As a restaurant owner, you already know that word-of-mouth is one of the most effective forms of marketing out there.
Consider local SEO an extension of your word-of-mouth marketing, online. That said, many restaurants lack an SEO plan, let alone a local SEO plan when it comes to their marketing efforts.
But I’m here to help. Enhancing your local online presence isn’t as daunting as it may seem. Read on to learn more.
What is Local SEO?
To put simply, local SEO (search engine optimization) is a way of optimizing your online presence for people searching for businesses nearby. For example, how many times have you searched for restaurants nearby while visiting a new city?
When people search for places to eat on their phone, as a restaurant you want to make sure you appear here:
And when people search for places to eat on their desktop, you want to make sure you appear here:
With a clear (and accurate!) online listing, you give Google obvious clues to your physical location, who then in turn shows your business to prospective customers.
Let’s get started.
1. Start a website
I hope I don’t need to convince you why you need a website. If you’ve yet to launch a website but you’re eager to have one (but don’t know where to start), consider SquareSpace for your needs. With easy-to-use dashboards and clean design themes to work with, turnkey-style websites makes launching and maintaining a website very easy to operate. With a website you can tell customers a little bit about who you are, add hours and contact information and share your menus.
2. Claim your Google Page
Google seems to know a lot, don’t they? They know your business exists at certain cross streets, and they might even take a guess that you accept credit cards and have a wheelchair accessible entrance. That said, Google doesn’t know everything, which is why they need your help.
Check out your business on Google maps and claim your business listing. Walk through Google’s process to verify your business, and voila! You can upload pictures of your business to Google, add normal and holiday operating hours, your website, phone number and much more. By verifying your business you can even respond to reviews that may have already been left, in addition to reviews that come in going forward.
3. Check for consistency
The key to really making your Local SEO shine is to make sure your business information matches all of the other directory listings out there. Google’s algorithm works by verifying information with other sites, so if other websites corroborate business information like address, phone number, website and more, it helps to validate your listing and bumps it up in local search results.
Utilize a tool like Moz’s local listings search to help you discover websites that might have out-of-date information for your business: https://moz.com/local
4. Get reviews!
The more (good) reviews you get, the better. Highly-rated businesses will get a bump in some results and enhance the look of your listing. Encourage guests to review you online when they’ve had a good experience—word-of-mouth marketing is still the best when it comes to acquiring new business!
5. Add Google posts
With Google posts you can share events and other special promotions with your local audience! They’re easy to create and will show up alongside your listing on Google maps.