How Digital Marketing Can Help Your Austin Restaurant Business

The restaurant industry in Austin isn’t less than a battleground with the daunting competition. And your best bet to win here is through a prominent online presence.
Today, 90% of visitors are most likely to research a preferred restaurant online before visiting it.
So, you need to have a well-thought-out local SEO strategy for your restaurant business.
Let’s get the ball rolling with:

12 Ways Digital Marketing Can Help Grow Your Austin Restaurant

1. List Your Restaurant on Major Review Sites

A crucial digital marketing strategy for your restaurant business is creating business listings.
Today, consumers research restaurant reviews more actively than any other industry.
So, by listing on these platforms, you earn your business better online visibility. And positive reviews on these listing sites allow you to attract inquiries and visits.
Further, these efforts also add to your local search presence.
Some important review sites for your restaurant business include:

Crucial tips to follow:

  • Keep your listings comprehensive.
  • Follow NAP consistency (Name, Address, and Phone No.) across your listings on several platforms.
  • List all your outlet locations, type of cuisines, and the menu
  • Decorate the profile with food, restaurant, and staff images
  • Mention and keep your restaurant timings updated
  • Use the description field to highlight your restaurant USPs (Rooftop, Specialities, Chef Ratings, etc.)
  • Attract positive reviews and ratings on these listings

Further, if you wish to attract online orders to your restaurant business, partner with apps like:
GrubHub, Doordash, UberEats, Postmates, and other local food-delivery apps in Austin You can also utilize the advertising and sponsoring opportunities on these platforms.
Here’s an example of a restaurant listing on Yelp:

2. Establish a Comprehensive GMB Profile for Your Restaurant

A significant part of your local SEO strategy includes updating your restaurant’s Google My Business profile. Here are some tips:

  • Follow the name, address, and phone number consistency across your site and other listings.
  • Add several location outlets to the GMB profile.
  • Define your type of cuisine and other facilities (outdoor seating, specialties, etc.)
  • Add your restaurant business hours for each day of the week.
  • Add the image of your menu, specialty food items, the interiors, venue, staff, ambiance, etc.
  • Add a 150-200 words description defining the key highlights of your restaurant. This can include your location, specialties, ambiance, price approximation, etc.
  • Request your happy guests to rate your food and experience on Google

Here’s an example of a restaurant displaying comprehensive business details:

3. Attract Traffic, Popularity, and Conversions from Social Media

Unless you live in isolation, you might be well aware of the potential of social media for restaurant businesses.
Today, Instagram draws the highest engagement rate and conversions to restaurant businesses. The app users actively engage with the image and video content from restaurants.
These generally include mouth-watering food images and restaurant ambiance videos.
Facebook and Twitter are other platforms that draw you high value for restaurant marketing.
Twitter users more actively engage with restaurant industry tweets or ads than any other industry.
Further, food-related video content on YouTube is earning the highest engagement ever.
Today, restaurant businesses are leveraging social media up to their best potential.
Here is an example of How Burger King attracted fans with its #ScaryClownNight commercial:

Some Social Media Restaurant Marketing Tips:

  • Use quality visual content, including images and videos of food, ambiance, venue, events, etc.
  • Promote offers and coined hashtags on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook
  • Use social media ads platform for targeted reach.
  • Promote video commercials on social media platforms to attract huge engagement
  • Boost your content’s reach by sharing it on social media. And always time your tweets and posts (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner)
  • Collaborate with social media influencers
  • Use features like Stories, Reels, Feed Posts, Tweets, Snaps, Rich Pins, Short Videos, etc. on respective platforms

Here’s an example of a restaurant with a rich social media profile:

4. Reach Your Restaurant Audience with Geo-targeted Paid Ads

Today, a significant amount of visitors switch to the internet to find a preferable restaurant experience. Moreover, they actively interact with engaging restaurant ads and offers.
So, you must utilize several paid ad platforms to earn quick leads and visits for your restaurant.
You can capture search audiences in Austin with Google Search Ads, Text Ads, and Display Ads.
You can set the Geographic Targeting based on your location. And you can further segregate the audience based on keyword sets, interests, behavior, etc.
Also, create a lookalike audience similar to your customers and retarget your site visitors. These visitors have a 60% to 70% higher probability of reacting with remarketed ads.
Moreover, display ads with mouth-watering food images attract higher engagement.
Also, leverage visual social media ads on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.
Further, you can gain customers from 2-minute and short-form video ads on Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat.

5. Optimize Your Restaurant Business Site for Better SEO Performance

You must ensure your restaurant business site is engaging and optimized for traffic and conversions.

