How to Improve Your Restaurant’s SERP Rankings

Search engine results pages (SERPs) are an SEO term that refers to how well your website and web pages rank on Google. Improving your restaurant’s SERP rankings can help generate more online visibility and subsequently more online sales. 

Six Tips to Improve Your Restaurant’s Local SERP Rankings

There are no cookie-cutter approaches to SEO. Ultimately, achieving good SERP rankings should involve understanding your local restaurant industry and the online patterns of your ideal customers. However, with that said, there are common SEO tasks that can be done to improve SEO. Here are six tips to help your restaurant’s local SERP rankings. 

1. Create a Responsive Website

A website that loads slow, does not respond well on mobile devices, and is not friendly for users can be highly penalized by Google. On the other hand, a responsive, mobile-friendly site with fast load times can help with SERP rankings. Additionally, key performance indicators (KPIs) such as bounce rate, conversion rate, and average time on site can improve with a more responsive website, which further helps with local SEO rankings in Google. 

There are many factors that affect the responsiveness of your website. This notably includes your hosting provider. Reputable hosting providers such as BlueHost or Hostinger can help ensure a responsive site. The size of your images may play a role in your site speed as well. Improving your backend development to ensure mobile friendliness can help as well.  

2. Focus on Local Keyword Terms with Commercial Intent

Commercial intent is key when it comes to keywords for restaurants. This means the searcher has intent to purchase when they search the term. The best keywords and keyphrases for your restaurant depend on the specifics of your restaurant (type of restaurant, your location, etc.). Let’s take an Italian restaurant in Miami as an example. Here are keywords that may be worth targeting:

  • Best Italian dishes in Miami
  • Italian restaurant in Miami
  • Best Italian food in South Florida
  • Lasagna five star Miami
  • Margherita pizza in Miami, FL

Keep in mind, these are very broad keywords listed above and may not necessarily be ideal for your restaurant. Of course, your specialty will play a role in your keywords list.

3. Create Valuable, High-Quality Content

Content gives your restaurant more opportunities to rank well within Google and drive (free) traffic to your website. However, low-quality content that is not optimized for SERPs may simply waste your time and effort, especially if it is not targeting relevant and attainable keywords that have commercial intent. It is important to learn what your readers (and ideal customers) are searching for online and how you can provide them with valuable content. 

A successful content marketing campaign should also help keep more customers for your restaurant long-term as well. This particularly the case if you can continually remarket to them through email campaigns and social media posts, promoting all of your new content. 

4. Improve Your Social Media Presence

Social media is a great way to generate more traffic to your site, raise brand awareness, and improve your brand’s reputation (among other benefits). While many know this, all too few are aware that social media improves restaurant SERP rankings as well. 

Google uses social media indicators to determine how well your website ranks. The accumulation of social shares via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can signal to Google that your content is respected. Subsequently, you should have a sound strategy to encourage and promote social sharing of your restaurant’s content. This includes written content as well as images and videos of your food, beverages, atmosphere, and more. 

5. Ensure There Are No Technical SEO Errors

Technical SEO errors can negatively impact your restaurant’s SERP rankings. Improving your rankings may require a detailed technical SEO audit and cleanup process. This may include:

  • Fix broken internal links
  • URL structure optimization
  • Optimize structured data
  • Use redirects properly
  • Remove broken links
  • Address redirect chains
  • Create meta descriptions
  • Use HTTPS instead of HTTP

Of course, there are many more possible improvements that can be made. There are beginner guides and checklists to help you get started, or you can work with a technical SEO professional. 

6. Conduct Honest (White Hat) Backlink Outreach

The importance of backlinks for improved SERP rankings is widely debated. Most SEO professionals believe that the role of backlinks have decreased over the past decade. This is because Google understands they are all too often paid for and spammy. However, with that said, they still have a role. Quality, relevant backlinks that are acquired the right way serve as good references in Google eyes, helping your restaurant’s SERP rankings.

Guest posts to industry-relevant sites is a great way to acquire backlinks that point back to your site and help increase your website’s domain authority (and subsequently its online visibility). Directories can also be an effective (and easy) way to get great backlinks as well. You should also encourage social sharing of your blog posts as much as possible, which can help create backlinks without ever having to ask. 

Good SEO and optimal restaurant SERP rankings requires patience and consistency. With these tips, you can put together a plan that works for your restaurant. Stay consistent and trust the results will be there over time. The good news is once you achieve good SERP rankings, they are usually long-lasting.