, you should be on Facebook. If you are a food truck, use Twitter too. You can update everyone with your location and schedule with ease in both places. Use ad campaigns online, and signage in your restaurant to encourage people to follow you.

Plan and schedule some social media updates based on what you know your specials will be. Encourage people to post photos of their meals and check into your restaurant on social media. Consider offering a special promo to customers who check in, such as a free appetizer or a free dessert.

Encourage Reviews & Testimonials

The more reviews and testimonials you have across all your profiles in directories, the better. You shouldn’t incentivize reviews or testimonials, because you want people to be honest. Pay attention to what people are saying in their reviews. This way if you spot any repeated negative issues, you can address them with your staff accordingly.

Don’t let a bad review get you down. You can always respond to your customers directly, offering to solve the problem for them with direct email conversion. This at least shows any people who read the negative experience that you’re paying attention and care about customer service.

Use Schema Markup

Schema, also known as structured data, has a particular category for restaurants. You should use it because it gives Google a lot of information about your restaurant that it can include in the search results.

A sample code is below:

<script type=”application/ld+json”>
{
“@context”: “http://schema.org/”,
“@type”: “Restaurant”,
“name”: “Name of Your Restaurant”,
“acceptsReservations”: “Yes or No”,
“servesCuisine”: “Type of Cuisine You Serve”,
“priceRange”: “$$”,
“address”: {
“@type”: “PostalAddress”,
“streetAddress”: “1234 Anywhere St”,
“addressLocality”: “New York”,
“addressRegion”: “New York”,
“postalCode”: “10001”
},
“telephone”: “555-555-555”,
“aggregateRating”: {
“@type”: “AggregateRating”,
“ratingValue”: “4.5”,
“reviewCount”: “400”
},
“openingHours”: [
“Mo-Su 08:00-23:59:59”,
“Mo-Su 00:00-01:00”
],
“url”: “https://yourdomain.com/”,
“image”: “https://yourdomain.com/image.png”
}
</script>

 

This code tells Google the name, address, and operating hours of your restaurant, along with the type of food you serve, the price range of your menu, your rating and the number of reviews you have, whether or not you accept reservations, and your website.

On your menu page, you can also use Schema to put your menu in, which means it will show up directly in the Google search results when someone finds your restaurant. Though you don’t want to use this as a template because there are many variables to consider, this is an example:

 

<script type=”application/ld+json”>
{
“@context”:”http://schema.org”,
“@type”:”Menu”,
“name”: “Restaurant Name Menu”,
“url”: “https://yourdomain.com/menu/”,
“mainEntityOfPage”: “https://yourdomain/menu/”,
“inLanguage”:”English”,
“hasMenuSection”: [
{
“@type”: “MenuSection”,
“name”: “Appetizers”,
“description”: “description.”,
“hasMenuItem”: [
{
“@type”: “MenuItem”,
“name”: “item name”,
“description”: “item description.”,
“offers”: [
{
“@type”: “Offer”,
“price”: “7.00”,
“priceCurrency”: “USD”,
“eligibleQuantity”: {
“@type”: “QuantitativeValue”,
“name”: “name of offer”
}
},
{
“@type”: “Offer”,
“price”: “10.00”,
“priceCurrency”: “USD”,
“eligibleQuantity” : {
“@type”: “QuantitativeValue”,
“name”: “name”
}
}
]
}
]
},
{
“@type”: “MenuSection”,
“name”: “Sandwiches & Burgers”,
“description”: “description.”,
“hasMenuItem”: [
{
“@type”: “MenuItem”,
“name”: “menu item name”,
“description”: “menu item description”,
“image”: “image url.jpg”,
“offers”: {
“@type”: “Offer”,
“price”: “16.50”,
“priceCurrency”: “USD”
}
},
{
“@type”: “MenuItem”,
“name”: “menu item name”,
“description”: “menu item description”,
“image”: “image url.jpg”,
“offers”: {
“@type”: “Offer”,
“price”: “14.00”,
“priceCurrency”: “USD”
}
}
]
}
]
}
</script>

Conclusion

With a little work and monitoring, you can bring your restaurant to the top of the search engines results page when people are looking for a place to eat like yours. If you have any questions, or are interested in our free SEO website audit to show you where you can make improvements, contact us today.

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