Restaurants looking to improve their digital presence should utilise local SEO strategies for increased online exposure. Local SEO targets prospects in a hyper-targeted area through optimising a range of business related data, all contributing to Google’s final ranking.
Considering a range of factors such as keywords, Google My Business and user-friendly integrations, restaurant owners can ensure their menus are being viewed by the maximum amount of prospects in the local area. Local SEO integrations work in collaboration to help Google identify your restaurant as first page material.
So how can your website rise to the top of the search results?
Identifying the most frequently searched keywords or search terms relevant to your restaurant is the first step in helping you to define your content. Producing and posting quality content in all media forms, but especially text, is an identifier of ‘relevancy’ for Google. Keywords fall into 3 distinctive categories; high-level, niche-specific and brand terms.
High-level keywords would be, restaurants or Sydney restaurants. They are the most generic words people use to search and you can optimise your website to be geographically associated. Second is niche, which refers to the cuisine you serve, your restaurant setting or other unique features. To help you identify what your niche is for SEO purposes research competitors and filter to see which criteria they may fall into. Lastly, brand terms or your actual business name is another keyword phrase that helps to identify the restaurant. You may assume a direct search of your name would result in a 1st place ranking, but this is not always the case. Find out how many users are searching for you through high-level, niche or brand terms to implement content marketing strategies aiming to attract the most website traffic possible.
Keyword identifiers are also important for mobile searches. If your website is geographically optimised correctly Google will display it when someone close by is searching for eg. ice-cream. Google detects the mobile location and chooses to show relevant restaurants in a distance radius. The experts at Digital Presence optimised La Mono’s, a Lebanese cuisine restaurant chain based in Merrylands and Casula, online presence to be visible to the 20+ surrounding suburbs. Visibility through Google Maps and organic searches resulted in a 17.54% improvement to their SEO traffic.
Google My Business
If you haven’t already done so, claim your Google My Business page NOW! It’s free, easy to complete and is intrinsic to your restaurant’s SEO strategies. Google My Business will display your name, phone number, address, email address, website plus other features. Directly linking to Google maps, this will mean your restaurant has a better chance of appearing in Google’s ‘Local Pack’ and be a recommended option to users in the area.
Your My Business page is the first impression prospects have of your restaurant when making a search. This means it’s important that all contact details and categories are filled out correctly. Reviews are also made visible without even clicking to open your website. Asking new and loyal clients to leave you a review will add to increased success through My Business and drive traffic to your page. Those 5 stars matter not only for customers looking to find a great, new place to try but also for Google who showcases relevant search results in order of most highly rated to lowest. Interact and respond to those who leave you a review as this can also contribute to local SEO.
Lastly photos! Photos can be a defining factor for many people looking for a restaurant to eat at. Sure your menu may sound great, but people love to see visual representations and quality photos will compliment the content on your My Business page perfectly. Google values when businesses fill out all available sections. Optimising La Mono’s page improved their brand recognition and helped them to appear FIRST in local searches for ‘charcoal chicken’!
A great website is a user-friendly one. Restaurants looking to solidify their online presence need to ensure their website offers a seamless user experience across devices eg. laptop and smartphones. Google is more likely to rank mobile-friendly websites higher and your customers will be able to access your content with ease. Research shows that most users are increasingly using their mobile devices to search for restaurants. A website with functionality on this platform would therefore see conversion results and more time being spent on their pages.
Google Ads can assist in driving traffic to your pages and analytics will track how well consumers respond to the content on these landing pages. Businesses can choose to run a PPC campaign that provides a direct link to their menu. Consumers searching for a ‘restaurant in the area’ with matching keywords will see your menu instantly. Combined with a call-to-action to order, make a booking or call; Google Ads are a strategic digital marketing tool that offer immediate results.
In response to the pandemic and changes to buying behaviour, online food ordering services are more popular than ever. Google plans to integrate these ordering features into their search results so consumers are no longer restricted to only ordering through an app. Enable your restaurant to be ordered directly through Google Maps search to improve your local SEO ranking and see your profit margin soar! When owners recognise user-friendly as a complimentary adjective to SEO strategies they will guide their business to success.