PUBLISHED: Aug 24, 2021

Restaurant SEO Made Simple: A Step-by-Step Guide

Kushal Desai
Restaurant SEO Made Simple A Step-by-Step Guide
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The global foodservice industry was valued at US$3.5 trillion in 2020 and is forecasted to grow to be worth US$4.2 trillion by 2027

But such a gargantuan projected growth has translated into increased competition within the industry. As a result, the race to ranking higher on search engines, and being found by customers first, is on. If you find yourself in this race, but lagging — Restaurant SEO can help. 

If you already have a website for your restaurant, focusing on Restaurant SEO is a piece of advice you might be tired of hearing. Even so, it pays to invest in Restaurant SEO and take proactive efforts to rank higher on Google SERPs. After all, the top five organic results garner nearly 68% of the total clicks.

But before we get into the details of the why and how, let us first look at what Restaurant SEO is all about.

SEO for Restaurants

Restaurant SEO includes all the efforts that you make for ranking your website higher on the SERPs and increasing its organic traffic. A Restaurant SEO strategy includes optimization of your restaurant website, social media channels, and other digital platforms in which you have a presence or want to establish one. 

Some of the benefits that restaurants can attain through Restaurant SEO include: 

  • Increased visibility and awareness for your restaurant
  • Improved engagement from customers
  • More traffic from various digital channels 

That said, the importance of investing in SEO and all that it can do for you can be understood by calculating the ROI that you are likely to achieve from it. 

You need to consider four primary parameters to go about this calculation:

  • Average patron lifespan
  • The average value of the patron
  • Number of patrons acquired through SEO
  • The average cost of implementing your SEO strategy

Say the average value that a patron contributes to your restaurant business every year comes down to $400, with an average patron lifespan of 5 years. So, the total value that a patron will contribute over 5 years will be $2000. 

Now, if your current SEO efforts are able to attract 5 customers every month to your restaurant, the number of average patrons acquired through SEO per year will be 60 customers. Considering the average patron lifespan of 5 years, the patrons acquired from SEO will contribute a lifetime value of $120,000. 

Once you have calculated this, simply divide the SEO spending with the derived lifetime value to calculate the ROI. Having clarity on this aspect will help you plan your SEO budget effectively.

Why You Should Invest in SEO and Content Marketing

SEO and Content Marketing, are two distinct approaches to maximizing your digital presence. 

While SEO can ensure that your business is visible to more customers, and ranks higher on Google SERPs, content marketing helps you establish and improve awareness and credibility of your restaurant.

As a restaurant, you might think that you can make do with your social media presence. But studies suggest that SEO can offer 1000%+ higher traffic than your organic social media activities. Moreover, over 53% of all website traffic that you are likely to receive is from organic searches.

And in 2021, nearly 89% of marketers say that their content distribution is predominantly targeted at organic search, which can be quite beneficial to their SEO strategy. 

In the past year, when almost all transactions shifted online in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurants relied heavily on SEO. People started looking for restaurants and eateries online so that they could get food delivered to their homes. Restaurants that were easily discoverable, and accessible through organic searches thus benefited greatly.

Understand How Google Ranks Websites

Every year, Google releases updates for its ranking algorithm that determines how high a website and its content ranks on the SERPs. While there are several factors that companies should consider for the overall impact of their SEO strategy, the three most important factors with maximum weightage are — Content, Links, and RankBrain. 


For a few years now, publishing quality content consistently has been considered to be a top-ranking factor by Google. Google tests the published content by matching it with the search intent of the users. Your content and your website get promoted if they can answer the questions that users are asking. It all boils down to your content quality. 

When you post original and high-quality content, Google will know that you have fresh content that answers customer problems more effectively than others. 

Remember: Duplicate content can negatively impact your SEO performance, and not integrating the right keywords within the content can impede you from fetching the best ranks. 


Links are one of the top three ranking factors and for a solid reason — the web is made of links. Plus, having credible links within your content assures Google that your content is accurate and supported by strong evidence. Links are of three types:

  • Inbound Links: links on other websites that redirect readers to your website 
  • Outbound Links: links on your website that redirect readers to other websites
  • Internal Links: links added to your website to redirect users to other parts of your website; usually used for strategically interlinking webpages on a website

Using a combination of these links in your content can add a lot of value to your SEO strategy, but they should be supported with relevant anchor text that includes target keywords. As a restaurant, you want to build a strong network of inbound links aka backlinks so that you are visible to a larger audience. 


