Top 4 Local SEO Tips for Restaurants

Every niche has its own SEO challenges and opportunities, and, while general SEO articles can offer a lot of insight no matter what sector you’re in, they often can’t quite hit all the nuances of a particular industry.

Local SEO marketing connects your business to real-world communities. It’s a bridge to the places where consumers live, work, and make the most of their purchases. And there’s more competition than ever.

Restaurant SEO tip #1: Google My Business

If you’re on Search Engine Land, you probably already have a Google My Business page.

That said, there are a lot of new and non-obvious features under the hood of your Google My Business listing, and some of them are only available to restaurants!

Google Posts

One of my favourite new additions to the restaurant SEO arsenal is Google Posts, which is being rolled out to all businesses.

Posts are accessible via your Google My Business listing editor page and provide an opportunity to add a post of up to 300 words with a picture and a link to:

  • Learn more
  • Reserve
  • Sign up
  • Buy
  • Get offer

You can also create events with start and end times. When people look up your business, they’ll see your posts in the knowledge graph on desktop but, perhaps most importantly for restaurants, on mobile they’ll see something like:

With posts, restaurants can not only advertise specials and events but claim a lot more real estate on Google for free.

Quick URLs

And speaking of claiming more real estate for free, on August 10, an update to Google My Business rolled out that allowed businesses to add additional links to deeper pages on their site.

While this capability is open to all businesses, restaurants seem to get the best of it. Where a lowly SEO consultant can only add a link to an appointment scheduling page, restaurants can add additional links to their menu, to their order-ahead URL and to their reservations URL. The result is something like:

As you can see, these links give you additional real estate (especially on mobile) but, more importantly, they help users get to the part of your site they’re most interested in, perhaps saving staff time on the phone by promoting the reservation page.

And you’re even allowed to link to a page that isn’t on your own domain if you use an outside vendor to provide some transactional functionality.

Restaurant SEO tip #2: Citations

Citations are important for most, if not all, local SEO, but in no sector is it more important than for restaurants. This is because, for restaurants, citations are not only a local SEO signal but also a solid traffic source.

Sites like FourSquare, Yelp and Top4 drive significant views, direct calls and traffic, and they’re particularly strong in queries for restaurants. For this reason, I can’t recommend strongly enough that you personally claim and control your FourSquare, Yelp and Top4 advertising, ensuring that:

  • they contain up-to-date information.
  • are complete with a favourable image.
  • and that all reviews are responded to in a timely manner.

Beyond those big players, it’s often more cost- and time-effective to hire a citation firm to handle the rest. I’m not going to list any favourites here, but Bright Local has done a fairly solid comparison guide.

It doesn’t (and can’t) take into account every feature of every company in the list, but it’s a great starting point, and I recommend looking at what each company is doing, comparing costs and making your own decisions as to the best fit for you.

Restaurant SEO tip #3: Get your menu in the results

Way back in 2014, which seems like a lifetime ago in SEO, Google added menu data right into their search results. Google added menu data right into their search results.

Everything you might want to know about a location’s menu is accessible right in the search results.

The purpose of showing up in search results is not to get traffic to your site but rather to drive business through your door. If this gets you extra real estate in the results, it’s inherently good.

At present, this data is apparently being pulled from third-party sites, which has a significant downside. If you don’t keep your menus updated with these third parties, or if they take a while to update their cache, Google will display outdated information.

What’s important to remember here is that you NEED to keep your listings consistent. If your menu appears on sites like Yelp or AllMenus, it’s imperative that they’re all updated as quickly as the menu on your site and in your location. And why not submit those URLs to Google (for a quick and easy way to do it that gets cached in seconds, just Google “add URL to Google,” and you’ll be given a submission field in the results) as soon as they’ve been updated?

Of course, Google doesn’t like having incorrect data either, and some recently announced markup may just be the answer to this problem. So let’s jump to…

Restaurant SEO tip #4: Schema

If you’re an experienced SEO, you likely know your way around Schema markup by now, but for the neophytes, this is essentially code that’s delivered with your web page (though not visible to humans if you use the preferred JSON-LD) that sends to Google (and other crawlers, of course) details about your page and its contents.

This code can be placed anywhere on the page but is typically placed in the <head>.

Excitingly for restaurant owners, last April the Schema standards for restaurants were changed to add the ‘hasMenu’ property to replace the previous ‘menu.’ The ‘menu’ property only allowed for a URL to the restaurant’s menu, which sends little information to Google regarding the specifics of said menu. But ‘has Menu’ changes that.

Essentially, with this, you are telling Google about the nature and location of your business (it’s a restaurant at a specific address) and other key information (hours and so forth). There are other properties that can be added, should you feel so inclined (the more thorough the better), and you’ll find those on the Schema.org

Assuming you have a menu online, however (and you should), you would definitely add Schema to the menu page to provide absolute clarity as to where your menu is, how items are divided and, of course, the menu items themselves.

There are a variety of options you can select for the properties of the offers (which defines the pricing information) and menu items that I haven’t added here, such as the diets they work for, nutritional information, times specific items are offered and more.

What’s important will vary for each restaurant, but if you had nothing other than what’s included below, you’d be far ahead of most. For the full list of hasMenu properties, you can use, check them out on the Schema.org

Time to get cooking

While these four tips can help you rank better and get you more exposure where you do rank, they are obviously not a magic bullet.

To be a successful business owner with a lot of customers, you need to use and improve your Local SEO Marketing Strategy. Since for today’s standard people will likely to use their mobile phones or computer and look for things they need on Google Search. It is best to have your website on the first page of Google Search and also show good reviews from customers so that people in your area will likely to find and use your service.

So, now it’s time to get to implementing all these things. Some are fast and easy, and some can be very time-consuming. Start wherever you like; the only important part is that you start. Google will appreciate it, and so will your bottom line.


To find out how we can help you with your Website + Marketing, using our unique location marketing platform called Top4, get in touch today www.top4marketing.com.au

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Source: searchengineland.com

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