4 Important SEO Tips for Restaurants

4 Important SEO Tips for Restaurants

To make your restaurant a success, you need lots of customers. There is no better way to grow your restaurant's customer base than by incorporating these four important SEO tips in your digital marketing efforts. 

Every niche has its own SEO challenges and opportunities. The restaurant industry is no different. While many of these tips can be tweaked to apply in other ventures, they’re especially pertinent for those who own or work with restaurants. The checklist of tips includes:

Restaurant SEO tip #1: Google My Business

Every successful restaurant needs to have a Google My Business page. Many new and useful features reside under the hood of your Google My Business listing, and some of them are only available to restaurants! Others are often overlooked by Google newcomers but are well worth using. Here is a breakdown:

Google Posts is a recent addition to the restaurant SEO arsenal. These posts are accessible via your Google My Business listing editor page. They provide an opportunity to add a post of up to 300 words with a picture and a link to:

  • Learn more
  • Reserve
  • Sign up
  • Buy
  • Get offer

You can also create events with start and end times. When people look up your business, they’ll see your posts. With Google Posts, restaurants not only can advertise specials and events. They can also claim a lot more real estate on Google for free.

Quick URLs also are a fresh update to Google My Business that allows businesses to add additional links to deeper pages on their site. While this capability is available to all businesses, restaurants seem to get the best of it because of the nature of their business. While most companies can only add a link to an appointment scheduling page, restaurants can add additional links to their menu, to their order-ahead URL, and to their reservations URL. That represents a HUGE plus.

Restaurant SEO tip #2: Citations

Citations are important to boost local SEO rankings for businesses but may be more important for restaurants than any other industry. With restaurants, citations are not only a local SEO signal. They are also a solid traffic source.

Sites like FourSquare and Yelp drive significant views and traffic. They’re particularly strong in searches for restaurants. That is why you must make sure that your  FourSquare and Yelp listings:

  • Contain up-to-date information.
  • Feature a favorable image.
  • Include responses to all reviews in a timely manner.

Beyond those major issues, it’s often more cost- and time-effective to hire a citation firm to handle the rest.

Restaurant SEO tip #3: Add Your Menu to Search Results

Back in 2014, Google added metadata information to its search results. Often an underutilized feature in restaurant marketing, it’s a highly valuable area when used properly. Everything about your menu is accessible right in the search results.

What’s important to remember is that you NEED to keep your listings consistent. If your menu appears on sites like Yelp or AllMenus, it’s imperative that they’re all updated as quickly as the menu on your website or in your restaurant. And why not submit those URLs to Google as soon as they’ve been updated? For a quick & easy way to go that, just Google “add url to google” and you’ll be given a submission field in the results.

Restaurant SEO tip #4: Schema

For newcomers to SEO marketing, Schema markup is code delivered with your web page that sends to Google (and other crawlers) the details about your page and its contents. Typically invisible to humans, this code can be placed anywhere on the page.

For restaurant owners, recent upgrades to Schema standards were changed to add the ‘hasMenu’ property to replace the previous ‘menu’ option. The ‘menu’ property only allowed for a URL to the restaurant’s menu, which sends little information to Google regarding the specifics of your menu. Fortunately, the ‘hasMenu’ option changes that.

By utilizing this option in your Schema markup, you are telling Google about the nature and location of your business (it’s a restaurant at a specific address) and other key information, including hours of operation. Other properties can be added, and the more you include, the better it is for your Google ranking.

For online menus, add Schema to the menu page to provide absolute clarity as to where your menu is, how items are divided and what menu items are included. What’s important will vary for each restaurant.

At this point, there is just one thing left to do  …

Time to Start Cooking

While these four tips can help you rank better with search engines, providing more exposure for your restaurant, they are not a guaranteed path to a successful business. Traditional on-site optimization and links are also necessary. Once you implement these changes, Google will appreciate it. So will your bottom line.