7 Local SEO Tips for San Diego Restaurants
Focusing on local search is an incredibly powerful way for San Diego restaurants to gain traffic and a competitive edge over other restaurants in the area. Recent studies show that almost half of all Google searches are looking for information in the local area and restaurants that fail to cater to this demand are practically invisible online.
But how might you need to know about local SEO for San Diego restaurants?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is about improving your online presence and generating organic traffic from search engines like Google. While there are many search engines, we will keep things simple in this article by focusing on Google, and how a San Diego restaurant might improve the visibility of their website through local SEO.
In this article, we take a look at some local SEO tips for San Diego restaurants and also why local SEO is important for attracting new customers in your local area.
Watch this video to learn about the Digital Authority Partners approach to local SEO!
Why SEO is Fair and Necessary for San Diego Restaurants
SEO is a way for Google to determine what websites deserve to be ranked higher than others for specific search queries that users enter into the search engine. Without SEO, it would be easy to manipulate these results. That is to say, restaurants might be ranked depending on the size of their website as opposed to the relevance and quality of their restaurant - which is obviously unfair.
This is why and how SEO keeps the system fair and rewards restaurants for the hard work they put into their websites and focus on local SEO. It should go without saying the higher you rank on search, the more visitors your website will receive, and the more you focus on local SEO, the more Google will recommend your restaurant to people in the San Diego area.
This should also be good news for anyone reading this article. You see, most restaurants in San Diego do not focus on local SEO as much as they should and this presents an opportunity for you to gain a competitive edge by optimizing your website, content, and other listings so that people in the local area see your website first!
The Difference Between SEO and Local SEO
However, in order to make genuine progress, it’s necessary to know the difference between the different types of SEO. Because search engine optimization is a broad field that takes hundreds and thousands of factors into account. As a rule, standard SEO targets users that perform searches from all over the world, while local SEO is more focused on users in the immediate surroundings of your business.
For example, when an online user performs a search for “best restaurants in San Diego”, Google will only list restaurants in San Diego among the search results. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to have references to the local area on your website, content, and listings because this lets Google know that your business should be selected as one of these results. As for how you reference the local area, there are many ways to do this and that’s what we will talk about now.
1. Use Keyword Research to Gain Traction on Search Engines
Google pulls information from your website and listings with “keywords” being the focus of the algorithms that guide this process. While you might have keywords on the website etc already, it’s important to note that Google places more importance on local keywords when the user is using local SEO search words and terms. For instance, if a user is searching for a “San Diego Restaurant”, Google is going to ignore all restaurant listings outside of San Diego and prioritize listings that specific “San Diego” over those which might only include the word “restaurant”.
While a San Diego Digital Agency will use various software to compile a list of local SEO keywords, you can begin this process by taking a look at the listings of your competitors and paying attention to whatever written content they might be using. Either way, optimization, and keyword placements are crucial when it comes to using local SEO to gain traction for a San Diego Restaurant. It’s also worth investing much time and effort into the research stage of this process to ensure you are using keywords that will actually work rather than having to go back to the drawing board later on for your business.
2. Create Local Content for Your Website
Writing about broad issues or general topics is great but you want to get more specific to attract a local audience online. For instance, rather than try to be the authority on a particular product or service, you can focus on being the authority in your local area for this same product or service. It’s possible to do this by creating content and resources that relate to your local area and on-page signals that will let search engines know that you are the business they need to know about in town.
For example, a San Diego Local SEO Agency will often create blog posts like “5 Top restaurants in San Diego” or “Top Greek restaurants in San Diego” and then include a link to specific businesses that might benefit from the traffic these posts attract. Now, that’s not to say you should advertise other restaurants on your website but you might post something like a list of “Things to Do in San Diego” so the items on your list are not in competition with your own business. It’s a great way to provide valuable content to readers while still benefitting your business.
