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Business, Marketing
30 May 2024

3 Must-Do Local SEO Tips for Pubs & Restaurants

By Kat

4 minutes read

The importance of having a clear and concise strategy for local Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for pubs and restaurants cannot be overstated. Whether you’re situated in central London or a remote village in Scotland, getting your establishment listed in Google Maps’ Local 3-Pack is crucial for ensuring a steady flow of new customers booking tables or dropping in for lunch and drinks.

But First, What is the Google Maps Local 3-Pack and Why is it Important?

When you open Google on your phone and type in “pub” or “restaurant,” you’ll notice that the top results prominently feature a map with three local listings. This is known as the Google Maps Local 3-Pack. Securing a spot in this 3-Pack can significantly increase your visibility and attract new customers, resulting in more bookings and higher foot traffic. 

Keep in mind, however, that search results can vary based on your location. If you’re sitting in your pub and searching for nearby pubs, your own venue might appear at the top, but this doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve mastered local SEO. Your goal is to make your pub or restaurant so appealing to Google that it ranks within the top three positions as often as possible within a 3-mile radius. Here are my top three tips for achieving this:

1. Maintain a High Star Rating

A solid star rating on Google Reviews is crucial. I’ve worked with companies like Reputation and Feed-it-back, and in my recent experience with launching Reputation at Young’s & Co’s 230+ pubs, the top factor in their impact algorithm was the Google Review Star Rating.

The average rating for pubs and restaurants is about 4.3 stars. Falling below this threshold can negatively impact your SEO efforts. Google is unlikely to promote your establishment if it believes you won’t provide a satisfactory experience to search users. Furthermore, customers are less likely to book a table at a venue with a lower rating compared to its competitors.

How to Improve Your Google Review Rating:

  • Outstanding Service: Consistently provide excellent service to all customers. While it’s impossible to please everyone, focusing on overall quality can help.
  • Automated Requests: Enable automated review requests through your booking platforms or CRM system. Include a hyperlink to your Google Review page.
  • Advanced Automation: Use your CRM to send review requests to frequent visitors, possibly offering a promotional incentive.
  • Personal Requests: Ask friends, family, and team members to leave reviews, but stagger these requests to avoid suspicion from Google.
  • In-House Practices: Encourage staff to hand out printed review requests with bills, offer incentives, or provide discounts for on-the-spot reviews.

Aiming for a review rating of 4.4 or higher is essential for ranking well in local searches, especially in competitive areas.

2. Boost Your Google Business Listing

Engaging with and updating your Google Business profile is key to boosting your local SEO. Here’s how:

  • Respond to Every Review: Replying to both positive and negative reviews shows Google that you are active and engaged with your customers. This can be templated for efficiency but should vary slightly to avoid repetition.
  • Regular Posts: Keep your profile updated with posts about offers and events. Repurpose content from your social media channels to maintain consistency.
  • Menu Updates: Regularly update your menu items on your Google Business listing. This not only keeps your information current but also signals to Google that your establishment is active and engaged.

Google prioritises listings that appear active and up-to-date, so regular updates and engagement are critical.

3. Review and Update Your Citations

Citations (mentions of your business on other websites such as TripAdvisor) must be consistent to boost your local SEO. Here’s what to do:

  • Check for Duplicates: Ensure there are no duplicate listings for your business. This is especially important if your pub or restaurant has changed names or ownership multiple times.
  • Consistency Across Listings: Ensure that all your online listings (e.g., Bing, TripAdvisor) have accurate and consistent information. Discrepancies can hurt your trustworthiness in Google’s eyes.
  • Additional Google Listings: If your pub also offers hotel services, consider creating separate listings for each. This approach can expand your reach and improve search results for both services.

A clear strategy for maintaining and optimising citations can greatly enhance your local search visibility.

Securing a spot in Google Maps’ Local 3-Pack is essential for driving new customers to your pub or restaurant. By maintaining a high star rating, optimising your Google Business listing, and ensuring consistent citations, you can improve your local SEO and attract more patrons.

If you need assistance with your local SEO strategy, reach out today and our network of skilled freelancers can help you achieve high ROI while keeping costs low.

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Kat

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