In our brave new digital age, there are now roughly 700,000 Google searches performed every 60 seconds. With literally thousands of restaurants operating in any given major city, it’s important to stand out, and cut through the noise. There are always opportunities to improve your establishment’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO). In addition, by focusing on local SEO you will increase the visibility of your restaurant by driving it to the top of local search listings. This can be one of the most cost-effective digital marketing approaches because it helps hungry customers find information about your restaurant, or place online take-out orders. Today, it is imperative for restaurants to invest in SEO, as the competition is stiff. In this article, 10 marketing experts weigh in on the top SEO tips in 2020 for restaurants.
Create Evergreen Marketing Content
“Have you ever noticed how some restaurants will experience
seasonal ups and downs while
others in the same niche are consistently on the upside?
The key is creating evergreen marketing content.
Restaurants who have an evergreen
content marketing strategy understand that there are two forms of income. Income that comes
from customers during their normal season,
and income that comes from the monetization of incentivized foot traffic and deliveries outside of
Surprisingly to restaurants that don’t, you can
incentivize a great deal of
out-of-season foot traffic and to-go orders with an evergreen marketing strategy. These include
limited-time specials, off-premises catering
and delivery for the holidays and cultural events, and 2-for-1 specials on specific days
during the slow season.
The Chili’s Let Chili’s Deliver the Fun for the
Holidays! is one
Your gift card, rewards and customer loyalty
program should be in place and
marketed year-round with a dedicated, fully-optimized landing page featuring long-form sales
copy, optimized images, video, surveys,
opt-ins, and call-to action.
Utilizing both the organic reach of the company
website and social media, the
goal is to lead customers back to the website and capture their email and/or phone number.
Notifications can then be sent during off-peak
months to continue to remind customers that even off-season the brand is still ready to serve the
customer and even bring the food to
Rio Rocket, Digital Marketing Strategist and Branding Expert
Invest Heavily In Optimizing Their Websites For Local And Voice Search
“The most important thing that a restaurant can do to bump up their SEO in 2020 is invest heavily in optimizing their websites for local and voice search.Most restaurants depend on proximity and good recommendations for traffic.
Outside of very well known eateries that could get people to travel to experience their hospitality from far and wide, most restaurants will want to catch people in the vicinity who are looking for a good place to grab a bite.
The best indicators of that will be location based information that is successfully communicated to search engines by business and location schema meta data, rich search snippets, as well as reviews aggregated from places like Yelp, Google My Business etc. that are successfully embedded into the website of the restaurant. Also, optimizing the website content to be conducive for voice searches will be vital. 65% of searches now are conducted via voice, and the structure of your content has to be formatted to work successfully for voice search.”
Google’s Featured Snippets And Enable The Ordering And Messaging Feature In Google My Business
Google’s featured snippets are going to be more common on a lot of searches
which means that the percentage of clicks on searches is plummeting. I’ve
instructed my clients to respond to every review whether they’re good bad or
indifferent. This has skyrocketed their leads through Google My Business and
Google has even recognized them for that.
Another great tip would be to enable the ordering and messaging feature in Google My Business. Although the traffic for my client’s website has gone down, their online orders have continued to increase by enabling the ordering feature that the majority of restaurants are unaware of.”
Local Maps Play An Important Role In Generating Leads Through SEO
“The lifeblood of restaurant SEO is local
search. Searchers are looking to meet friends and family at a particular
location, or are looking for somewhere to go out near them – “cuisine +
location” are common keyword searches.
Local Maps play an important role in generating
leads through SEO. Being at the top of the Map pack is just like being at
the top of any search result- you will receive more clicks are users deem
this the most relevant result.
In order to appear in this position, ensure you
have a Google My Business Page set up. Add all of your business
information and ensure it is linked to your website. Google can pull
information from your website when looking for businesses to rank so linking GMB and your website gives twice as
much information to Google about which page to rank.
In addition to this, when asking customers to
leave a review ask if they will be happy to name the dish/cusine and
location. Eg: “Joe’s ‘Italian’ does the best Pineapple Pizza in Paris!”.
Google will pick up on reviews when linking
local businesses to keyword searches and businesses can see a huge boost
in rankings just based on reviews. Not to mention how good it looks in
search results if you have a tonne of positive reviews!”
By Leveraging Influencer Marketing To Help SEO Efforts
“In 2020, restaurants can succeed by
leveraging influencer marketing to help SEO efforts. Every major city has micro
influencers and food bloggers that focus on local restaurant and food trends.
These are the people restaurants should be making relationships with – so meet
them in person! Invite the local foodie influencers, food bloggers and larger
media publications out to a special night at your restaurant. Treat them to
something buzz-worthy. Perhaps a seasonal menu preview, a meet and greet with your
head chef, or a sample of happy hour drink and food specials. Request that they
share the event with their audience and support their efforts by extending an
offer to share their posts on social media as well. Smart restaurants built
relationships in their communities. This type of event is one of the best ways
to encourage word-of-mouth marketing!”