3. Create a GMB Listing for Your San Diego Restaurant
Google My Business (GMB) is essentially a profile that you can create for your business and free advertising for restaurants in San Diego. You can include the location and opening hours of the restaurant but also the menu and reviews from past customers. This makes GMB an absolute necessity for every restaurant and a way to attract new business while converting this traffic into paying customers.
That being said, you must take time to complete this profile the right way and a San Diego SEO Agency is often the best port-of-call for those who wish to get this right the first time around. GMB is a great place to post recent photos of your food and dining area and maybe even the friendly staff.
Also, the reviews are essential, for the quality of these reviews will often determine whether these visitors become guests or move on elsewhere in search of another listing that seems more attractive. This is somewhere you should try to include the keywords mentioned above, for Google pulls information from your Google My Business and the relevance of these keywords will be highly important for your prominence on both search results and Google maps.
4. Perform a Local Audit on your Website
Audits might sound rather complicated to some but this is actually just a way to test the accuracy and effectiveness of a website. While the software will enable a San Diego restaurant to audit their own website, an SEO agency is much quicker and better able to examine the findings of these audits. As for what they check, an audit will look at the tags, titles, and keywords on your website and determine whether the site is sufficiently optimized or not.
They can even check the accuracy of the information in your GMB profile and search rankings and compare your overall standing to that of your competitors. While great care may have been taken in the construction of this website, local SEO is an ongoing effort and something which needs to be adjusted and changed from time to time. With this in mind, performing an audit can ensure a restaurant website is on the right track and receiving more and more traffic as opposed to sitting idle or disappearing into the deeper pages of Google.
5. Building a Powerful Network of Internal Links
Every last page and blog post on a website needs to be optimized for local search and this includes titles, tags, and meta descriptions, but Internal linking is also incredibly important. In fact, internal linking supports navigation on the website and assists with information hierarchy but also distributes authority to your most important pages which is exactly what you need to do for optimizing a restaurant website for local search.
While this is another job that you might need assistance with from a San Diego Local SEO Agency, it’s a vital element of local SEO. As for the process, it’s necessary to ensure there are no broken links and that you create as many internal links on various web pages or blog posts, etc to some of the most important pages on your website.
6. But Don’t Forget the Power of Backlinks
High-quality inbound links are incredibly powerful for local SEO as each of these links tells Google that your business is one that people in the area need to know about. These links increase the authority of your website and a local SEO agency is especially good at finding these kinds of links. Just so you know, sponsorship and guest blogging are great ways to build such links but you should also ensure the restaurant is featured in local listings, networking sites, and social media accounts. Google also pays close attention to the content shared on social media and this type of content holds more weight than ever when it comes to algorithms. This is why you should try to share as much content as possible on social media and know that search algorithms account for these shares/posts/links as a sign of authority.
7. Know the Power of Online Reviews for Local SEO
Do you know what attracts more new customers to a San Diego restaurant than anything else? Online reviews! Yes, we know the power of word-of-mouth and the importance of feedback but many businesses fail to implement a system that helps highlight their customer reviews. You can do this by simply asking customers to leave a review in person or sending a follow-up email if you have a means of collecting their email addresses.
But why are reviews so important for local SEO? Google loves reviews and places a lot of authority on these reviews in terms of search algorithms. It shows your business is authentic. This means that the number of reviews and quality of your reviews can improve the visibility of your website.
You should also know that building a portfolio of online reviews is necessary for your social media accounts, Google My Business, and other online listings such as Yelp and Trip Advisor. The truth is, Google will usually recommend one listing before another based on these reviews which are essentially looked upon as a credible source of quality, value, and relevance in the local area.
We mention only Google in this blog post to keep things simple but people search for restaurants in San Diego on many different platforms including Bing, Yelp, and Apple Maps. This is why you need to apply the same efforts and focus to other search engines and anywhere else that you might gain some online traction.
Local SEO is also a cost-effective way to gain traffic and customers and is often more effective than paid adverts. Either way, SEO is at the heart of digital marketing and local SEO is arguably the best way to attract the attention of locals and new customers to your San Diego restaurant or any other business in the same area!
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