  • Start with mapping the focus keywords, location-specific, and long-tail keywords in your site content.
  • Place your faith in imagery and media elements. Use mouth-watering food images, highlight ambiance & interiors, display venue & experience. However, make sure to compress these media files and add Alt Text to the images.
  • Be creative with your page Meta Titles and add your page focus keyword
  • Write a 155 character Meta Description that intrigues the audience and explains the page context.
  • Highlight Your Restaurant Menu and CTAs (Reserve a table, Order Online, Book an Event, etc.)
  • Add intriguing and snackable content to your site. Talk enthusiastically about your theme, preparations, food, events, ambiance, etc.
  • Use secondary and long-tail keywords in your subheadings for better relevancy.

Keyword Tool provides long-tail keywords:

6. Draw True Value from Competitor Analysis

The restaurant industry isn’t rewarding any half-baked efforts. The industry is highly competitive, and you need to be passionate about your digital marketing.
A smart hack is to learn from your successful restaurant competitors.
You can use Ahrefs and SEMRush to scrutinize your competitor’s strategies. Draw insights like:

  • The keywords for which your competitors rank and the ones that drive them the highest traffic
  • The landing pages that are drawing high traffic to your competitors
  • The referring domains that are linking to your competitors
  • The type of content that wins them huge engagement and reach
  • The PPC Ads that your competitor is running at the present moment

This exercise helps you highlight various definite keywords, link-building, and listing opportunities.
Alexa provides excellent competitor analysis results:

7. Invest in Food Blogger Outreach and Influencer Marketing

Are you trying hard to earn massive popularity for your restaurant business? Food bloggers and influencers can help!
Food bloggers have almost 4-times as many followers as bloggers writing for any other industry.
So, you must collaborate with popular food bloggers to build relevant popularity for your site. You can request them to visit your restaurant and review it on their blog.
This will earn a backlink to your site, and a positive review will attract your customers.
Moreover, it will act as solid social proof that you can use on your site and social media.
Next, you must also collaborate with relevant social media influencers in the food industry.
They help you build huge engagement by sharing several types of content:

  • They can share your restaurant offers or discount codes for an Austin-based audience
  • They can share a review about your restaurant business in a video
  • You can collaborate with them for a video commercial
  • They can help you grow the reach of your content

You must also turn your customers into mini-advocates for your business. They can share positive experiences about your restaurant on their social media channels. This will encourage their followers to visit your café/restaurant in Austin.
You can use a platform like upfluence to reach out to bloggers and influencers:

8. Focus on Link-building and Content Marketing

You need quality backlinks to enhance your site’s SEO value and authority. Some tips for drawing backlinks for your restaurant business include:

  • Researching link-building opportunities through competitor analysis
  • Producing quality content and promoting it on social media and influencer marketing.
  • Examples:

    • Top 10 Dinner Recipes to Amaze Your House Guests
    • 7 Foods to Try When in Austin
    • Top Austin Restaurants to Visit on (Occasion - National Pizza Day in February/ International Beer Day in August/ National Baked Scallops Day in March)
  • Collaborate with local media platforms for PR. Some sites are kxan, Austin Eater, Texas Restaurant Association, CultureMap Austin, etc.
  • Leveraging guest posting opportunities

Here’s an example of an article that promotes link-building:

9. Build Solid Social Proof for Your Restaurant Brand

Social proof significantly influences their restaurant choices. If your ratings on Yelp grow by half-a-star, you are likely to witness a 27% increase in inquiries.
So, build a solid social proof by following these tips:
Request your visitors to add reviews about their experience at your café on Google. You can also collect their emails for feedback generation strategies and loyalty programs. And you can also offer them some points for the positive feedback.

  • Attract reviews on Yelp, TripAdvisor, UberEats, Foursquare, etc.
  • Highlight the reviews, recognitions, and featured-in posts on your website and listings.
  • Use Mention to set up alerts and check whenever someone mentions your brand online. You can keep a check on negative reviews and even grasp links through this approach.

Here’s an example of a restaurant’s review on TripAdvisor:

10. Aim for the Local 3-Pack Results on Google

A significant amount of your audience starts their restaurant research with local searches on Google.
And Local 3-Pack results are most likely to capture the highest clicks on the SERPs for such searches.
Here is how the Local 3-Pack results for “best multi-cuisine restaurant in Austin” look:
The Local 3-Pack results reserve the top organic positions. And they offer insights like website, map-integrated address, contact info, business hours, and ratings.
You can expect direct inquiries through Local 3-Pack results. And Google builds the Local 3-Pack results based on a company’s GMB presence, SEO power, and social proof.
So, pay attention to these three factors and attract ample positive reviews on your GMB page.