RankBrain is a component of the core algorithm that is followed by Google for ranking pages on the search engine. RankBrain utilizes machine learning to create an interpretation model which is then used to determine the right pages to be indexed for search queries. 

With the help of RankBrain, Google can assess the intent of the search query and combine it with varied factors such as location and personalization to point users to the most relevant results. So, businesses need to ensure that they include the right keywords and provide as much information as possible so that the search engine can index their content for relevant queries. 

For restaurants, this would essentially mean having thorough website content including relevant keywords in a natural language while maintaining the quality of the information.                                                                  

 5 Restaurants that are Investing Heavily in SEO

Gaslamp Restaurants
Gaslamp Restaurants

Gaslamp Quarter has been built as a locale that houses some of the best restaurants, fast food joints, bars, theatres, and hotels in Downtown San Diego. It has a comprehensive website with information about all the establishments within. 

The website also offers options for users to explore specific activities at the location, and related details for bookings. In terms of content, the website is so thorough that any interested patron will be able to plan an event, stay, or a reservation in just a few clicks. Truly, leveraging content as it should be. 

Le Bernardin by Eric Ripert
Le Bernardin by Eric Ripert

Le Bernardin is a Michelin Star restaurant by the renowned chef, Eric Ripert, located in New York. The restaurant website has individual web pages detailing the services and amenities that guests can expect if they choose to dine at Le Bernardin. The website also allows patrons to make reservations, explore different menus, and wine collections.

Structured like a corporate website that is heavy on images, Le Bernardin also has sections dedicated to people looking for career opportunities and press partnerships. The restaurant has a succinctly filled Google My Business listing letting patrons get answers to important questions right away.

Smith & Wollensky
Smith & Wollensky

Smith & Wollensky – America’s Steakhouse — a popular restaurant chain with branches across the country, has one of the most structured websites on this list. Not only does the website facilitate information about all the restaurant branches, and the menus that they offer, patrons can explore more details about specific food items on the menu. 

Patrons visiting the website can also make reservations in any of the branches, place inquiries for hosting private events, and even order online. The news and events section highlights recent updates and press releases about Smith and Wollensky. 

Smith & Wollensky has curated the website with careful consideration to SEO standards and has found a way to keep the patrons coming back through a loyalty program — available on the website.

Cohn Restaurants
Cohn Restaurants

Cohn Restaurant Group is one of the largest in the United States, with several restaurants and eateries located across the country. The website does a good job of providing patrons the necessary information on all the restaurants within the group. 

The website allows patrons to make reservations, explore menus, the ambiance, and amenities provided by each restaurant. The website also redirects users to the individual websites of any specific restaurant easily and showcases promotional offers they may be providing. The patrons can also browse the website to know about the chefs and gifting options available to them. 

Perch LA
Perch LA

Perch is a beautifully designed resto-bar with an equally aesthetic website. It includes an option for ordering delivery to your doorstep in addition to allowing users to make reservations. The website also showcases the menus and various kinds of events that patrons can host in the space.

The restaurant also uses the website to make announcements and provide updates on recent events. The website has a calendar where patrons can get information on musical performances and other events taking place in the restaurant on specific dates. Apart from this, you will find that Perch has carefully registered in all the major business listing websites and posts targeted content.

Keyword Research for Restaurant SEO

If you have explored the world of SEO even for a bit, the first thing you would have come across is — keyword research. It is the process of finding the right keywords that match the search queries that your target audience is likely to use. Since SEO first came into the picture, keywords have remained an important ranking factor for organizations and brands across fields.

Restaurants in Houston Keywords

How do you do Keyword Research?

Finding the keywords that you want your restaurant to rank higher for, is the first step to conducting effective keyword research. This is known as keyword planning. Tools such as Google Keyword Planner, Semrush, and KWFinder are some of the popular tools that you can use for keyword research.

You must also identify the keyword intent so that you can target new patrons effectively. Why? Your target audience might be looking for a restaurant for multiple reasons. They may just be browsing, they may be shortlisting options for an upcoming occasion, or they may be looking for a place to have dinner that day.

