Master SEO Strategy: The Journey from Online to Customer Profits & Sales

Your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy will help more people find you online, which in turn drives more customers to your physical food service point. It’s all about making your business information visible in all channels.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to how to technically optimize information you’ve created digitally for your business, so it shows up the best way in Search Engines like Google or Bing. The goal of SEO is to help attract website visitors who will become (paying) physical customers and keep coming back. Another important aim could be to have a visible brand easily found on your social media channels.

There is a lot you can do ‘behind the scenes’ to ensure your information works in the best way possible. We recommend that if you don’t have time, or are not confident in doing SEO yourself, you work with an expert.

1.      What makes up SEO, a brief history on how it became so important


SEO has evolved over the past 20 years from basic interlinking between sites, to many other factors that make up a digital footprint and include:

i)              Site technical configuration

ii)             Content length and size of site

iii)            A linking strategy

iv)            How many times a site is visited by your customers via search queries.

SEO at its simplest helps your site to rank better within Search Engines. We use Google as our example search engine here, as it is seen as the largest, most popular, and most evolved around today.

Google uses an algorithm (set of commands) and computer programs called spiders which search (crawl) pages stored by the Google Index (Google’s entire directory of pages like yours). Pages are ranked via content and popularity, plus many other factors, and listed accordingly. Organic SEO is when your content is organically working to show up high in SERPS (search engine results pages), and paid SEO is when you pay to show up higher via an ad or sponsored position. Depending on your aims and size of business, both can be very important. 

2.      Local food service SEO is a specialized form of SEO


  • Any business that has a physical location or serves a geographic area can benefit from local SEO. It helps people find you in the real world.
  • It ensures everything is localized for your area and your country.
  • Local SEO has risen in importance and popularity since the evolution of mobile phones, as most people search this kind of content on-the-go and via their mobile.
  • How? Your mobile’s location can be pinpointed with great accuracy (which is not possible on desktop computer searches), and so relevant content, like food services closest to you, can be easily delivered.
  • You want to get ranked around other local businesses doing similar things in your area, and via a map. You can research how others are describing themselves.
  • People typically search for food service businesses in a specific way like: ‘Great fries in my area’.
  • Google’s local search algorithm includes a proximity factor, which is a fancy way of saying that Google takes your location into account when you search for a local keyword.
  • If you’re at work and want to get the best twister fries delivered for lunch, for example, Googling ‘twister fries’ delivery’ will automatically show a list of locations near your office.

For local SEO, it becomes important to build local landing pages on Google for each of your locations—especially if you're a multiple location food business.

The other thing to know with a local SEO strategy, is that there are paid ways to up your ranking. Often the top delivered restaurants in search algorithms pay for their position at the top of the list. If you have budget, you can always investigate this to up your ranking.

Additionally, a business listing in Google My Business becomes very important for local SEO. This profile is free to create.

3.       Google My Business (GMB) and your food service SEO strategy


We already introduced in the previous mail on online reviews that you should have a GMB account and why. It’s important for SEO that it’s filled out properly and be up to date. A GMB profile is quite easy to do yourself. Make sure your profile includes our opening hours, your address, your different locations, etc. 

Beyond a basic URL and description, you can add business photos, videos, telephone numbers, business hours, a delivery area, and links to reservation services. A cover photo and snippets from Google Maps and Google Street View help potential customers know what to expect when they arrive for the first time. A word of warning: others can suggest edits to your profile, so check it regularly for accuracy.

i)               Work hard on your GMB profile & optimize it fully

GMB splits up the information into a few different parts, all are important for how you rank in local SEO. Altogether they form a kind of homepage on Google that’s as important as your actual homepage.

Descriptions & categories – choose the right category for your business and a description that uses the right keywords such as fries, fries’ delivery, twister fries, appetizer/finger food, potato ingredients, for your business on Google. If you sell a certain product mention it specifically like: ‘spicy hot fries’ ‘Mexican fries’, and don’t be generic saying simply ‘fries’ as you won’t stand out. Adding a detailed (with key word) description and selecting a category for your official URL will also help boost your SEO.

Location - the exact location of your business will appear within rendered search results, along with a local map to display where your business is.

Reviews – a highly-rated business with rave reviews is much more likely to get people’s attention. Our blog post masterclass on reviews covered this already.

Photos – you can easily share photos of your business location, the types of services you provide, and even the products (such as unique items, food, or even drinks). Customers can also upload and share their photos of your business. You should name your photos with your restaurant and key words of what is in the photo, so it shows up properly in Search. This all helps contribute to your SEO strategy.
Attributes – these are extras to the listing that represent specific details about your business, like it’s wheelchair friendly, has great childcare facilities or is dog-friendly.

Data - Google and Google My Business provide even more valuable data and insights from online users and customers. Used properly, you can learn more about how customers find your business and whether they are doing so via search engines or via Google Maps. 

4.      Search engines to optimize SEO content for


  • Bing Places
  • Yelp
  • Yahoo Places
  • Foursquare

SEO is a specialized skill and can be time-consuming. You can always employ an expert to help you out. Or perhaps one of your food service staff has transferrable skills!

  •  Online tools like HubSpot can also be useful, and these services are available for a relatively small fee.

Download our handy Mastering SEO checklist.