When it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner time, people begin looking for food options. Those pressed for time (or just hungry) head to a search engine to find a restaurant, bar, or café near them. Learn how you can use SEO and get more business for your full-service restaurant, fast food joint, bar, or cafe.
What is SEO?
SEO, short for Search Engine Optimization, helps get your restaurant website to appear in search engine results when people are searching for keywords like “restaurants,” “happy hours near me,” “takeout” and other terms people enter when searching for coffee, breakfast, lunch, or dinner dining options.
What Does SEO for Restaurant Websites Cost?
Help from a pro costs between $500-750 (or even more per month), and your actual cost will depend on the scope of the SEO engagement.
Most restaurants have a small budget and need a more affordable solution. If you have some time to work on your marketing, consider a DIY SEO option for restaurant owners like the one offered by Jess. For $50 per month, you get step-by-step instructions that show you exactly how to optimize your restaurant website yourself, analytics tracking that measures your results, and access to “Office Hours” and webinars to get tips from our SEO experts.
Talk to an SEO Expert About Your Options
How Does SEO Make My Restaurant Website Rank Better?
SEO involves making many small changes to the pages on your website that makes them more likely to rank higher in the search engines. When users type in keywords, they are really asking questions. Pages that answer these questions better, load quickly, securely, and without errors, and are viewed as more trustworthy by search engines are more likely to rank higher.
In theory, it’s pretty straightforward, but it takes time to SEO your bar, café, or restaurant website. It involves:
- Making sure your current website thoroughly describes the food, drink, and dining experiences you provide
- Improving user experience throughout your website
- Showing your website is authoritative and trustworthy
- Developing new content on your website that describes your restaurant and dining options in more detail or that educates your prospects and customers about what’s new
The above outcomes are achieved through SEO tactics called on-page optimization, technical SEO, link building, and content development.
On-page optimization involves knowing what terms people use when searching for a restaurant and making sure you use these words and phrases on your website. The first step is keyword research which helps you know exactly what people are searching for and how often. “Restaurants” is the most popular keyword phrase people search for when they are looking for food and “food near me” is the second most popular. It also helps you know about more specific keywords people use to search. For example, people search cuisine types. Searches for Chinese food, sushi, and Mexican food top the list of restaurant searches. People also search for fast food, outdoor dining, takeout, catering, and breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. Next, you place keywords on your page in your site’s title tag, meta description, page text, and headings. While there are plenty of keyword research tools and articles on how to title tags, you will get better results and save hours of time by hiring an SEO pro or leveraging a DIY SEO platform with suggestions specifically for restaurants, like Jess.
Technical SEO makes sure your site is fast, secure, and can be crawled by search engines. Google’s Page Experience update scheduled to go live in June, 2021 makes technical SEO a bigger priority than ever. Contact your web developer if your site isn’t secure or if it seems slow. They should be able to help you speed it up. You can also improve site speed yourself by editing images of your restaurant or food so they are as small as possible as well compressed and optimized for use on your restaurant website.
Most restaurant websites have just a few pages. This doesn’t give you much space to tell search engines or your prospects much about your food or dining experience. If this describes you, consider adding some new pages to your website. Consider creating separate pages for breakfast, lunch, and dinner dining options. If you offer outdoor dining, create a new page and be sure to include plenty of photos of your outdoor dining area. Offer catering or takeout? Create a separate page to optimize for these services.
Do you need help with your restaurant’s SEO? Contact us for a free 30 minute consultation. We’re here to help you.