You will need different keywords and approaches to target users with varied intents. Structuring your keyword research effectively can help you in the process. Here is one way to go about it: 

  • Research High-level restaurant terms

Most searchers will use generic terms while looking for a restaurant. So including phrases such as ‘New York restaurant’, and ‘diner’ or ‘deli’, will help you narrow down your target audience geographically and restaurant type. You can also use keywords such as ‘Italian restaurant in new york’ to pinpoint specific cuisines.

  • Research Niche-specific terms

Niche-specific terms are keywords that would include categories that you want your restaurant to fall into. Here, including phrases such as ‘pizza deli’, ‘rooftop bar’ or ‘private lounge’ will help you define your niche, and target users looking for very specific dining options. Using such keywords will also help you reduce the competition that you will face in terms of ranking.

  • Research Brand terms

It is never a good idea to take your brand name for granted, regardless of how small it may be. Check for the number of people using your brand name directly to look for your restaurant as compared to other terms. This is a great way to rise to the top using just your brand name and will prevent any other brand from leveraging on the credibility of your brand.

  • Research ‘Restaurant location’ terms

You would be surprised by the number of people who simply use terms such as ‘restaurants near me’ or ‘restaurant near Brooklyn bridge’ to look for a restaurant in their vicinity. Even Google has acknowledged that searches such as ‘restaurants near me’ have doubled in the last five years. To capitalize on such searches, ensure that all your listings and website details are updated with recent addresses and information. 

Local SEO for Restaurants

Local SEO

For restaurants, being visible and accessible to people who are searching locally is quite important. A study suggests that users visit nearly 1.5 billion locations through their Google searches. Hence, optimizing for Local Restaurant SEO should be one of the top things on your priority list, to start generating revenue through SEO. 

You need to make targeted efforts at improving your Local SEO, either through an in-house team or a reputed agency.

While there are several approaches to optimizing your restaurant business for local SEO, here are a few that you should consider. 

Optimize Your Google My Business Listing

Google My Business

The first step that you need to take towards ramping up your local SEO efforts is creating a Google My Business listing. You need to have a duly informative listing so that people looking at the listing can access all the vital information easily. 

Note: Run a basic google search with your brand name to check if a listing with the name already exists. If so, you need to claim it.

Now, let’s get started.

Step 1: Create an account on Google My Business

Similar to creating an account on any website, registering for Google My Business will require you to go to the website, and register using the Gmail ID associated with your business, and then click ‘Next’. 

On the next screen start writing the name of your business, and you will see suggestions of existing listings with the same or similar names. If a listing already exists, click on it to claim it. If not, proceed with the rest of your entry and ‘Add a New Business to Google’.

Next, you will need to select the business category for your restaurant. This can be added later, but it is better to fill it so that you have a completely optimized business profile right from the start.

Step 2: Enter NAP information


Once you have created your business profile, it is time to enter all the NAP information associated with your restaurant business. As soon as your account is created, you will be redirected to Google Maps so that you can pinpoint the exact location of your restaurant. Once done, click ‘Next’. 

After your location has been added, you can proceed to add your contact details on the next screen including your phone number and URL of your existing website. Click ‘Next’.

Narrow down the contact details that you would like Google to showcase in the listing, and click ‘Finish’. 

Your Google My Business listing is now ready to be published.

Step 3: Get Your Google My Business Listing verified

Your ready listing will be published only after Google completes verifying your account. This is done by sending you a verification postcard at the address that you have provided for your business. This may take up to a week.

This is done to check that you are indeed operating the business from the location that you entered during registration. The postcard will contain a verification code, which you will then need to update on your Google My Business listing. Once done, your listing will be made live. 

Optimize Google Maps

LA Restaurant - Google Maps

Once you have set up your Google My Business listing, optimizing Google Maps is quite simple.  

When you have a brick-and-mortar business, ranking higher on Google Maps aside from having a Google My Business listing can offer many advantages. 

Conduct a simple search for your business on Google Maps and once you see your listing, click on Claim this business > Manage Now. You can then carry out an online verification process to register your business on Google Maps.

Create Content Within Google Posts

Now that your Google My Business and Google Maps listing is live and ready to generate leads for your restaurant, the next step is to proactively use content to your benefit. One of the many benefits of having a Google My Business listing is that you can leverage Google Posts. 

Publishing content using Google Posts is not only a great way to add credibility to your listing but also for boosting Local SEO rankings. These are short posts that will be displayed along with your Google My Business and Google Maps listing. 

