4 Effective SEO Tips for Bars and Restaurants

Can you use search engine optimization for your restaurant to attract potential customers? While many restaurant owners resort to traditional marketing techniques, it’s essential to leverage the power of digital marketing to speed up the success of your restaurant.

Bear in mind that more and more people use their smartphones to look for a place to dine. They usually enter location-specific keywords in a search engine, and if your restaurant doesn’t show up, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to boost sales.

Is SEO Really Useful for Restaurants?

SEO is a special marketing strategy in that it can make a huge difference for businesses across all industries. A recent survey shows that 3 out of 4 consumers use search engines to help them decide where to eat. What’s more, almost all of them never look past the first page of the search results. Unless you’re already on the first page for the keywords they’re using, then you have a lot of work to do.

Here are four SEO tips for restaurants you should implement right now.

1) Target location-specific keywords

In most cases, people who use search engines to look for places to dine want to find nearby options. In fact, this is where the “near me” keyword originated. People would type something like “seafood restaurant near me” and scour the listings.

When crafting your SEO plan, make sure you use location-based keywords.

By using local keywords that mention your neighborhood, city, or region, you increase your chances of appearing on the local search results. You don’t have to worry about optimizing your content for “near me” keywords. Allow Google to figure out the location of the user and present your website for keywords that include your location.

2) Optimize your Google My Business account

You’ve probably seen Google listings on top of the results page when looking up restaurants, some of which include an excerpt from Maps. These dynamic search results look more compelling, and you’d definitely want your site to appear the same. You can do this by claiming your Google My Business listing.

Fill out all the important details accurately. Make sure you follow the format that Google uses. Again, include keywords in the descriptions to further optimize your listing. You should also claim your local listings on sites like Bing Places and Yelp.

3) Use responsive design

It’s one thing to rank on Google’s first page and another to compel visitors to stay on your site. One study by Search Engine Land reveals that 95% of all smartphone users use their devices to look for restaurants. What’s more interesting is that 90% of them go out and dine in one of the places they see on the same day. You may be missing out on a ton of potential customers if you’re not using responsive design.

By making sure that your website can be accessed easily on mobile phones, you’ll have an easier time presenting your product and business details to potential customers. This also entails improving page load speed since online users are quick to hit the back button when the page doesn’t load within a couple of seconds.

4) Implement Schema Restaurant Markup

You should also take the time to understand how to use structured data. This allows you to build more context for search engines and boost exposure to prospective customers. It can be difficult at first, but take a look at the Schema.org library for restaurants and start implementing the appropriate structured data.

If you can’t do these things on your own, then you always have the option of hiring a developer to help you out. There are also some plug-ins that make this easier if you’re using a content management system.


You can’t afford to rely on foot traffic and traditional marketing techniques alone if you want your restaurant to stay full day in and day out. It’s critical to boost your restaurant’s online visibility to improve branding, inform users, and drive more customers to your location.

These SEO tips for restaurants should go a long way in helping you climb up the rankings, but remember to remain patient. It can take weeks before you see significant improvements, so take things one step at a time and enjoy the long-term rewards of your efforts.