Restaurant owners are usually a bit reluctant to dive head-first into a Local SEO campaign. They don’t understand how search engine optimization can bring more business. This was the case for Vistamar Restaurant and Lounge in City Island, New York.
We initially met in the early spring of 2022, and after a detailed presentation and an hour-long meeting, they didn’t think it was the right fit for them. After months of following up and being confident enough to give a hand-shake guarantee of success in this campaign, we finally got started.
From ZERO to almost 20 Keywords on Page One
We started this SEO campaign with a website the client inherited. Our initial research revealed that their Google rankings needed serious improvement for their services that generate more revenue. Their restaurant website only had one keyword in the top 3 pages of Google. Within six months, we were able to rank Vistamar Restaurant for 25 keywords within the first three pages of Google search and 17 on page one.
Other Key Stats
Keyword Ranking Summary as of March 2023
Search Impressions as of March 2023
Google My Business Calls Tracked as of March 2023
Finding Relevant Keywords
The most important step for a successful restaurant SEO campaign is knowing what search terms will benefit your business the most. We used various keyword research tools, like Google Keyword Planner, for Vistamar Restaurant and Lounge to generate a target list of almost 200 niche keywords.
The exercise allows us to ensure Vistamar comes up for relevant searches for:
- Local restaurants
- Cuisines type searches
- Event space catering for special events
- Special Event celebrations – birthdays, anniversaries, and more
- Prix-Fixed menu options
- Brunch options
This research now helped us also optimize their Google My Business listing.
Optimize for Local SEO
From 2004 to 2006 Google changed the result for local searches or results based on location, for instance, searches of businesses within specific towns and cities. Location-based searching is usually a very good tool for Google Map navigation carousels and other navigation. Add a restaurant website to every restaurant directory reviews website and social networking site is incredibly easy! – step in maximizing for this outcome. Start putting business information on the website.
So as their search rankings continue to increase, their business profile increases in impressions and visibility, which should continue to increase the action on that CALL NOW button.
Why SEO works for Your Restaurant Business
SEO works for your restaurant business because it helps the thousands of people not at home cooking find the right place to satisfy their cravings.
When people search for, let’s say, Peruvian chicken, Google searches for all the local restaurants, blogs, and review sites that have information on this specific product. And if your offer this product, you must be on the first page on mobile devices, Google Maps, and desktop searches.
Once you’re on the top of search engine results, a few things should increase:
- Phone Calls directly from your Google My Business listing
- Traffic and website visitors
- Impressions or views of your restaurant in more search results
- Form submissions for your other services
Invest In a Mobile Responsive Website
In 2023, it’s ridiculous that this still needs to be said, but please make sure your website is mobile-responsive. You’ll miss out on potential customers if you run your restaurant business without a mobile-friendly website.
So even if you’re so busy that you don’t have the time to make one, let people know you care about your brand and provide the right information about your business.
Three Ways A Mobile Website Helps Your Restaurant SEO
- Google prioritizes websites with a great mobile experience and a fast load time. As of March 2023, 60.67% of all website traffic comes from people using mobile devices. Link: Exploding Topics Blog
- A fast-loading, mobile-responsive website helps increase customer satisfaction when visitors visit your site from search engines, can navigate quickly, and submit a request. Google prioritizes this efficiency and increases your rankings.
- Since Google prioritizes restaurant websites with a good mobile user experience, doing this right will lead to a higher click-through rate (CTR). This means more traffic to your website.
Ditch the PDFs for text-based menus
Every day people are setting dinner dates, a girl’s night out, or planning a special celebration. And the first thing anyone does before making a reservation is go to Google, find the restaurant, and check the menu to see what your restaurant offers.
So if someone is searching for a ‘Mexican Restaurant’ or a specific cuisine your menu helps solve this inquiry. Having a PDF as a menu on your restaurant website will make for a bad user experience and you limit conversions for form submission and online ordering.
Restaurant SEO is also great for branding. SEO helps restaurants build their brand and establish an online presence to help them stand out among their competitors.