A basic guide to SEO for restaurants


This article is sponsored content brought to you by Engage Media.


1. An explanation of how search engines like Google work

2. An explanation of how SEO for restaurants works

3. Nine questions to ask your SEO provider to figure out if they’re doing anything

It’s quite reasonable to understand what you’re getting when you pay for something. But hundreds of restaurants are paying people to “do SEO” for their websites, without any idea of what that involves. That’s why we wrote this guide to SEO for restaurants, which will also help you understand how SEO helps with your restaurant marketing.

It’s not going to be a technical article because it doesn’t have to be. You don’t need to understand intricate details of how the engine of your car works to drive it. Similarly, you only need to know some basic SEO to make your website work for you. If you understand what search engines are, and how people use them, you can make sure your website is actually working for your restaurant.

A search engine (like Google) is an index. Like the index you see in the back of a book. A search engine uses software called ‘crawlers’ or ‘spiders’, which browse from website to website gathering information about the various pages on each site. That information the crawlers gather is then sent back to the index, where it is catalogued and stored.

When you search the web using Google, you’re actually searching their index—not the web itself.

So when you type some words into the search box, Google rifles though its index at super-fast speed to send you pages it thinks you’re looking for. Those words you type into the box—your search query—are also called keywords. Keywords are words or phrases that indicate what you’re looking for to Google’s index.

Keywords are just one of the more than 200 factors a search engine uses to index the pages on your website. The web crawlers look at words and phrases that are repeated at important places on each page, and use them as a clue. It uses those factors to try and determine the quality of what you’ve published, and whether your page should be the first result or not. Or even whether it should be on the front page, or the second, or elsewhere.


No-one anywhere knows the exact balance of factors Google uses to determine rankings. Anyone who tells you they do know is lying.

So if someone is offering you SEO services, and promising your website will rank in a Google search, there are a few basic questions you can ask to understand what you’re paying for:

1. What specifically are they doing each month that optimises your site?

2. Are they adding new content?

3. Are they changing the pages to make them easier to find?

4. How often do they have to do that?

5. Are they building new links?

6. If so, where are these links coming from?

7. How many keywords is the site ranking in the top 10 for?

8. Is this changing month to month?

9. And if it is, what do they do that initiates that change?

Your current SEO provider should be able to easily answer those in a way that you can understand. They should not have to baffle you with jargon. Any answer they offer that you don’t understand indicates they’re actually doing very little.

If you’re paying someone a monthly retainer for SEO services, you deserve to know what it is they’re doing. Their answer to the nine simple questions above will give you an idea as to whether you’re paying for a result, or just giving someone money for nothing.

To find out more about digital marketing and content marketing needs, go to blog.yourblogposts.com/restaurant-marketing

This great content is produced for members of the Restaurant & Catering Association. Find out about becoming a member here.

Restaurant & Catering magazine and its associated website is published by Engage Media. All material is protected by copyright and may not be reproduced in any form without prior written permission. Explore how our content marketing agency can help grow your business at Engage Content or at YourBlogPosts.com.

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