As a restaurant, you can leverage all four types of posts that Google Posts offers: 

  • What’s New: to keep your customers updated on new additions to your restaurant or menu 
  • Offer: to promote any discounts or happy hour that you may be offering 
  • Product: to promote or display products that are sold in your gift shop
  • Event: to spread information about events or live performances taking place in your restaurant

All posts are live for 7 days after posting, except event posts which can remain live for 14 days. Not only should you integrate keywords to target your customers, but you can also increase the engagement on these posts using images and high-quality content. 

Pro tip: Include CTA buttons in your Google Posts so that potential customers reading the post can be redirected to your website. 

Submit Citations

Local citations are known to be one of the factors for getting ranked higher on Google. Apart from this, citations allow you to establish credibility in the domain and let people know that you are an expert in the subject. As a restaurateur, if you have superb mixology or barbeque skills, then it is time to showcase it to the web. 

Citations are mentions of you and your restaurant on websites that have higher domain authority. Such citations on multiple websites can help Google verify your details and reassure customers that your restaurant is legitimate and trustworthy. 

Join Local Directories for Restaurants

Local directories can be great sources for getting discovered by your local patrons on the web. Even today, a lot of people turn to websites such as Yelp or Yellow Pages to find credible businesses that people are saying good things about. Enrolling in such directories can also help you be more discoverable to potential customers. 

For context, take a look at this example: 

Local Directories for Restaurants

The first restaurant website in the organic results when you look for “restaurants in fifth avenue” is the sixth result. The first five results are from directories and discovery websites due to their high domain authority.

Monitor and Respond to Reviews Regularly

Positive Reply

One of the simplest yet most important things that you can do to boost your Local SEO performance is being active on customer review platforms. 

More than 89% of customers state that they read brand responses to reviews, so responding positively and proactively is key to leveraging them. 

Customer reviews can not only provide credible social proof to potential customers, but they are also great in boosting engagement. If you respond to reviews, more customers will be motivated to post their feedback. 

Generate More Positive Reviews

The restaurant industry relies heavily on reviews — especially positive ones that solidify the quality of the restaurant. A study suggests that even an increase of a single star on Yelp ratings can increase restaurant sales by 5-9%

Positive reviews are highly sought by customers as they reduce buyer’s remorse as well as decrease search time and risks. The ideal way to make the best of positive reviews is to encourage customers to rate and review the restaurant when they let you know that they have enjoyed the experience at the restaurant. You can also motivate customers to post more reviews by providing additional discounts or offers. 

On-Page SEO for Restaurants

On-page or on-site SEO is an approach to optimize your website aimed at providing a seamless experience for users and search engines. Improving your On-Page SEO can make it easier for your website to rank higher on search in addition to making you easily discoverable.

Let us look at a few ways to go about it.

Optimize your Title Tag

Nearly 36% of SEO professionals believe that the heading or title is one of the most important SEO elements. With that in mind, you should strive to create optimized titles and headings for your web pages and blog posts.

Since your title is the first thing your potential customers may read, it is important to make it impressionable. It tells them and Google, what your page is all about. Ensure to include high-performing keywords in the title for maximum impact on the search engine results. 

Pro tip: Apart from keywords, optimizing the length of your title tag is also crucial, and should be kept under 70 characters.

Use Short, Descriptive URLs

Even if they are a minor ranking factor, URLs can have an impact on your SEO efforts in multiple ways. If keywords are integrated smartly in URLs, they can help improve the visibility of your webpage on search engines. 

What’s more, a well-defined URL can help your users as well as the search engine in identifying the contents of the web page. When defined properly, URLs can act as your anchor text. To facilitate ease of reading and understanding, they should be kept as concise as possible. 

Follow SEO best practices for optimizing your URL for search engines. 

Write A Compelling Meta Description

Meta Description is an important SEO attribute that you need to consider when you are creating web pages. It is the text that appears right below the title on the search engine results. Like every other SEO element, you need to optimize it as per the standards by keeping it brief and including targeted keywords.  

The ideal length for meta descriptions is 150-170 characters as if you exceed this length, your text is likely to appear truncated on the SERPs. 

An ideal meta description would look like this: 

Meta Description

As you can see,  the meta description provides the necessary information and remains well within the prescribed character limit. 

