Local SEO Checklist for Restaurants: Tips and Tricks

February 2, 2023


Are you a restaurant owner looking for ways to attract new customers? Local SEO can help. Local SEO optimizes your digital presence to target local customers, such as within a city or state.

This guide will introduce you to local SEO and discuss how to get started. It will also go through the steps involved in optimizing a Google My Business listing, creating user-friendly content that earns links naturally, building citations, and getting reviews from customers who’ve experienced your business firsthand.


How Can Local SEO Help Your Restaurant?

Local SEO is a powerful tool for restaurants because it helps you rank on search engines, get more customers, and improve your business overall. In 2020, 93% of customers searched locally to find a local business. Moreover, 34% of these customers did a local search every day.

Below are some of the most important benefits of local SEO for restaurants:

  • You can rank higher in Google and other search engines. This means that people will find your restaurant when they search for things like “Italian food near me” or “best place for steak.” It can also help when someone searches for something specific about your restaurant, such as its address or hours of operation.
  • It helps grow traffic from organic sources, that is, people who come directly to the site through search engines rather than being referred by another site like Yelp. This type of traffic tends to be more engaged with what they’re reading and more likely to convert into paying customers.
  • It helps improve your brand’s recognition. When your restaurant’s website starts ranking high on search engine results for local searches and has good customer reviews, people tend to view it as a leading service provider.



Besides all of the above, local SEO can also get you featured in top publications. In fact, getting featured in local publications and news sites is a crucial part of a local SEO strategy. For instance, if you own a restaurant in Greenville, SC, you can get featured in publications like Greenville Journal or Greenville Business Magazine.

However, getting featured in such publications or creating and implementing the right local SEO strategy can be challenging. Hence, it is advised to seek help from a Greenville, SC, SEO company. An SEO agency operating locally will understand the market and know the latest trends to help craft a compelling local SEO strategy that can succeed.


Optimizing Your Google My Business Listing

Next, you should ensure that your Google My Business (GMB) listing is optimized. This free service provided by Google allows businesses to create a profile on the platform, which includes hours of operation and contact information. To create an account with this program, visit https://www.google.com/business/.

Once you’ve created an account for yourself as a restaurant owner or manager, locate the “Locations” tab on the left side of your screen and click it to see all of your current listings across different platforms, including Maps and Search results pages like Yelp! or TripAdvisor and even if there aren’t any current listings yet. If there aren’t any existing listings, click “Add new location” underneath “Locations” to start creating one now.



You should also add customer reviews to your GMB listing. Customer reviews are essential, influential factors that motivate a potential customer to visit your restaurant. In fact, data shows that 88% of people trust online reviews.

For instance, if someone is looking for the best Mexican food in the USA, and a recent customer has left a review praising some Mexican dishes from your restaurant, the person will indeed consider visiting your business.


Curating Targeted Content for Your Restaurant’s Local SEO

The next step to local SEO is curating optimized content for your restaurant’s location. You want to ensure that you’re creating content that will be found by customers searching on Google, Bing, and other search engines.

  • Optimized for Local Search: Most of the time, people are looking for restaurants near them when they search online. So you must create relevant information about your restaurant, such as hours of operation or menu items offered at a given location.
  • Optimized for Mobile Devices: These days, everyone has a smartphone with them all day long, and many people use their phones instead of computers when searching online. Any website built specifically for local businesses must be designed with mobile devices in mind so it loads quickly and easily on any screen size without sacrificing usability or functionality.

Content is crucial for building a robust online presence. When you write blogs or articles on the food industry or about certain dishes, the readers will understand your expertise in the niche. Hence, they will be more likely to visit your restaurant and try a new dish. It will also allow you to attract non-local customers.



Content marketing is one of the easiest ways to achieve increased online presence, as many people can get successful with it. According to a Semrush survey, 91% of global marketers achieved some level of success in their content marketing strategy.


Building and Managing Citations

Citations are a critical part of your local SEO strategy. Citations are links to your business from other websites and are the best way for Google to find out about you. This is because citations come from third-party websites confirming that they exist and are relevant to your industry.

When it comes down to it, getting citations is more important than having an optimized website or even publishing great content on social media. The only way Google knows about these things is if people link back into their database through links in their articles, and those links can only come from one place, other websites.


Build Backlinks With Your Location in Anchor Text

When building backlinks, it’s essential to use your location in the anchor text of your links. This will help Google understand that this is a page about your restaurant, not just some random webpage that does not connect to what you do.



However, it’s also important not to use the same anchor text for every single link on your website because it looks unnatural and can trigger penalties from Google if they see too much repetition. Instead, try mixing up the words used in each link so that they’re different from one another but still relevant enough that users will click through when they see them in search results.

These backlinks are important from the SEO perspective. Google considers websites with more backlinks authentic and industry experts at its services. Hence, it ranks websites with high backlinks above others. According to OptinMonster, backlinks are one of the 3 most important ranking factors on Google today.



We hope this article has given you an idea of how local SEO can help your restaurant. It’s important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to local SEO, as every business has different needs and goals. This checklist provides a starting point for your online marketing strategy that will allow you to get started immediately without having any previous knowledge of the subject matter.


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