Crucial Local SEO Mistakes Restaurants Make

On Google, 'Food near me' is probably one of the most searched queries. Around 84% of search queries are with this term. Food businesses never cease to exist because we humans love to eat more. 

Many food connoisseurs travel to different locations to sample various cuisines. This is the nature of the business. While a restaurant's physical location is important, its online presence should not be overlooked because that is where consumers will find your restaurant.

The food industry is booming now more than ever, with tens of thousands of new restaurants opening each year throughout the world.

While commercial ads and hoardings work for established restaurants, small and medium food businesses rely on digital marketing, with local SEO the most significant element. 

When it comes to restaurants, local customers are the ones that first explore the place. Thus, your efforts as a restaurant owner should focus on attracting more local customers

This is because locals prefer food hubs closer to their homes or workplaces than those farther away.

If you own a restaurant and read this, you have come to the right place. Keep reading to learn about the 11 local SEO blunders you're making or failing to notice. Paying close attention to this will assist you in attracting more clients to your restaurant, resulting in more revenue and a better reputation.

1. Not Having A Responsive Web Design

Around 53% of diners use their smartphone to find a restaurant near them, and around 49% use their phones to browse restaurant menus. Having a user-friendly website will help users look for restaurants, even if they do not buy from the website directly.

People don't trust restaurants that do not have a good website and do not help them navigate through their phones. 

  • Use Google's Mobile-Friendly Test to check how compatible and responsive is your website design.
  • Resizer is a free tool that will let you see how your website looks across multiple devices.
  • Have a checklist to ensure your website design is mobile-friendly.

Have a look at this mobile-friendliness check for a Dallas based restaurant’s website


Read: Common Web Design Mistakes that affect SEO

2. Ignoring Blogging

This is perhaps one of the most important aspects of local SEO. If you own a restaurant and do not tap the benefits of blogging, you miss out on new customers. While not many come to your website and read long blogs, it is a great way to leverage to insert location-based keywords. 

Also, doing keyword research and inserting them in your blogs will help you rank better and be more visible to your customers. Blogging is also a great way to keep your customers informed about your restaurant's latest news and activities. Also, remember that keyword research and implementation is not a one-time activity.

Keywords vary with time and trends. So, you have to regularly ensure that you choose the top-ranking keywords to climb the ladder. 

  • Use Quora or Blog Topics Generator tools to find trending ideas to write about while blogging.
  • Keyword and KWFinder are tools you can use to find the best ranking keywords for your restaurant business.
  • Focus more on listicles and review articles as they are better for SEO and useful for readers.

You can use HubSpot’s blog ideas generator along with other keyword research tools to start creating content on your blog for your audience.


3. Missing Out On Updating The Right Information On GMB

Google My Business is a must for any business, especially tapping the local customer base. When people check for some business online, they will first check for its location to see how far or near it is.

Setting up an account in GMB will help you be available on maps and local search results, giving customers great comfort. It also serves as social proof for new customers before they try out your restaurant.

A GMB account also lets customers review and drop feedback for your restaurant, which is great for your business.

  • For restaurants, it is very important to ensure you mention the 'Average cost for two' as many consider this to decide if they should visit the place.
  • Add high-quality and original photos and images so people start trusting your brand.
  • Setting Q&A sessions is a great option to ensure your customers have all their queries clarified.

Have a look at how this Fort Worth-based restaurant, Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen, has an updated Google My Business listing with images and is shown at the top for the local search query “restaurants in fort worth texas.”

Missing-Out-On-Updating-The-Right-Information-On-GMB Google My Business listing with images

4. Not Having A Right SEO Strategy

While in a competitive business, setting the right SEO strategy even before getting into the game is very important. This will keep you prepared to beat your competition in the market.

This is essential for a restaurant business. While preparing your strategy, you read the geographic location of your business, which will let you understand your customers better and their behavior.

Having an SEO strategy also helps you measure your performance easily and see what is and what is not working out for your business.

  • Google search console is a free tool you can use to determine your restaurant's performance on the search engine to create your strategy accordingly.
  • Be informed about the latest SEO trends and best practices by following Moz, SEOBook, and Search Engine Round Table.
  • Create a blogging and social media schedule so you can work seamlessly.

You can use Google Search Console to monitor and optimize your content’s performance on the search results pages, as shown below.


5. Poor Engagement With Customers On Social Media

If social media has a direct impact on SEO is a debatable topic. But it does help improve your customer base and improve your organic search traffic on the internet. It is an essential touchpoint to get closer to your customers.

Good interactions with your customers on various social platforms also help improve your brand reputation, an important aspect of local SEO.