Optimize Your Images

Your restaurant website is likely to be filled with images of food and your restaurant ambiance, and rightly so. Unfortunately, including a lot of high-resolution images can slow down your website experience. Plus, paying attention to Image SEO is important and not at all optional. 

Here are a few considerations: 

  • Name Images Appropriately: Let go of names that have nothing to do with the image. The file name should contain the main subject of the image and not just a string of random letters and numbers that the camera has assigned. 
  • Use Descriptive Alt Text: Alt text is a phrase that appears in place of images that have not loaded properly. They are also used by screen readers to describe the image to people who can not view it. 
  • Compress Images: Use a tool like ImageOptim or JPEGmini, to compress your images and reduce their size without hampering their quality. 

Add Internal And External Links

Link-building can be a truly beneficial tool for boosting the traffic to your restaurant website and building its online credibility. While we shall look at it in great detail in a later section of this post, you should know that adding internal and external links to your website contributes to the overall website experience. 

For instance, if you have a live performance at your restaurant this weekend, you should make it a point to include a link to the artist’s website or YouTube channel. On the other hand, the pages detailing your restaurant food or cocktail menu should have an internal link for reservations.

Add Restaurant Schema Markup & Rich Snippets

Using structured data to increase your position and ranking in search results is always a good idea. For restaurants, implementing schema markup is an absolute must. To go about this, you will need a website developer, or a robust content management system with the right plugins

Restaurant Rich Snippets

Also, aim for featured snippets as they have a higher click-through rate and tend to appear above other organic results. To implement this, you will need to ensure that content is provided in a structured and succinct manner. 

Have Consistent NAP Details

The worst thing that can happen to a restaurant business is patrons reaching the wrong address, due to an outdated entry in some online directory. To avoid this, maintain a list of all the websites and directories where you have registered your restaurant. You need to ensure that all of them are updated in case of a change in the name, phone number, or address. 

Technical SEO for Restaurants

Technical SEO consists of steps that you can take behind the scenes and server-end optimization for enhancing the SEO performance of your website.

Here are some of the primary technical SEO considerations that you should keep in mind for your restaurant website: 


If you require users to conduct transactions on your website, you need to ramp up the security measures accordingly. While you have most probably heard of HTTP (HyperText Transfer Protocol), combining an SSL certificate with it, creates HTTPS — a much safer version. 

The process of acquiring an HTTPS certificate can be a bit expensive, but when you consider the SEO boost, along with the additional security and customer trust that you get, it is a small price to pay.

Create Seamless Website Structure & Navigation

As a restaurant, you will be showcasing quite a few things on your website. You should ensure that you structure the website carefully so that patrons can easily find the information they are looking for. Avoid having too many dynamic elements that cause your website to malfunction or hidden menus. 

Restaurant Website Structure

Also, ensure that the primary features and options that your patrons are likely to seek are presented clearly on the home page, for easy navigation. 

Make Sure Your Website is Mobile Friendly

According to Statista, nearly 96% of the global population accessed the Internet on their mobile devices in 2021. Plus, more than 63% of users are likely to opt for or visit mobile-friendly brand websites.

What’s more, Google also places a lot of emphasis on making websites more mobile-friendly. Considering the increasing mobile traffic, brands must ensure that their websites work perfectly on mobile devices. 

You should monitor the quality of images, content layout, website loading speed, and other metrics that play a role in website experience and ensure that you run regular tests on mobile devices. 

Speed Up Your Restaurant Website

When you want to implement holistic efforts to speed up your website, it is important to consider Core Web Vitals — metrics that assess the perceived user experience provided by websites. 

You can use PageSpeed Insights, a free tool by Google to assess the elements that are negatively impacting the website experience for users. The results will highlight the potential areas that are causing the website to slow down and recommendations that will help you take corrective action. Some of the strategies that you can use to improve the website speed include compression of images, using cache tools, and minifying your CSS/JavaScript code. 

Add your Sitemap in Google Search Console

A well-defined sitemap will help Google navigate through your website and give it an overview of the primary web pages. For this, you should ensure that you add your sitemap to your Google Search Console (GSC). 

Doing this is quite simple. All you need to do is click on the ‘Sitemap’ option on the GSC interface. Then, go ahead and submit the URL of your sitemap which will let Google know that it can start crawling and indexing that page.

