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Comment être premier avec son restaurant sur Google ?

The importance of increasing restaurant visibility and becoming number one on Google search rankings is becoming more and more prevalent across the hospitality sector. 

If you’ve found this article organically, it's because the article is sufficiently optimised to be placed well on Google search results.

The best practices applied to this very article can also be applied to your restaurant promotion and increase your brand awareness. 

What is SEO? How can being on the first page of Google search results increase your turnover? How can you stand out and improve your restaurant's SEO, without being an SEO expert?

Let’s find out together.

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How to create a simple website for your restaurant to list on Google

The first step to optimising your website is to have a website to optimise.

When creating your website, think about optimising the mobile experience specifically. This is essential because today the majority of searches are made on a smartphone. 

Consumers turn to their phones first to choose the next restaurant to try, and having a poorly-configured site on mobile can quickly drive them away.

What is SEO and how do you become number one on Google?

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the way a website is listed on search engines.

There are several categories of referencing:

Also known as sponsored search. Paid search optimisation methods are grouped under the acronym SEA (Search Engine Advertising). In a nutshell, SEA consists of buying sponsored links to increase your visibility in Google search results.

  • Location

When searching for a Lebanese restaurant on Google, a user will be shown Lebanese restaurants in their area before others. This is called local referencing. 

  • Organic

Organic referencing consists in respecting "good practices" allowing optimisation analysis of your restaurant's website by Google. It is based on free methods, determined by the search engine algorithm. The methods of organic search optimisation are gathered under the acronym SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).

In Google search results, these different types of SEO coexist and each has its own dedicated section.

Why is SEO important for your restaurant? 

27% of clicks of overall user clicks are on the first 5 results, so ranking high on search results is in your best interest as a restaurant business.

On the other hand, the results on the second page have click-through rates close to zero. This is because less than 1% of users visit this second page.

How to be the first restaurant on Google search results

Boosting your restaurant's SEO on Google and appearing at the top of the results is easier than you think.

Eight tips to get your restaurant in the top three listing: 

1. Create your Google My Business page

To gain visibility on Google, it is essential that your restaurant has a Google My Business page.

How to put your restaurant on Google?

  • Register on Google My Business (you will need a Google account)

  • Fill in as many fields as possible on the registration form 

  • Validate your account (an SMS verification will be sent to you)

Once validated, customers can start leaving comments on your business page.

This listing will also allow you to appear in Google Maps results. Platforms such as TripAdvisor are very difficult to compete with when it comes to organic search results because they have a strong reputation. On the other hand, local referencing will still allow you to reach the top 3 under the map.

2. Manage your restaurant's e-reputation (Google Reviews)

Feedback is one of the most important criteria for consumer choice. It is advisable to encourage your customers to leave you reviews. Getting lots of positive reviews on Google is important because the average 'Google Review' rating is one of the first things customers look at. 

Our tips for collecting more reviews:

  • Place a QR code at the exit of the restaurant, to be scanned to give feedback 

  • In the delivery orders, slip a flyer on which you have printed this same QR code

  • Install a tablet on which the customer can directly rate your restaurant during their visit

  • Set up a loyalty programme to collect contact information from your customers and run email or SMS campaigns

How to respond to customer reviews on Google My Business

Follow these 3 steps:

  • Open your Google My Business account

  • Click on "Reviews" in the left-hand column

  • Choose a comment, then add your response directly from this tab.

How do I respond to a positive or negative comment?

A negative comment can, if handled well, become a real opportunity. It is an opportunity to get feedback on something that went wrong, and therefore to improve your service. By writing to you, the dissatisfied customer is offering you a chance to respond and possibly pick up the pieces. A dissatisfied customer who does not leave a comment may remain angry by spreading their negative opinion to their close circle indefinitely.

The importance of social networks

Instagram, Facebook, Twitter: what you do on behalf of your establishment shapes your e-reputation, and this has an impact on the SEO of your site. More visibility on social networks means more "clicks" on your site, and therefore a better positioning on Google.

To add value to your website, you need to produce regular content on your various social networks and link back to your website. Your restaurant's link should always be in the description of your Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook pages so that it can be accessed quickly.

To get into content creation, you could set up an editorial calendar to post stories on a regular basis, or as soon as there is an important announcement to make (new hours, new menu item, etc.). 