Jenna Passaro, Restaurant Marketer and Creator, Sip Bite Go
NAP Listings And Creating Tangential Content
people think of SEO, they think of only Google. But for local results, you
need to think of Google AND the other platforms that all have search bars
on their websites.
For example, Yelp, Yellowpages, and many other
review-based websites. Google reviews are also a must. Part of Google’s
algorithm for local looks at reviews and comments related to your brand
name. It’s important to show Google you have a brand.
I’d like to bring up two powerful strategies for
restaurant SEO – NAP listings and creating tangential content for
NAP listing stands for Name Address Phone.
Google looks at directories and matches the info on those pages with
yours. If the info all matches, you’ll show up in the top 3 local results.
There are actually agencies that can submit your info to directories for
you. It’s very simple.
Next, Tangential Content. Let’s say you’re an
Italian Restaurant. If someone types in best fetuccini alfredo in miami
and you happen to have an article about fettuccini alfredo and what makes
your family’s recipe unique, you’ll show up in those top 3. You can offer
a coupon to come visit your store.”
Daniel Quindemil, Certified Building Contractor and Consultant, I AM Builders
Backlinks From Partner Hotel Pages
“Build backlinks from partner hotel pages. Most of the hotel websites have dedicated pages for products they sell, including wines. Marketers and SEOs of restaurant websites can take advantage of this by discovering pages using these two sample queries: ‘how to purchase [PRODUCT] ‘ then HOTEL, or ‘finding our ‘PRODUCT HOTEL’.
Reach out to them and request for links to
your product, category or restaurant homepage. You are likely to get links
from them given that they are your offline business distributors.”
“When you’re looking toward SEO to help your restaurant in 2020, there are quite a few tips that you can implement to propel your company. However, it almost always begins with keywords. You’ll want to take special care in making your selections and which keywords you’ll actually be able to rank for realistically. Of course, you’ll want to reach for some of the keywords that apply to any restaurant, but also try to think specifically about your particular niche. Are you a cozy cafe? Do you serve high-end meals? Are you dishes based on specific ethnic recipes? These are all questions that you’ll want to answer before you begin your search.
Additionally, location matters. You’ll want to be sure to use keywords that will apply to your business on a local scale. Think along the lines of cafe in Miami or upscale dining in Cincinnati. Again, the more specific you can get the better. So, ‘ best chicken and waffles in Phoenix as a long-tail keyword is an excellent option.”
Write Positive Reviews For Their Current Suppliers
the most underrated SEO strategies for restaurants is to write positive
reviews for their current suppliers. Not only can the restaurant earn a
nice relevant backlink to their website. But they also get the added bonus
of a stronger relationship with the supplier. And because businesses
of all sizes are looking to build their own social proof, its often an
easy way to gather powerful mentions and links.
Here’s the repeatable process:
Start by creating a list of your current
suppliers. Then visit their websites to see if they are already displaying
reviews on their pages. Highlight the websites that include the name
of the business and/or link at
the bottom of each review. These suppliers
represent the lowest hanging fruit as they won’t need any further convincing.
For now, avoid the suppliers who aren’t displaying any reviews or those using automated feedback systems. These will require extra convincing or a restructuring of their site. Later, when you have already had some success, they could be worth coming back to. Though for the quickest results, focus on the websites highlighted above. And for each supplier, consider the core reasons behind why you chose them. Or the main benefits your customers are getting.
For example, the freshest fish in San Diego. Now read through the reviews they already have and find an angle that hasn’t been mentioned on their site. This should provide all the necessary background to write a short, punchy review that is worthy of being posted.
Be sure to include additional content such as your name, title, a headshot and a website link in your approach. It’s also worth mentioning how long you have been a customer with them. Online reviews have continued to grow in significance throughout 2019 and that trend is set to continue in years to come. Why not leverage them to improve the SEO of your restaurant.”
“For restaurants, the most important SEO strategy is to include unique customer testimonials on each page of your restaurant website, and add FAQs. Many restaurants focus on Yelp, Google, and Facebook for reviews, and are mostly concerned about avoiding bad reviews. But adding unique reviews on your website leads to improved Search Engine rankings for a few reasons. First, it adds more relevant content to the website. Second, the are often keyword rich since they are referencing specific dishes or experiences of the restaurants. And third, schema can be added so the content can be featured in Google Snippets. With the FAQ content, answers potential customers are looking for are found directly in Google, increasing a restaurants perceived authority. And adding images of dishes to the testimonial or FAQ section increase the opportunity of the food appearing as an image on Google search, which leads to a higher conversion rate.”
into account the sheer number of restaurants in any given American city, it is
crucial for restaurant owners to increase their SEO. These 10 marketing experts
have outlined numerous strategies that can be employed to propel your
restaurant to the top of search rankings. Be it keyword research, optimizing the
website for voice and local search, to setting up a Google My Business page. These
are all important tips for the restaurant industry to consider when
implementing long-term and sustainable SEO strategies.
Sarah Bauder is a senior content specialist at IronMonk Solutions. Sarah has a degree in journalism and has a decade of experience writing content at numerous renowned publications. She enjoys writing about digital marketing, business, entrepreneurship and more.