Link Building for Restaurants

As described earlier, internal and external links have vital roles to play for websites. Since Link building is such an important part of SEO strategy, we have put together a few steps you can take to make it work for your restaurant business: 

Build Links Through Content Marketing

Content marketing if done effectively provides multiple avenues for marketers to increase traffic, engagement, and website ROI. As a restaurant, you can build links by leveraging content marketing to your benefit. You can share your industry knowledge with your target audience and post content (blog posts, infographics, guides, etc.) on subjects related to the foodservice industry.

To boost results through these efforts, you can include social media buttons on the posts so that people can share them easily. Another way to accomplish this is by adding a dedicated FAQ section that will resolve customer queries and be a beneficial link-building exercise.

Read More: How Content Marketing and SEO are Same Yet Different from Each Other

Collaborate With Restaurant Influencers And Bloggers

Restaurant Influencers

One of the most effective ways to increase the traffic and performance of your restaurant online is to expand your customer base using influencer marketing. With the increased reach offered by platforms such as Instagram and YouTube, food bloggers have become influencers. The most reputed ones have the potential to persuade or dissuade people to visit your restaurant. 

Form such partnerships through affiliate relationships or on a campaign basis to promote your restaurant and build links online.

Guest Post On Other Websites In The Restaurant Industry

Guest posting is a proven approach to go about link building in an effective way. If your website is relatively new, you can guest post on other websites that have the higher domain authority to increase traction. 

Conduct primary research to identify popular food and restaurant industry-related websites that accept guest posts. Next, assess their domain authority and scan their target audience to see whether you can benefit from the exercise. Once you have locked down on the websites, come up with topics that will be most relevant to your target audience and create content around it. 

Try to integrate the keywords that you have been targeting for your website and ensure adherence to SEO standards. Topics such as “benefits of having high-calorie vegan food” will perform better than “why you should have vegan food rich in calories”. 

Email Outreach Based On Competitor Research

Monitoring what your competitors are getting right and wrong in their marketing efforts can be beneficial in tweaking your own approach towards it. 

For example, check if your competitors are offering any special discounts during festivals. If yes, tailor one for your customers and let them know about it through email marketing, so that you do not lose customers to your competitors. 

Appear on Interviews and Podcasts

Sometimes, the right kind of PR can work wonders for your brand. To leverage your public image and representation, be proactive in appearing for interviews and on podcasts related to your industry.

Many popular podcasts and interviews can boost your brand awareness. Opt for those that will help you reach your target audience and get the message across. Such mediums can help your brand get recognized and immediately boost sales. 

Podcasts such as Restaurant Unstoppable, and Copper & Heat are quite popular among people who are a part of the industry, and the ones who are interested to know what happens in restaurant kitchens. 

Do Recipe Roundups

They say one of the best ways to let people know how much you know about your domain is to share it with others. As a restaurant that wants to promote its quality, consider doing recipe roundups. 

You can pick some of the best dishes out of your menu and make a comprehensive recipe collection. Alternatively, you can create collections based on various themes and cuisines, in which you would like to showcase your prowess. 

Joyful Healthy Eats and Budget Bytes are some of the websites that publish recipe roundups so you can consider contributing to them.

Create PR Worthy Stories

Building your PR through online and offline efforts can take a lot of time, patience, and effort but if carried out effectively, it can be quite fruitful. While you can explore multiple avenues to amplify your PR efforts, one of the proven ways is to just get your story out to your target audience. 

Here are some PR strategies that can help you put your restaurant in the public eye:

  • Create a unique restaurant brand story: Every brand has a story to tell. Tell yours in innovatively using graphics and videos. Talk about the history, the inception of the concept, and what made you believe in the mission you were undertaking. For example – Take a look at Chipotle’s brand story below.
Chipotle Restaurant Story
  • Create a unique website menu and recipe names: Talk about what you are good at. If your restaurant is known for Chinese food, share some recipes of the dishes that stand out the most. You can even talk about the process of coming up with the menu. 
  • Create unique event stories: Promote your upcoming events and talk about how you crafted the previous ones. Highlight the factors that help you host distinct events and why people choose you. 

Convert Brand Mentions to Links

If you have a restaurant that is already generating some buzz out there, chances are that you might have been featured in articles or posts that highlight local eateries. Claim those mentions, and ask them to link back to your website. 

