Restaurant SEO: Top 12 Proven Tips to Double Your Traffic Quickly

September 21, 2022
Google my business

According to research from Chadwick Martin Bailey, over 90% of people search for a restaurant business through a web browser before deciding where to eat, making restaurants the research’s most-searched category. Investing the energy and time into your website search engine optimization is an effective way to improve your restaurant sales. But specifically how? Let’s find out! 

What is SEO for restaurants?

Standing for search engine optimization, restaurant SEO means the measures you adopt to have your restaurant website appear on the first page of search engine results like Google search. The goal is to increase traffic to your web page, meaning more potential customers.

How optimization of search engines helps restaurant 

1st, help customers find your restaurant online and increase web traffic.

2nd, build brand awareness.

3rd, strengthen customer engagement.

4th, increase your online ordering sales.

5th, lead to more foot traffic for your restaurant.

Also, increase sales.

Further, be a more cost-effective solution than lots of other online marketing forms. Even with a limited restaurant SEO budget, a small business can include Google My Business listing in its effective SEO strategies.

Particularly, have a higher return on investment. According to Hubspot, the close rate for SEO leads is over 14.5%, which is more efficient than outbound leads (1.7% ).

Top 12 tips and tricks to increase your Google search ranking

1. Be strategic with keyword implementation

Keyword research will help you decide the search term used by potential customers to find dining choices. The keyword can be the long-tail or single one. Keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, and Semrush come recommended in this regard.

There can be 3 types of target keywords:

  • Niche keywords: Niche keywords are more about what the restaurant offers, for example, ‘pizza party New Orleans.’
  • High-intent keywords: Extra broad yet valuable search terms like ‘Mexican restaurants.’ 
  • Branded keywords: The search engine optimization is for your restaurant name and relevant keywords.

Advisably, you include main keywords on the meta description and title tags displayed in results on Google and other search engines. There are keyword-specific URLs as well. We suggest adding location-related keywords to your URL name.

The main keyword should also be on the page’s main headline. Look over the One2 main page: its headline is big enough for anybody to notice. 

There include images in your restaurant websites and image alt-tags readable by Google for content understanding. So, ensure the alt text contains keywords. 

2. Dominate in local search

Image: nextlevelpresence

Local SEO is no longer optional as over 80% of smartphone shoppers conduct local searches. It is about search results for specific locations. For example, when a user searches for ‘mexican restaurant near me’, search engines work to return places known as food establishments with Mexican cuisine around the user’s geographic location. 

Local SEO is closely associated with your restaurant listings and social media profiles. Here are what you should do to help your restaurant rank well on local search: 

Add your business information to Google My Business (now Google Business Profile), Google Maps, Facebook business, and local listings on Yelp, TripAdvisor, Urbanspoon, Foursquare, Yellowpages, OpenTable, and other online directories.

Also, claim your restaurant profile in the 3 best-known restaurant search directories in your city. 

Further, add your restaurant website to review sites. Over 85% of consumers find online reviews as trustworthy as a friend's.

And show your physical address on your website. Add the social media links to the site and get your listings and social profiles to point back to your site.

Importantly, your name, address, and phone (NAP) citations are correct and consistent. If not, contact a trusted data aggregation company, say Localeze and Acxiom for support. 

Following the above tips will help grow your online visibility. To save time and restaurant SEO efforts, you can use the One2 Platform. It syncs your information with Google My Business and other platforms, allowing you to save even more time when you make updates. 

“After adding the menu and integrating with Google, we observed an exciting 5X increase in views within 60 days.” (Anthony's Restaurant & Pub appreciated how One2 helped their business)

3. Super-fast page load speed

On page SEO aside, you need to handle technical aspects for optimization on Google and other search engines. 40% of people abandon a website that takes over 3 seconds to load, so the search engine takes speed seriously when claiming that the aimed load times for websites are under a half-second. You may get your site scored here.

4. Make your website mobile optimized

Mobile responsive or mobile friendly website design adapts to the screen where users view it. 

