5 Local SEO Tips for Restaurants to Get Customers from Search

publication date: Mar 11, 2024
author/source: Nicholas Rubright


When it comes to marketing, many restaurants can pick up a good number of customers based on their location and grow into something where word of mouth brings in enough business to satisfy.

However, if you're looking to increase sales for your restaurant, SEO is a great channel for this.

When customers find you through search engines like Google, they trust you and are more likely to make a purchase if they found you through an advertisement.

In this article, I'll go over 5 things you can do for your restaurant to capitalize on local SEO to drive more sales.

1. Optimize your Google Business Profile and update it weekly

Your Google Business Profile is probably the most important part of your local SEO strategy because when people search for food, most are doing so with “near me” type searches in Google Maps.

The results that show up in Google Maps are pulled from data listed on Google Business Profiles, so it's important to make sure your profile is completely filled out.

This includes things such as:

Once your profile is set up, you want to make sure you follow these steps each week to keep it active and up-to-date for when potential customers find it through search.

At the very least, you'll want to:

Profile activity is a ranking factor, so by following these steps each week for your Google Business Profile, you'll be amplifying the impact of these factors.

2. Be proactive about asking for reviews

Reviews are one of the most powerful local SEO ranking factors for your Google Business Profile.

Not only that, but impactful reviews can be a driver of conversions and influence more users to take action, such as requesting directions or placing an online order from your profile.

When it comes to getting reviews for your restaurant, there are a few ways you can be more proactive about it:

If you aren't getting good reviews, consider making improvements. Things like improved customer service or creating a better atmosphere with (properly licensed) background music can make a big difference in the types of reviews you're getting.

3. Win on technical SEO

The details of technical SEO can get extremely complicated. If you're interested in diving into that, I published this website SEO guide that details everything related to technical SEO and content for SEO.

For most restaurants, however, you can clean up your website easily by running an audit in software like Ahrefs or SEMRush.

With these tools, you just put your URL in and they generate a report that shows you everything wrong with your website from a technical standpoint, like this:


By working through these issues for your restaurant's website, you're fixing things that your competitors probably aren't looking at, which will give you a leg up against your competitors.

This is especially true if you can make your website faster or better looking than your competitors as this provides a better experience to internet users and reduces your bounce rate, a negative ranking factor.

4. Add more content to your website

Providing more content on your website helps potential customers make a decision about whether or not they want to eat at your restaurant.

For example, customers who are more health conscious may want to view nutrition information before they visit your restaurant.

So they might search something like “YOURRESTAURANT Nutrition Info”, and you want to be there for them when they do this.

They may also want delivery, so taking orders on your website or linking out to Uber Eats or DoorDash on your website might benefit. For this, they might search “YOURRESTAURANT Delivery”, so having a dedicated page for this might help.

You can dive more into what pages you might want to build on your website by conducting branded keyword research. This will help you uncover what keywords potential customers might be using in Google to make their dining decisions.

5. Get local websites to link to you with local digital PR

For restaurants, the best links come from local websites.

This is because Google uses local backlinks as a ranking factor in local SEO.

The best local links are those you can earn from local news sites or blogs. You can do this in a number of ways:

There are tons of other local link building tactics you can use to get local backlinks, but these seem to be the most impactful for restaurants.

In general, link building is usually the hardest part of SEO because it's a lot like PR and less about the technical work, so if you prefer, you can outsource this part to a local link building agency.

Nicholas RubrightNicholas Rubright is the Founder & CEO of Ranko Media, an SEO agency that offers local SEO services to restaurants. Through Ranko Media, Nicholas has worked on SEO projects for companies like Webex, Binance, and Twilio. He has also written about restaurant marketing for Toast, Modern Restaurant Management, and Restaurant Report.

Previous | Next