Establish Authority With Content Marketing 

As highlighted earlier, content marketing can serve multiple purposes for your restaurant brand. Not only can you create content pieces that enthrall and engage, but you can also improve your search engine rankings and boost your website traffic. One more advantage that you can get out of content marketing is that you can build brand authority that lasts. 

Wondering how to make that happen? 

Let us start by looking at how content marketing for restaurants works. 

Why is Content Marketing for Restaurant different?

Trust and credibility are important for any brand to succeed, but for restaurants, they are the cornerstones of having a loyal customer base. Restaurants need to work very hard to maintain loyalty among customers, and content marketing can be a great tool to do so. 

Did you know that content marketing costs 60% less than any other traditional marketing strategy?

Restaurants also need to publish content much more frequently than brands in other industries so that customers are constantly engaged. Content marketing can help you create a strong presence in the industry simply by sharing more about your skills, food, and concept.

Plus, the competition in the restaurant industry is fierce, so using content to create a distinct digital identity might help you stand out from the rest of your competitors.

What Goes into an Effective Content Marketing Strategy for Restaurant SEO?

An effective content marketing strategy should consider a holistic approach for targeting the right audience. Using your website content as a tool is always a great idea, but restaurants should strive to utilize all mediums at their disposal. 

Regardless of the approach, the first step should always be to create a content marketing plan that lays down the roadmap for the content to be published and related considerations. If you plan to leverage your content marketing strategy for an omnichannel presence, narrow down the mediums that you want to remain active on.

Start from your website and have a blog section, where you can consistently post SEO-friendly and informative content. You can then branch out to include social media, guest posts, podcasts, videos, etc. 

Create Your Content Production Strategy & Plan

Once you have a content marketing plan or roadmap ready, the next step is to start planning the actual content and producing content. Now, since there are a lot of options to choose from, we have detailed a few ideas to help you decide.

  • Establish thought leadership with blogging: You can start blogging and truly establish your knowledge in the domain, and with it, the credibility of your restaurant. People who can gain knowledge from your blogs will be keener on becoming your customers. 
  • Create new recipes and share them: The most fun, and beneficial aspect of having a restaurant is that you have a lab for experimenting with new recipes. Create contests, and take up the challenge of coming up with new recipes. You can then share it for more engagement and include the dish in your menu. Win-win. 
  • Localize content marketing: Create content specifically for locals such as limited offers and discounts or promoting an event that you are hosting. This will help you attract customers who are most likely to dine in your restaurant soon.
  • Write long-form informative content: Writing long-form content helps you to be detailed, informative, and target more keywords. Such content also performs well in terms of SEO and is likely to receive more traction than other short-form content pieces.

Showcase Awards & Associations

Another great way to establish your authority in the domain through content marketing is to showcase the awards and recognitions that you may have received. You do not always need a Michelin Star to do so. 

Moreover, promote any partnerships or associations you form as well. Tying up with a new bakery to supply cupcakes? Post an update. Associated with a vineyard to create a unique wine for your restaurant? Rave about it on your website and social media. 

These are the activities that show your customers that you are active, credible, and growing as a business. 

Create Engaging Content with YouTube Videos & Podcasts

Videos and podcasts are emerging content forms that not only generate higher traffic but also engage your customers. Plus, with these content forms, you have the flexibility to showcase a wide range of skills and features of your restaurant. 

Start a YouTube channel, and start publishing videos that acquaint customers with your restaurant and pique their interest. For instance, if you have a bar that you are proud of, start a series that shows all the different cocktails that your bartender can whip up. 

Have a podcast that talks about the most dominating food trends in the world today and express your expert opinion.

Create Social Media Content for your Eatery Business

With more than 4.48 billion active users, social media is a trend that has been transforming how businesses go about their marketing. As a restaurant, you can not only find out what people are saying about you but also engage with them actively — a proactive way to retain customers. 

Most of all, the biggest reason to be on social media is that your customers are there. Here are some of the proven ways to be active on social media and connect with them.

