Word-of-mouth, print, mobile app, and social media marketing approaches all work to raise brand awareness for your restaurant, which is especially crucial in 2022 because it is such a volatile year. SEO, on the other hand, spreads your brand further and more consistently than anything else. However, because this is a marathon method, it will take a strategy and a dedicated effort to get any benefits.
Knowing that this essay has been shared on Toast, iEatery, Uncorked, and other sites, I understand its importance to the restaurant community and have decided to update it to make it as current and timely as possible.
So, without further ado, here are our (updated) Top-10 Restaurant SEO Tips, which will ensure that your parking lot, sidewalk, and inside tables, as well as pick-up orders, are filled in 2022. While this isn't the Joy of Cooking's version of DIY SEO suggestions, it does include some top-performing tactics that most individuals can handle themselves or find simple to execute if they outsource.
1. Keyword Research
Consider how you seek information on the internet. You type phrases into a search field, press enter, and ten possibilities, possibly a map, and a few paid advertisements, appear in half a second. Voice-search works the same way it does on your phone or in your home/kitchen appliance. You must use the proper key-words throughout your website and internet assets such as Facebook, photos, articles, press releases, restaurant listings, and ordering applications to have any long-term presence on search engines.
Keyword research will help you find the ideal words to boost your restaurant's exposure and discoverability. Consider what category you best fit into while brainstorming keywords. There's a Syrian restaurant in Providence that bills itself as both a bakery and a restaurant, but if they had to choose between the two, I'd go with the restaurant. The average individual is more inclined to try a new restaurant if they have some idea of what to expect in terms of cuisine, but they are less likely to try what is provided as a bakery. This area is prominent for most restaurant listing sites (known as citations) as well as their Google My Business page - which is a direct feed to Google Maps that can practically bring traffic to their door or curbside.
Keywords are at the heart of any online marketing, regardless of taste.
2. Website Optimization
Assuming you've created your keywords, the next step is to place them in the correct places on your website so they can work for you. This is where you should place your main keywords:
Page Title (aka META Title)
Page Description (META Description)
Words actually on your pages, like your restaurant description and menu offerings
Within image and video filenames - this is before you upload to your website.
If your website's administrative section allows for "META Keywords," only utilize the major category you specified for your Google My Business page. That is the only category. This feature's only utility is for category classification, which is extremely limited by today's standards, so don't waste too much time with it.
Although there are dozens of ranking indications for your website, these item categories are a good place to start. Take a minute to undertake a website SEO audit - whoever handles your SEO or website upgrades can do this - to learn more about what technical and compliance difficulties your website has. You can also contact me if you need assistance with this.
3. Restaurant NAP
According to our research, 80% of businesses have inaccuracies in at least one aspect of their business name, address, and/or phone number (also known as N A P or citation data), and the restaurant industry is no exception. I've written on company citation accuracy before, so there's no need to go over it again; suffice it to say that it's critical for local search engine visibility. Make sure your hours are widely displayed on your website in addition to this NAP. Adding your complete contact information and business hours to your website's bottom will ensure that your complete contact information and business hours are displayed on every page. Search engines love those tidbits of NAP data and may reward your company with increased visibility for optimizing it.
4. Restaurant Schema
This HTML code is useful for explaining things to search engines in their own language, such as your restaurant's categorization, menu offerings, opening hours, address, accepted payments, and other information (code). This isn't a generic component; the restaurant schema is specific to your sector. This sophisticated information, which is accepted by all search engines, is a must-have for restaurants that rely on local presence and being discovered for mobile and voice searches. That is to say, all of them.
5. Map & GPS
Make sure your contact or locations pages have a bespoke Google map incorporated in them – not just any Google map – and that it is linked to your Google My Business listing. Make sure Google knows where you are!
6. Online & Menu Apps
Do you have a menu on your site? If not, it's necessary; just make sure the page's navigation is clear and discernible so people and search engines can find it. Here, a basic "menu" as navigation text is a safe bet, and you can list your menu with only text or a.pdf file. Because search engines can only read text, if you use an image to represent your menu, the subtleties will be missed. Consider including a downloadable.pdf menu on your website so that it may be readily shared or tucked away in a kitchen or office cupboard for rapid call-in ordering - but just as an option, as having to download a menu on a mobile phone is a turnoff for many customers. When working on those restaurant citations (below), don't forget to include your menu link!
7. Restaurant Citation and App Management
I highlighted Google My Business as a must-have restaurant destination earlier, but there are others to consider that either drive direct traffic to your door, make your phone ring with orders, or share data with other search engines and websites to accomplish the same - a short list to consider includes:
It's a cliché, but content reigns supreme in any marketing campaign. Make sure your material is well-written, free of grammar and spelling problems, includes the most important keywords, and offers your readers a compelling tale. It's so vital that if you don't have the time or the writing talents, you hire a writer.
Websites have long since stopped functioning as online brochures, so make sure yours doesn't sound or seem like one. You can use this phrasing in your citations and apps, as well as on social media, which is a positive for your efforts!
9. Social Media
While not generally used for lead generation, restaurants used social media to offer timely (and ever-changing) closure and opening dates, day and hour adjustments, menu updates, pickup alternatives, and seating options throughout the epidemic. Maintain your efforts!
If it's happening, at the very least, post it on Facebook and Instagram. You can post to both through Facebook Business Suite; give it a try; it'll save you a lot of time!
Not only are online reviews terrific selling points for your restaurant, but search engines may thank you for being such a great company by boosting your rankings and visibility.
You might be wondering how you get them. There's a lot written about it, but in a nutshell, just ask for them! That's right, it's that simple! Actually, it isn't easy at all, but with some staff training and perseverance, it becomes easier. "You miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take," Wayne Gretzky, the hokey hall-of-famer, would remark.
If you see folks talking about their dessert, that's an opportunity for a review. When you see someone take a picture of their favorite grinder, that's an opportunity for a review. If one of your wait staff members receives a compliment, that's an opportunity for a review! Offer to take their arm-stretched-out selfie for them, and then tell them your @sign so you can post it! There are plenty of options for free publicity and reviews, but you'll have to help make it happen...
These 10 tactics work like any recipe, each ingredient brings its own BAM! to a dish. But when combined, it's all deliciously effective.