This regularity will attract the customer's attention, as a weekly appointment not to be missed.

Just like Google My Business reviews, reviews on social networks have a big impact on your e-reputation. If customers send you direct messages on Facebook to leave a review or ask a question, your responsiveness will be appreciated.

3. Metadata

What is it? 

It’s basically data, about data.

Metadata is information that describes content. It is "invisible" and is used by search engines such as Google to interpret your content. 

These are for example :

  • Title tags (h1, h2, h3)

  • Image descriptions

  • Keyword structure (number, density)

This metadata allows the robots that analyse your pages to understand what the subject is, how the information is hierarchically arranged, etc. It is then used by search engines to determine which searches should include your page in the results.

There are many online tools (some of which are free) that will guide you through good practice. 

For example, the "Yoast SEO" module for Wordpress will help you to :

  • Adjusting the length of page titles and descriptions

  • Include your "target query" in important headings and paragraphs enough times (see next paragraph)

  • Integrate the right number of internal and external links (see tip 8)

  • Identify a lack of illustrations or photos

  • Adopt many other good habits to improve your referencing!

The target query

Also known as the "main keyword", this is the search term (2-3 words) for which you want your article or page to be listed. You can't guess exactly what people will type, but you can think of a query that matches the content of your page, and most importantly, anticipate what you want your readers to type into the search engine before they land on your page.


The keywords you include in your text define the type of traffic you will get. By choosing the right keywords you will be able to target your market, be sure to answer the query.

Before you even start writing on your site, list the words that your potential customers will be looking for, as well as their synonyms. When you write, all you have to do is insert them harmoniously. 

For a restaurant, the choice of keywords should be based on the offer (restaurant or brasserie, sushi or pizzeria, etc.) and the location (city, district).

With enough keywords related to your target query, Google will be able to relay your site to the right audience. 

Our advice:

  • Avoid making a list of keywords without them making sense in a sentence, Google will see this and will not take these words into account.

  • Put the keywords in the order of the query. With the query "Lebanese restaurant in London", for example, use the title "How to open a Lebanese restaurant in London" rather than "London, the perfect city for your new Lebanese restaurant".

  • Work on the long tail: these are the keywords that are less used by internet users but which correspond to the query. Long-tail keywords can account for up to one in two searches on Google, as they are more specific queries. To find these keywords, you can use Google Trends, Answer the Public or simply search for your query in Google and look under "Related Results".

  • If you are not inspired, compare your page to the top result on the query you are targeting. What synonyms and long-tail keywords are used? What is their density? Get inspired and analyse the impact on your positioning.

4. The right URL to appear as the first restaurant on Google

URL of your site 

When creating your website, you should choose an address (URL) that is short and easily identifiable. The words that should be included are the name of the establishment and its location.

URLs of the pages on your site

Once on the site, when clicking on the home page, or on a blog post, your URL will change. For these side pages, creating longer, more specific URLs can give you a higher ranking on search results.

5. Producing content

Google sees your site as relevant when content is posted regularly. You can start by adding a blog section to your restaurant's website, posting articles about upcoming events, or any restaurant-related topic you're comfortable with.

6. Don’t go overboard

Google saturates beyond a thousand words, so be careful not to overload the pages with too much content.

7. Standardise and update online information 

Inconsistencies are penalised by the Google algorithm, meaning the platform could choose to give visibility to another restaurant if its information is more uniform. Provide the same information (hours, address, menus, prices) everywhere. And as soon as there is a change, update your Yelp, TripAdvisor, Google, yellow pages, website, and social networks.

This is a link from other sites back to your page. Multiplying backlinks will make your site stronger, because the more you have, the more Google will assume that you are a trusted site.

This can be done through partnerships, or by inviting bloggers to test your cuisine and then write a blog post describing their experience (with a link to your site).

Now you have all the keys in hand to optimise your website and stand out from your competitors. Be patient—results do not come overnight, but with regular efforts and by receiving positive reviews you will gradually see your SEO positioning change.

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Promouvoir son restaurant - en ligne - gratuitement

Facebook, Instagram, TripAdvisor : découvrez toutes les astuces pour faire connaître votre restaurant gratuitement sur les plateformes en ligne.

En soumettant ce formulaire, vous acceptez de recevoir des communications marketing de SumUp.

Liza Giraud