  • Share restaurants & food pictures on Facebook & Instagram: Facebook and Instagram are great tools to connect with your customers as people use these platforms to check for reviews and pictures of restaurants before visiting. Ensure to post pictures of your food as well as your restaurant to engage and attract customers. 
Restaurant Social Media
  • Engage with customers on social media: Find people who are talking about your restaurant and engage with them. Thank them for sharing their experience, and motivate them to visit again. Most importantly, just keep the conversation going. 
  • Encourage reviews, interactions, and social mentions: Motivate your customers to share their experiences on social media and tag you in their posts. You can also interact with them on topical posts, and share posts that would start conversations. 
  • Create brand name #hashtag: Creating your own hashtag is an efficient way to categorize all posts and mentions of your restaurant in one place. Promote the hashtag in all your posts, and encourage your customers to do so when they are posting about you. 

Measuring SEO Success

When all is said and done, the true value and result of SEO success can only be assessed using the right metrics. The success of your SEO efforts can be measured objectively by deploying the right tools that can provide insights on what needs to be continued and the areas to be tweaked.

Use Google Search Console & Google Analytics

Google Search Console

Google Search Console helps you to monitor, track and solve issues related to your site’s presence in Google search results. You can also set alerts that will inform you about issues in your website, and steps to take for solving them. You can also manage your content and website elements more effectively using the search console. 

Google Analytics

The other useful tool that you can use for managing your SEO and content marketing efforts is Google Analytics. The tool can be used to monitor your website activity, and for measuring basic metrics such as bounce rate, session duration, user engagement among many more. It can also be used to measure your performance on social media networks and videos. 

Track Your Ranking Keywords

A study suggests that nearly 60% of the searches are driven by using less than 1% of the popular keywords. Ranking for the right keywords requires you to consistently publish high-quality content on your website. 

The keyword rank tracker also allows you to check how much traffic is being driven to your competitor’s website through specific keywords. You can also check which keywords are most effective in driving traffic so that you can leverage them to your advantage. 

You can use popular keyword ranker tools such as the Position Tracking tool by Semrush, and Rank Tracker by Ahrefs, to monitor keyword ranks consistently. 

Measure the Results of Restaurant SEO

The key to implementing a successful SEO strategy is to have the right metrics to monitor its performance. Some of the common areas that you can monitor to do so include: 

  • Keyword Rank Tracking
  • Domain Authority
  • Search Engine Traffic 

By focusing on a combination of these metrics, you can tweak and modify your SEO strategy to achieve your goals more effectively. 

Track Your Restaurant’s Growth

Apart from tracking the SEO-specific metrics, you should also monitor the growth of your restaurant. Some of the common metrics that will give you insights into the growth of your restaurant are: 

  • The average number of customers per month
  • Average net profit per month 
  • % growth of customers and profits every month

By keeping an eye on these vital metrics, you can check whether your restaurant is performing well. Combined with SEO metrics, you will be able to gauge the impact of SEO on your restaurant’s growth. 

Hire a Reputed SEO Agency for Restaurants – Growfusely


SEO is the lifeblood of the digital presence and visibility of your restaurant. Consistent, and more importantly, targeted efforts are required to ensure that your restaurant ranks well on search engines.

Growfusely has a team of highly experienced SEO professionals who would be happy to help you take your restaurant’s search visibility to the next level.

Restaurant SEO – Frequently Asked Questions

Why is SEO important for restaurants?

Restaurants rely heavily on customer engagement, loyalty, and online reach. SEO can effectively help you with that by increasing your visibility on search engines and adding to your online credibility. 

What are the keywords for restaurants?

Keywords are a string of words or phrases that people use the most in their search queries and should be included in your content. For restaurants, keywords could include your location, cuisine, recipes, restaurant name, and specific services that you provide. 

How can I improve my restaurant’s search engine performance?

You can create a comprehensive SEO strategy for your restaurant including an optimized website, SEO-friendly content, and a powerful social media presence. 

How do restaurants do SEO?

Restaurants carry out SEO effectively by optimizing their website, having a strong presence on online listings, and producing content strategically to achieve their goals. 

How do I promote my restaurant on Google?

Restaurants can utilize different approaches such as creating a complete Google My Business account, along with a range of SEO strategies discussed above to promote their business on Google.

Read More: Dental SEO: A Comprehensive Guide For 2021

Kushal Desai

Kushal Desai is an Ex-Content Marketing Specialist at Growfusely. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering as well as MBA in Information Technology and has over 7 years of experience in digital marketing. His core expertise lies in organic search, content marketing, and performance analytics. Connect with him on Linkedin and Twitter: @kushaljdesai.

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