To stay connected on social platforms, create engaging content like contests and other activities to improve your rapport and trust with customers.

Here’s how you can use Sprout Social to schedule your posts on all your social media accounts and track their engagement


6. Missing Out On Implementing 'Restaurant' Schema Markup

Schema Markup is implemented in almost all business websites. You can add this microdata to a web page to display a rich snippet in search engine results.

If you are running a restaurant and want to add the schema markup to your website, you should check out the Food Establishment Category in

There are also many guides to implement restaurant schema markup

Have a look at this Google Rich Results Test for Mansion Restaurant in Dallas that shows the errors that need to be fixed


7. Not Having Enough Online Listing For Your Restaurant

There's no point in having only your website for your online presence. For customers to come in, you have to make yourself discoverable.

There's nothing better than getting your food business listed on various platforms when it comes to a restaurant business. These platforms are the first choice for any customer when searching for food.

Improve your visibility by listing your restaurant in popular restaurant directories.

Notice how having an updated business listing on Yelp with great reviews helps this Dallas-based restaurant, North Italia, be recommended among the top results for the local search query “Restaurants in Dallas, Texas.”

Not-Having-Enough-Online-Listing-For-Your-Restauran restaurants-listing

8. Missing Out On Facebook Places

Facebook has the most number of users with at least a billion accounts. What better than taking your restaurant business there?

Add a Facebook page for your business and mention all necessary information like business name, hours, place, and others.

Google trusts Facebook and considers ranking your restaurant based on your activity because Facebook takes in almost all keywords for a business and has a great domain authority. 

  • Ensure you add all relevant information like restaurant description with keywords, relevant category tags, open and closing hours, link to website, menu, and contact details.
  • Use some guides to understand how to set up a Facebook page for your restaurant before you set up yours. Get inspired from other brands to get an idea.
  • Leverage Facebook Ads to get more discoverable to your target customers.

9. Not Finding the Right Keywords for Your Restaurant

Keywords are the key to getting to the top of any search engine. Once you make your business clear to the search engine by defining your concept, cuisine, and other vale points, it automatically ranks your business if you use the right keywords.

Understanding user search intent is one of the best ways to determine what keywords will work best for your restaurant.

Location-based, branded, and concept-based keywords are the three basic categories you should cover.

  • Use tools like Moz, SEMrush, and Google Keyword Planner to pick your restaurant's right and best-performing keywords.
  • Ensure you add enough location-based keywords like Restaurants near me, 'Restaurants in Sydney', etc. The best way is to determine what geographical locations you would like to cover and add the location name after your keyphrase 'restaurants in' or 'best restaurants in.'
  • Google Autocomplete is also the easiest way to find your keyword terms. You have to type in your search intent, and it will throw up what people are searching for.

10. Not Having Enough Reviews and Ratings

If there is one thing that any new customer blindly trusts before trying out a brand, it is the reviews and ratings. This is a must for any business and especially a food business.

A customer will not even consider opening a restaurant link if it has a lesser number of ratings or fewer reviews or even ratings lower than 3.5 stars.

Ratings and reviews play an important role in impacting your website traffic and online presence.

You can create Google Alerts for your branded mentions to track all your online mentions and email notifications, as shown below.


Read: Reviews & Its Role in Local SEO

11. Ignoring Page Speed

Imagine when someone is very hungry and is looking for a restaurant near them to eat. They find yours and try to check it online before visiting and find the business page takes forever to load.

There is a high possibility that this customer might never return to your website ever again or might even tell his friends and family not to check because they had their patience tested.

While creating a website is important, making it faster by optimizing it is more important. 

Have a look at this Page Speed Insight test for a San Antonio based steakhouse that shows the errors that need to be fixed to optimize their website speed


Key Takeaways

  • List your restaurant across various directories like Zomato, Yelp, and Bing Places that people generally refer to like.
  • Encourage your customers to write reviews and feedback.
  • Have a responsive and interactive web design.
  • Ensure your page speed is as per standards for a better user experience.
  • Add location-based keywords while blogging and blog regularly.
  • Engage with your customers on social platforms to build reputation and trust.
  • Have an SEO strategy for your website and social platforms to ensure the best results.
  • Do a competitive analysis to find the best practices by your competitors.

Rank Your Website

Brice Decker

Brice has been handling marketing projects for more than 12 years and he is providing consulting services on SEO, Social Media and PPC. He has a huge expertise in working at large corporations including Accenture Interactive & PwC Digital Services.


Brice Decker

Brice has been handling marketing projects for more than 12 years and he is providing consulting services on SEO, Social Media and PPC. He has a huge expertise in working at large corporations including Accenture Interactive & PwC Digital Services.