Blog post

SEO for Restaurants: best practices

A successful marketing strategy for restaurants has many components because you can’t rely on a single marketing channel. One often overlooked part of a restaurant’s digital marketing strategy is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for restaurants. In a nutshell, SEO is a strategy for writing copy on the official website and other sources using relevant keywords so that customers can find you easily when searching for a place to eat using certain criteria. 

This article covers the basics of restaurant SEO, including two parts:

  • Creating an online presence for your restaurant, and
  • Optimizing your restaurant’s online presence for SEO

Creating an online presence for your restaurant
The key principles of SEO are using the right keywords, but first, you need a place to put them. Successful SEO depends on the number of virtual “locations”, where your business is present. They include your official website, social media accounts, review sites, online food ordering sites, etc. The more mentions you have, the stronger your SEO will be.

Restaurant websites
Your restaurant’s website is the home base for your online presence and the essential part of your SEO strategy. Make sure to include all key information on your website:

  • Hours. What time are you open? Do the hours differ for takeout, delivery, and dine-in?
  • Contact information. Your location address, email, phone number, and other ways to get in touch with your business.
  • Links to social media. Make your accounts visible so people can subscribe and see what you do in more detail.
  • Your menu with prices, including specials and offers. This makes it convenient to plan ahead and get an idea of how much it will cost your clients to dine with you. Don’t forget to update your menu online every time you make changes.

Local pages and social media accounts
If you make some changes in your operations, like your business hours, contact details, or menu, make sure to reflect those changes across all platforms, not only your website.

Some of these platforms may include:
  • Yelp
  • Google My Business
  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reservation sites like OpenTable, Reserveout, Zomato, etc.

Online ordering sites
SEO rules differ a bit for your own native ordering site and third-party delivery apps. Here is how to optimize your menu so that customers can find you easier. 

If a diner is searching for a hamburger on an online ordering site, he will be entering this very keyword in the search field. If you do serve hamburgers, but you have them under some other name, like Jim’s Special, people will have a harder time finding you, because you will be showing up much farther down the list. Therefore, when joining a third-party online ordering service, make sure that your menu items and their descriptions are literal and self-explanatory. 

Customers prefer to visit restaurants that are not too far from their location, so they often enter specific areas in their online searches. That is why you need to optimize your restaurant’s website for local SEO performance. 

For example, if someone in Dubai is searching for Melanie's Cafe and the city is not included in the title, a Melanie’s Cafe from other locations might pop up in the search results. If you want the search to show you to customers near you, enter Melanie’s Cafe Dubai in your website title.

Indicate your restaurant’s specialty
If a customer is searching for some specific kind of food, not knowing the exact name of the restaurant, you can use SEO to help them find you easier. If your seafood restaurant is called “Lucky Fish”, consider the name on your online ordering page to “Lucky Fish: Seafood Restaurant”. This will help Google understand what exactly you serve and show your site to customers who are searching “seafood restaurant near me”.

Showcase pictures
In a nutshell, Google rewards sites that are visually compelling. A picture is worth a thousand words. Make pretty images of all your menu items, your interior, and the outside of your building. Post as many photos as possible on all your digital platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Yelp, etc. The more pictures of your restaurant are available online, the higher the chance that it will be shown on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

Highlight your online ordering, takeout, and pickup options
If you offer online ordering, takeout, and delivery, make sure you specify all the options available on a separate website page dedicated to online orders. This specific page will show up for the customers when they enter the “name of your restaurant + online ordering” in the search.
One of the most common searches is “takeout food near me”, which is why be sure to include the phrase “online ordering” on your relevant page. The copy of your page should contain words like “pickup”, “takeout” and “online ordering” to give you an advantage before your competition.

Want more tips on running your restaurant business? Check out other useful posts on Tawreed blog. Be sure to contact us if you are looking for reliable suppliers for your restaurant.