For restaurants, implementing an effective local SEO strategy is absolutely critical for driving foot traffic, reservations, and revenue. With over half of diners now turning to online search to find and research local restaurants, ranking highly in those results can connect you with tons of hungry customers in your area.
In this comprehensive guide tailored specifically for restaurants, I’ll walk through proven tactics to dominate the local SERPs (search engine results pages) and beat out the competition in your city.
Optimize Your Google Business Profile
Your Google Business Profile serves as the digital storefront for your restaurant on Google. Make sure it’s fully optimized with:
- Accurate business info and categories
- Engaging photos and videos
- Detailed menu and cuisine descriptions
- Updated hours, phone number, and website
- Responses to all Google reviews
This establishes your restaurant as a legitimate and authoritative local business.
Target Hyperlocal Keywords
Conduct keyword research using tools like SEMrush to identify valuable hyperlocal keywords to target like:
- [city] restaurants open now
- best [cuisine] in [neighborhood]
- [city] dinner delivery
Incorporate these keywords naturally into your website, GBP listing, and other content.
Create Location-Based Content
Publish blog posts like “The Top 10 Restaurants in [City]” and “A Foodie’s Guide to [Neighborhood]”.
Highlight your expertise on the local dining scene.
Get Customer Reviews
Actively collect positive Google, Facebook, and Yelp reviews. These influence local search rankings.
Respond professionally to any negative feedback.
Build Local Links
Earn links from city guides, food blogs, restaurant associations, and other dining sites in your metro area.
Leverage Social Media
Promote your restaurant through local social media channels and engage followers.
Use geotagged posts and location hashtags.
Register Food Delivery Services
Get listed on Grubhub, DoorDash, Uber Eats, etc. Many diners now search there first.
Check rankings for target keywords, GBP insights, website traffic, and reservations driven by local search.
Refine your strategy based on the data.
Invest in Paid Ads
Run paid search and Facebook campaigns geo-targeted to your neighborhood or city.
Paid ads put you in front of searchers immediately while you build organic presence.
Partner with Local Businesses
Team up with nearby hotels, event venues, offices, etc. on promotions, packages, and partnerships.
This expands reach to new local audiences.
Tout signature dishes, unique cuisine styles, special diets, cooking classes, etc. that make you stand out.
This establishes your restaurant as an authority on particular offerings.
The key pillars for restaurant local SEO success include:
- Optimizing online listings, especially your Google Business Profile
- Targeting hyperlocal keywords that diners in your city search
- Creating locally-focused website content
- Building an authoritative link profile with local sites
- Generating more positive local reviews
- Analyzing metrics like rankings and traffic to refine efforts
- Running paid ads to supplement organic growth
- Partnering creatively with complementary local businesses
By showing up prominently for searches like “best restaurants near me”, your restaurant can attract far more local diners.
What local SEO strategies have proven most effective for your restaurant? Let me know in the comments!