More than 80% of Internet users count on mobile devices for web surfing. Over 75% of the local search on smartphones resulted in a physical store visit within 1 day. Above all, you are in the restaurant industry known to get the most online search results on mobile, so make a mobile responsive website. Test whether your site is mobile friendly here

Tips to have a mobile friendly website:

Find a reliable website builder that enables you to quickly build a friendly website for any mobile device;

Ensure that navigating your site is easy and the text is readable;

Make your menus accessible (PDFs are not recommended);

Optimize images for viewing on mobile devices.

5. Optimize menu for restaurant SEO

The feedback of our client, Sushi X known as Chicago’s award-winning Japanese restaurant

Over 92% of consumers will check a restaurant’s menu before determining where to eat. Thus, significantly, include online accessibility of your menu in your restaurant marketing strategy. More importantly, make it updated and appealing, improving your ranking in local search results and increasing the chances of turning a browser into a purchaser. 

Some other proven SEO tips:

Keep menu item names concise and related to popular search terms on the search engine, say fish tacos and nigiri sushi;

Add photos to your menu, which helps convince 53% of diners to order food that was unfamiliar to them;

To manage menus easily and be left with more precious time, you may use SEO tools like One2 Menu. It is tested to save around 33 hours between the design process to completion and boost your search ranking automatically.

6. Optimize images for search engines

They say, “you eat with your eyes.” So, inserting images on your site helps generate a great UX and attract customers to order more food.

Some restaurant SEO tips in this sense:

Compress the images for their size reduction and faster page speed;

Name images after what they illustrate. For instance, a dish photo would be named ‘pizza Margherita.’

7. Have a security certificate

Here is what users will see when clicking on a website on HTTP. (Image: hostadvisor)

The ‘S’ in HTTPS means ‘secure’. This protocol is a must-have for websites today and search engines avoid surfacing HTTP pages. You need to install an SSL certificate on your site to get HTTPS pages, 

8. Use schema

A crucial factor for search engine optimisation, Schema is a markup feeding search engines with structured data and improving their understanding of your website. 

For instance, you may have positive reviews from local customers on your site. The search engines can deduce that these are reviews. But on the other hand, should you add a Review Schema tag for the reviews section, the deduction can be significantly faster.

Pro restaurant SEO tips:

Check your site for Schema here;

As this markup is particularly helpful on customer reviews, encourage reviews; 

With One2 Menu, the markup with structured data cannot be easier, anywhere and anytime.

9. Add an online ordering system to your restaurant website

According to Statista, people use online ordering services mainly because of their convenience. Those ordering from your restaurant online may return to it again. With ordering out becoming more prevalent, it is critical to have an online ordering app on your site.

Please ensure that it is simple for customers to place an order. Otherwise, they will live for an easier ordering experience with another business. Search engines also prioritize sites with lower bounce rates. To streamline the ordering process without confusion or glitches, you are suggested to use the One2 ordering system

10. Start a successful blog

Should you have someone on your digital marketing team and intend to invest more time into restaurant SEO, think about putting a blog on your website. It can allow you to increase rankings on search engines, drive more traffic, and attract more potential customers. For instance, deliver content significant to your business mission statement, say locally grown produce. 

11. Create a strong online presence through social media

While social media does not have a direct effect on your restaurant SEO, it affects traffic and visibility, influencing your performance on the search results page.

Some best social media practices restaurant owners should consider:

Post photos of new or popular menu items and your restaurant’s decoration and atmosphere;

Post crucial updates like intriguing events or new dishes;

Have one prominent branded hashtag or two.

12. Improve authority through link building

Multiple backlinks from high-quality websites mean to search engines that your business site is reliable, and over time will increase your search ranking. 

Some best ways of earning high authority backlinks:

Reach out to review sites/ online food publications like Time Out;

Ask suppliers and partners to link to your site in their newsletter or blog.

Related questions

1. How do I optimize local SEO for multiple locations?

One2 is the ultimate solution to not just single location but multi-location businesses. Contact us now.

2. How about search engine optimization for my ghost kitchen?

Please check this guide for practically everything you need to know. 

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