Do You Need SEO To Reach Local Customers?

When someone is looking for a restaurant to go to, they often look at reviews to see what other people think about that restaurant.  They do this because it’s impossible to know what’s on the restaurant menu so they’re looking for reviews about the restaurant to decide if they want to go there or not.  On the Google search engine, it’s estimated that about 90% of customers use the search engine to read about food reviews.

Many people looking for a place to eat will look for restaurants in their general local area.  As a restaurant, you want to have the good search engine placement as well as proper keywords on your website so that visitors can find you on a search engine like Google.

Tip #1: Most of your customers are near you

It makes more sense if you own a restaurant to focus on the general local area as this is where most of your customers are going to come from.  If you cater to these customers in the general area of your business, this is where most of the reviews about your restaurant are going to come from.  These reviews will help drive the popularity of your restaurant and bring more people into your restaurant.

In terms of your SEO or search engine optimization, you should work outwards.  You want to target a smaller niche and then work to the larger audience.  You need to get customers right away and then work on getting others to your restaurant. Here are a few ways to do this:

  • Don’t target areas that are outside of the customers range. You want to exclude areas that are outside of the range of your business so you get customers in the local area.
  • Use keywords that are geo-targeted. You don’t want a focus on just generic terms.  You want to use keywords that are specific to the target area we’re trying to reach your audience.
  • You want the page that’s location-specific. If you do this, you can target the geo-location where your audience is, but you can also give them relevant information.

 

Tip #2 (which you probably already know): We Google everything!

Using local SEO is an important tool that you can use to get customers.  In today’s world, customers are using search engines like Google like never before.  They use Google at the coffee shop, hanging out with friends, and whenever they’re on the Internet.  They use Google for just about everything when they are looking for information.  It makes sense that you should have a good presence on Google so you can get these customers looking at your restaurant when they are looking for places to eat.  In the past, billboards as well as flyers were more effective, but now they are less effective although they can still work in some cases.  People today use a tablet, laptop, or a smartphone to access their information simply because it’s more convenient for them.  They can get recommendations about a restaurant and find the restaurant simply by making a few clicks on Google so it’s only natural that they would use this more often than other methods.

You need to boost the SEO visibility of your restaurant on the search engines like Google.  You don’t want the customer to go to your competition, simply because they found them on the search engine and not you.  You won’t get a loyal following and a steady stream of visitors. If you don’t have a good search engine presence, people won’t be able to find you.  It won’t matter even if you have great tasting food and an amazing restaurant because no one will be able to find you online.

 

Tip #3: Locally promote using social media

Using social media and having a social media account is an important part of your online marketing, but just having Facebook posts for example doesn’t really bring customers to your restaurant because potential customers may not be able to find you on Facebook or Twitter.  Setting up social media accounts can help you but it’s not enough.  You need to use search engine optimization in addition to using social media.  This is because your customers are going to turn to Google first to find restaurants that they want to eat that.  When people are out and looking for a place to eat, they simply look at Google.

To make it easier for searchers who are searching through Google, it introduced something called rich cards.  This shows search results that have reviews from trusted sites such as TripAdvisor.  If your site doesn’t have enough reviews or data to rank in the sites you can get free publicity by using Google’s rich cards.

Google also has integration of a real-time updates on maps that shows people who were searching for a restaurant how to find your restaurant and how many people are eating there.  In today’s world, most of your customers are very tech savvy.  Most people today do things and go places based on something that they read or saw on the Internet.  You cannot rely on the old style offline marketing tactics as they simply don’t work anymore.  You need to reach customers online through online methods such as the Google search engine and proper search engine optimization for your website.

Your competition is already doing SEO.  One study estimates that 92% of customers are reading reviews for local businesses online.  If you’re not using online methods to market your business, you are turning away a lot of customers and you can no longer compete for business unless you have a good search engine presence.  In today’s restaurant scene, restaurants are battling with each other for good reviews.  They are using Facebook to make great posts, leaving nice photos on Instagram, and using SEO strategies on search engines to reach their customer base.  You need a good SEO strategy that showcases the best parts of your restaurant such as the availability of the restaurant and the food that you offer to customers.  This will help you stay competitive in the restaurant industry that is using the Internet to reach customers.

You want to start small and reach the general local area.  The food that you offer and the atmosphere of your restaurant will result in good word of mouth and you’ll get more customers.  Keep boosting your online presence so that customers know about you and can always find you online.  By staying competitive on the Internet through SEO and other methods you get the customers you need to keep your business growing in today’s fast paced world.