11. Spend Time On Technical Search Engine Optimization

Over 90% of restaurant visitors research online before fixing the place to eat. This is higher than any other industry.
That said, you need to establish a strong online presence for your restaurant. And you need to begin with technical SEO.
Here are some crucial steps:

  • Optimize your site structure and internal links
  • Add keyword-optimized and contextual page URLs
  • Update and submit the optimized XML sitemap of your site
  • Add crucial Schema Markups to allow Google to use your content for quick answers and relevant queries. Google may also add Rich Snippets, which grows your CTR.
  • Set up Google Search Console and Google Analytics. These tools allow you to scrutinize SEO metrics like traffic, bounce rate, keyword performance, penalties, etc.
  • Curtail your site speeds up to less than 3 seconds. Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to assess the load time and errors. You can fix the errors with a developer’s assistance and minify the site. Also, use asynchronous JS loading and Gzip compression.
  • Make sure to offer the perfect site browsing experience to mobile users. Use Google’s Mobile-friendly Test Tool to assess your site’s mobile compatibility. If there are any errors, fix them ASAP.

You can use a tool like SEO Site Checkup to perform a comprehensive SEO audit on your site:

12. Allocate Budget for Email Marketing

The email marketing strategy has been drawing significant benefits for the restaurant business for years.
But, you must make sure you don’t land up in the spam or mass-mailing category.
Instead, you need to build a subscriber list for your restaurant business. You can request emails from your guests or capture emails in exchange for offers on your site.
Further, you must produce high-quality and valuable emails for your audience.
You might want to inform them about your new outlets, menu additions, new ambiance settings, etc.

  • You might want to promote festival discounts or even personalized discounts (on birthdays, anniversaries, etc.)
  • You can send emails to establish a feedback generation channel. This is crucial for your local SEO as well.
  • You can promote loyalty offers for regular visits and also offer referral discounts.
  • Keep them updated about any changes in timings owing to COVID norms.
  • Keep the food lovers engaged with your recipe, food, and experience-related blogs. Email marketing can go a long way in establishing significant customer loyalty. And you would want to attract repeat guests in Austin.

10 Critical Digital Marketing Statistics to Know

  • 90% of users have used the internet at least once to find or research about a local business.
  • More than 64% of marketers employ a dedicated SEO strategy for business growth.
  • 82% of consumers are most likely to check reviews about a local business during their research.
  • In 2019, 67% of restaurants in the US planned to promote through social media ads.
  • Search engines witnessed a 200% growth in “near me” type of searches from 2017 to 2019.
  • 79% of consumers read and follow blogs for food and recipe-related information.
  • 88% of consumers will easily place their trust in user-generated reviews about your restaurant.
  • 68% of digital marketers stated paid advertising is crucial for the success of a marketing strategy.
  • Almost 34% of US consumers use the internet to find a local business every day.
  • 76% of consumers who make an online search for a nearby business visit it within a day.
  • 86% of users use Google Maps to locate a local business.

Importance of Digital Marketing – FAQs

Q1. Can I Grow My Restaurant Business without Investing in Digital Marketing?

Ans. Yes, but only if you have a strong offline marketing channel and high word-of-mouth reach. However, a significant part of consumers in Austin search for restaurants online. And so, your online competitors are most likely to steal your potential leads.

Q2. Do I Need a Professional Restaurant Marketing Team?

Ans. Restaurant marketing is highly competitive. And only an experienced marketing team can help you win recognition and leads through comprehensive digital marketing.

Q3. What Are Some Organic Marketing Strategies for My Restaurant Business?


  • Build a comprehensive GMB page
  • List business on local and niche-based listings (Yelp, Zomato, OpenTable, etc.)
  • Add location-based keywords to site content
  • Establish social media channels and build engagement

Q4. What Type of Content Might Work the Best for My Austin-based Restaurant?


  • Explore the top-performing content for your competitors
  • Mouth-watering food images, ambiance videos, and recipe/cooking videos
  • Blogs related to the best places to eat in Austin, best Christmas treat recipes, food facts, etc.
  • Client feedback and their experience videos

Q5. How Can I Win Guests for My Local Small Restaurant via Digital Marketing?


  • Claim your restaurant business on GMB and attract positive reviews
  • List on local listing & restaurant review sites and food delivery apps
  • Use Image and Video paid ads
  • Collaborate with food bloggers and local PR sites
  • Optimize your site, map location-specific keywords, and use competitive marketing

Key Takeaways

  • Establish your restaurant’s GMB page with ample images, NAP consistency, website, business hours, etc.
  • List your restaurant on Yelp, Foursquare, TripAdvisor, Zomato, UberEats
  • Optimize Meta Tags, location-specific keywords, content, images, site speed, CTAs, etc.
  • Use geo-targeted display ads and video ads on Google and social media
  • Establish feedback generation strategy
  • Collaborate with food bloggers, PR sites, and guest post sites
  • Leverage email marketing to boost customer loyalty and send offers, updates, blogs, etc.

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