SEO for Restaurants
Make sure your restaurant comes up first when people are searching Google for your type of food in your area. Learn the benefits below, see real sales data from restaurants that have mastered SEO, and get access to the secrets for this marketing channel.
Benefits of SEO
SEO can be confusing. Why is it valuable and worth more than social media?
There are thousands of potential customers that search Google for popular restaurant types every month.
When people are searching Google for terms like “best pizza in Chicago”, they are hungry and ready to buy. When people are on Facebook, they are there to socialize – not to order food. As a result, customers are much easier to convince from Google.
When you rank at the top, you get free exposure to the thousands of people read to buy every month that are searching for restaurants and your cuisine type. You don’t have to pay for every click.
SEO Case Studies
Carmelita's Taqueria & Grill
Marcos opened his restaurant in July 2021, a boutique taqueria that specializes in making products handmade to order, including fresh tortillas made using blue organic corn from Oaxaca, Mexico. Needless to say, Marcos wanted more for his business than paying high commission fees that were robbing him and his team of their hard-earned profits. After switching to Owner in April 2022, he saw his direct online sales skyrocket to over $20,000 a month.
Fortune started her journey to take her long running food truck into a full service, brick and mortar restaurant during 2020, at the height of the pandemic. She knew that it was going to be an uphill battle and Fortune focused her energy on fulfilling her dreams. Through all of the challenges and adversity, Barbie-Q was born. She wasn't sure where to turn for online ordering options and signed up with third party market place apps that charged a hefty 30% commission. Fortune knew that something had to change in order for her to truly thrive and keep her dream business alive. When she found Owner.com in January 2022, she completely revolutionized her online presence and quickly saw her sales grow to over $3,000 in direct sales.
Phillip and Karen opened their business in December 2018. While they had website and an online merchandise store, they had no way to take direct online orders. When the pandemic hit, they had to switch their entire business model and were forced to push their guests to order through third party platforms. This cost them between $3,500 to $4,000 in commission fees which was unsustainable as they had plans for regrowth and sustainability following the pandemic. They knew there had to be another way to maintain their strong online presence while also offering their guests a delightful online ordering experience. Enter in Owner.com
The Restaurant SEO Master Checklist
After powering thousands of restaurant’s online sites, we have it down to a science that we are constantly testing and improving. These are the steps to make your restaurant the most relevant result in Google’s eyes, and show up at the top.
💡 Want us to email you a cheat sheet so that you can save these tips for later or forward them to your web manager?
Does your homepage give customers everything they need to make a buying decision
Reviews, FAQs, interactive menu, quality food photography, benefits of your restaurant, details on your market differentiation.
Are your metatitle and metadescription optimized to include your top keywords
Your meta title and meta description are like the headline that people see for your website on Google. When they include your top keyword like “Italian restaurant in West Hollywood”, they increase the likelihood that you’ll show up for that keyword and that people that typed that in will click on your business.
Do you have a dedicated catering page to come up when people are searching for catering in your area?
If you’re in the United States, there are dozens of people in your area each month that search for catering options. By having a dedicated catering page that has your city name in its title, you are much more likely to show up.
Are your name, email, phone number, and address exactly identical across your website and the top 10 online directories which list your restaurant?
Your name, email, phone number, and address count as “votes” for your website whenever they appear consistently on online directories across the internet. Those are called citations. The 8 most important directories to list your restaurant in are Google Business, Yelp, Facebook Page, TripAdvisor, FourSquare, CitySearch, Yellow Pages, BBB.
Does your website include LSI keywords to clarify what your website is about to Google?
LSI keywords are terms that Google uses to understand the context of the content on your webpage. They are terms that are commonly found on websites that are a similar type of business to yours. For example, on a pizzeria website, LSI keywords could include “gluten-free pizza” or “toppings”. You can use a tool like Clearscope to find out what the top LSI keywords are for your concept or reach out to our team and we’ll check for you.
Is your website load speed in the top 1% of restaurant websites?
According to Search Engine Journal, your website load speed is a top factor used in deciding whether to rank your website at the top of the results. Optimizing your load speed to be in the top 1% is one of the best ways you can give yourself a lasting competitive advantage in both search engine optimization and conversion. Plus, it allows you to offer a better customer experience.
Does your website have other relevant websites linking back to it?
Other websites linking to yours is the single most important factor in determining whether your website ranks at the top. Your website should have at least 10 other relevant websites in your community (maybe the school website from your sponsorship, or a local church) in order to increase your backlink profile and the perceived trustworthiness of your site in Google’s eyes.
Is your menu search-friendly? If it’s a pdf or image file, the answer is no
When people search for your menu items, you want your restaurant to show up first.
But if your menu isn’t search-friendly, Google has no way of knowing which items you have. PDF menus famously can’t be taken into account by search engines.
Do each of your menu items have their own page, so that when people are craving specific dishes on your menu you have a relevant website that comes up?
When you create a page for each menu item – complete with a meta title and h1 title mentioning that item and your city name, then you can almost guarantee that when people are searching for those dishes locally that you come up in the top results.
We recommend creating unique pages for each menu item, complete with a description and reviews that mention those items.
If nothing else, do it for your most popular dishes so that when people near you are craving those items you’re the restaurant that shows up first.
Do you post reviews containing details on each dish to help the customer make a buying decision, since 70% of people making online orders reference reviews?
By posting relevant reviews on each dish of your menu page, you give Google more context on your menu which helps with rankings AND you give potential customers more context on each dish which leads to a greater percentage of them converting into orders.
Do all of your images have the right alt text?
Since Google can’t read images, it relies on alt text. By giving each of your images relevant alt text, you increase the amount of website visitors that you get from Google Image searches and give Google more context to consider which searches to make your webpage show up under.
Is your H1 tag written strategically to include your top keyword?
Your top keyword should always be in your H1 tag, which is the phrase on your website that Google treats with the highest priority. By including your top keyword in that tag, it increases the likelihood that you'll show up first on those searches.
Does your website tell your story in a way that customers can connect to and understand how your restaurant differentiates?
Storytelling is the foundation of building your restaurant’s brand online, and leads to a higher page session duration and conversion date if you do it on your website –– which in turn leads to higher rankings from Google.
Want this all done for you, automatically?
We’ve done this for thousands of restaurants and have it down to a science. Book a demo with one of our restaurant growth specialists to see if we can help you grow sales using SEO.