What is Local SEO?
The term Local SEO refers to the practice of increasing the visibility and presence of your brand and website online. It involves optimizing your restaurant content and information to be found on “near me searches” and correctly configuring search engines’ business profiles, such as Google Business or Bing Places, to be more locally relevant. This is something especially important to restaurants that have a physical location, they want to have as much visibility as possible to customers that are actually searching for something they can provide.
To better understand this, let’s have a look at an example:
Whenever someone searches “mojitos near me”, search engines will evaluate the relevance, distance, and importance (relative to competitors) as ranking factors for the search results it returns. In our example, as Google considers the search to be locally relevant, it places it on top of the “local pack” of restaurants and their locations. This is a Google feature that shows top local business listings. After this section, organic results are placed.
Now more than ever, restaurants must have at least a basic local SEO strategy because otherwise, you miss out on the most important and effective channel that consumers use to find local businesses. At Resto Experience, as a restaurant marketing agency, we understand its power and significance to improve our client’s online traffic and overall sales.
Tips To Optimize Your Restaurant for Local SEO
Optimize your Website and Content to be Relevant
Producing high quality, fresh and relevant content is one of the most important aspects of Local SEO. You can get there by doing some Local Keyword Research to understand what people search locally and detect opportunities of new keywords to add to our content. In time, search engines will catch up to it and be able to better understand your restaurant so that it appears on local search results that are relevant to your restaurant business. Try to clearly show your visitors what the physical locations are, online reviews and contact information.
Also, pay close attention to the structure of your pages: optimize for relevant H1 and SEO titles, subtitles and urls as they are still very important to understand what your content is all about and what keywords it should rank for.
Configure your Restaurant’s Business Profiles in Search Engines
This one is very important as it provides search engines with key information about your restaurant: what it does, website and contact information, where it is located, online reviews, and much more. These are free business listings used to show helpful content to the user when it is looking for your business or related searches. The main examples of these are Google Business Profile and Bing Places.
Ever wondered how Google displays relevant information about businesses at its right when searching? Well, it mostly comes with a well-configured business profile that Google uses.
What we can recommend to make your restaurant’s profile shine is:
- Upload photos and videos regularly as fresh content promotes engagement and boosts rankings.
- Describe your business using various attributes.
- Set detailed location, holiday, and business hours.
Set Up or Claim Business Online Citations
Citations basically are online listing directories where business information is shared. These citations are used by search engines to validate and confirm that your restaurant information is accurate. In many cases, your business may already be listed in some of them so as an owner you can claim it by going through a verification process. Some examples of these directories are Foursquare, Trip Advisor, Facebook, local restaurant listings, etc. As a general rule of thumb, it is important to make sure the information is consistent among all of these sites, otherwise, it may negatively impact your SEO.
Interact with Online Reviews
Online Reviews have become very valuable for users when making decisions as they help to build trust. In fact, over 75% of consumers regularly read reviews and consider them to be essential. An important tip is to reply to the reviews your customers give your business and service in a friendly manner (positive or negative reviews) as it shows that you value their feedback.
In this short article, we wanted to briefly explain what Local SEO means, why it is important for any restaurant business, and some important tips that every strategy should follow. Resto Experience can help your restaurant implement effective Local SEO strategies tailored to your business, with the goal to become more visible online and get found more by potential nearby customers.