These days, you can compare local SEO to the bread and butter of restaurant marketing. If you Google the term “seafood restaurant,” the choices that come up will be eateries in your local area. This result makes sense because what ranks highest in these search engine results pages (SERPs) are local links. If your restaurant doesn’t employ local SEO in your digital marketing strategies, you will not show up on SERPs, so it is almost like your place is invisible to those audiences.
Local Search Matters to Restaurants
Anyone who owns a restaurant knows how competitive this market is, with countless choices for almost any category of food and presentation. Search Engine Journal adds that new eateries are constantly opening, along with new concepts to compete for customers. Even established restaurant chains find it harder to maintain local search presences when they have hundreds if not thousands of locations.
A local search strategy will help your restaurant get found and chosen by nearby consumers, reaching the ones most likely to become customers. Although many consumers “wing it” by trying new establishments they pass by or patronize familiar favorites, a great majority of restaurant visits starts with searches on Google or in Google Maps. It is vital to have a solid local search strategy for this reason, as winning those search results matters.
Think about how often people are out and about and decide they’re in the mood for a burger, sushi, or something else like a local karaoke or trivia night. They take out their phones, looking for somewhere they can get to quickly. A few choices might come up, and the narrowing down part includes reading the menus, prices, and reviews. Being able to make an online reservation closes the deal. Consumers also do this work at home and pick their dining destinations ahead of time.
How Do I Get Started With Local Search?
According to WebFX, the first step for local search is to claim a free Google Business Profile listing. From there, you can enter a photo, business hours, contact information and more. You can manage your company’s appearance, and encourage people to write reviews, too. Everyone knows how critical reviews are for restaurants, and you can also interact with people who have posted them. If someone gives you a 4-star review instead of a 5-star because you weren’t serving oysters, you can let them know that you will add oysters to the menu within two weeks.
Google My Business makes it more straightforward for potential consumers to get directions to your restaurant. You can use it to promote company news (new chef) and events (live music, happy hours), too. It’s also good to add photos because people like to see the outsides and insides. Use the Google Business Profile mobile app to update your listing on the spur of the moment and consider creating business listings on hyper-local sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor.
These tools are the easiest ways to start your restaurant’s SEO strategy and generate leads when you are starting. It also gets your business on SERP pages. Remember, though: the competition is fierce. That’s why you’ll want to make your listing stand out from others in your area. Update it regularly, optimize it, and remember to interact with comments or reviews.
Delving Deeper into Local SEO
Now that you set up your Google Business Profile, don’t sit back and relax; start optimizing your website content for local SEO. Modern Restaurant Management emphasizes the importance of knowing your audience through keyword research.
Define your target by learning where they live, their interests the average age range. Now you can develop your keyword strategy and focus on local keywords. Digital marketers are starting to use more specific long-tail keywords, such as “San Diego fish tacos and margaritas.”
Local SEO has more technical aspects, like titles, meta descriptions and schema markups. Don’t be shy about searching for help from a content marketing company, and don’t hesitate when it comes to seeking out reviews from your audiences. If they aren’t as good as you might hope, use that feedback to improve your brand. Don’t forget to use metrics to measure your results because this information can also help you move ahead of the competition.