Restaurants Must Optimize for 'Near Me' Searches

Restaurants Must Optimize for 'Near Me' Searches

To create new customers and expand your business, “Near me” searches offer restaurants a gold mine of opportunity.

Recent research by Uberall shows the vast majority of mobile shoppers -- 82%! -- lean on "Near Me" searches to find local businesses, particularly restaurants. While that percentage is staggering, the bigger news for restaurant owners is that food searches are the most common request by these shoppers. Among "Near Me" searchers, 84% are seeking food. 

Tot take advantage of this huge opportunity, we’ll show you how restaurants can optimize their websites for "Near Me" searches.

Optimizing Your Restaurant for 'Near Me' Searches

There are several ways to improve your ranking for “Near Me” searches. The key is using tactics to optimize for your specific location whether that is Los Angeles, New York, or SmallTown, USA.

Some techniques are very easy, while others are a little more complicated. But all of them can be accomplished with help from a marketing manager or restaurant marketing agency.

Boost your Google My Business presence

If you haven’t claimed and verified your Google My Business page, do it right now.  Claiming your profile isn’t enough, however. You need to make sure that all of your restaurant’s information is filled out and posted correctly. Make sure to pay attention to the following:

  • Create a custom image of your restaurant(s) that looks good
  • Your Google My Business name must match the name of the restaurant that you use across the web
  • Your URL goes straight to your homepage without being redirected
  • The listed phone number is correct
  • Your address is correct and presented in the same format as the address that you put on your website

Once your Google My Business page has been maximized, turn your attention to Bing, Yelp and other sites where your business has a profile.

Solicit & Respond to Reviews

After completing and optimizing your Google My Business page, you need to start getting reviews from customers. Posting lots of good reviews on your Google My Business page is probably the single biggest thing you can do to optimize your site for "Near Me" searches.

That’s because Google seeks to show the best options for their users. One of the main ways they judge quality is by looking at the reviews of local restaurants. The more high-quality reviews you have, the higher Google will value your business and the higher you will rank in "Near Me" searches.

Getting reviews is not easy. You must be patient and make it very easy for customers to provide the reviews. You’ll need to go out of your way to request them. But once they are posted, you’ll start to see huge improvements in your Google rankings.

You also should offer respectful responses to the posted reviews, whether they are good or bad reviews.

Make Sure your NAP is Consistent

Because Google checks your listings on other online platforms, SEO experts recommend that you make sure that your Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) is exactly the same on your website as well as all of the main review websites like Yelp or Foursquare. Get started by hiring a citation service like Moz Local or BrightLocal.

Create a mobile-friendly site

It is essential to have a mobile-friendly restaurant website if you want to rank for “Near Me” searches. More than half of all searches are done on cellphones, particularly those involving restaurants. Google will elevate the ranking for sites that are optimized for mobile searches and bury those that are not.

Make your location prominent

If you only have one restaurant, we would recommend listing your address on every page of the site, not just your contact page, to rank higher in "Near Me" searches. This will make it clear to Google where you are based.

If you have several restaurants, or if you are part of a chain, you should create a separate location page for each restaurant. For example: If you serve barbeque in multiple locations, you should create a “BBQ in Uptown” page for your restaurant in Uptown, a “BBQ in Hyde Park” page for your location in Hyde Park, and a “BBQ in West Side” for your restaurant on the West Side.

Your homepage should still target a broader search term, like "BBQ in Dallas," but by creating separate location pages for each specific area, you give each restaurant the best chance of ranking in local "Near Me" searches.

Is your restaurant taking advantage of "Near Me" searches? If not, you need to be. Optimizing for these kinds of searches is not that difficult and the ROI can be monumental.