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Local SEO for Restaurants: How to Rank for “Near Me” Searches

how to rank for near me searches

We’ve all be there. You’re out and about, wondering where to eat dinner. You don’t want to go far, but you also don’t know what restaurants are nearby. So, you pull out your smartphone, type in “restaurants near me” and wait to see what pops up.

If you’ve ever found yourself in this exact scenario, you’re not alone. In fact, there are over 6.2 million “restaurants near me” organic searches per month, and that number doesn’t even include “pizza near me” and other unbranded food searches. Because of the popularity of this type of search, it’s imperative that your restaurant do everything it can when it comes to local SEO (search engine optimization). In today’s blog, we’ll discuss how to rank for “near me” searches.

Optimized Local Business Listings

In order to rank for “near me” searches, the first thing you need to do is make sure your restaurant is claimed and verified on the following seven directories: Google My Business, Bing, Yelp, Apple Maps, Facebook, Foursquare, and Trip Advisor.

But it’s not quite that simple. If you want to rank in the local “three-pack” (i.e. the top three results that are listed when someone types “restaurants near me” into Google), you’ll need to have consistent and accurate information across all of these directories. To do so, make sure the address, restaurant name, business hours, phone number, and website match identically across all of these platforms.

Remember, when it comes to local SEO for restaurants, the more information you list, the better. Provide as much information as you can in each directory. Do you offer happy hour discounts? Is your brewery kid-friendly? Do you offer food delivery and takeout? This additional information can help you rank higher, as can having high-quality photos on each platform.

Online Reviews

The second piece of the local SEO for restaurants’ puzzle is online reviews. If you’re wondering how to rank for “near me” searches, you can’t overlook the importance of online restaurant reviews.

Your overall review score, review volume, and the frequency with which you reply to customer reviews are all factors that determine whether or not you’ll rank for “restaurants near me” searches.

While online reviews are somewhat out of your control, there are steps you can take to help yourself succeed in this area. Try to encourage your customers to leave reviews, not just on Google, but on Facebook, TripAdvisor, and Yelp. When customers do leave reviews, be sure to respond quickly and professionally.

Why respond? Studies have shown that 33 percent of customers who receive a reply to their negative restaurant review end up changing their review to be more positive. There is also evidence that the faster you respond to reviews, the better you’ll rank moving forward, which means it might be in your best interest to turn on notifications for every new review that comes in across these platforms. Running a successful restaurant is hard, which is why McDonald Wholesale is so dedicated to providing restaurant marketing services and menu analysis in addition to offering the highest-quality wholesale food products. Our dedicated staff has nearly a century of experience helping restaurants throughout Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and California. Contact us today at (877) 338-7593 to become a customer for life.

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