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SEO for coffee shops: do you even need it?

If you're running a coffee shop, your aroma might draw locals in, but in today's digital-first world, SEO is what guides them to your door.

But first, what is SEO?

SEO stands for: Search Engine Optimization. Essentially the tactics used to get your website or webpages to rank higher in search engine results pages like Google. Ever wondered why food blog recipes have sooooo much text before the recipe? It's because Google likes long-form content, so bloggers write more to fill space above their recipe.


As an entrepreneur, marketer, and a longtime advocate for SEO, I've seen firsthand how strategic search engine optimization can turn a local coffee shop into a community hotspot.


It’s not just about being found; it’s about being discovered as an essential part of daily routines.


Here are some SEO tactics to employ in your coffee shop.

SEO for Coffee Shops


Keyword Research

Start by understanding what potential customers are searching for. Tools like Google’s Keyword Planner can help you discover phrases like “breakfast spots near me” or “best latte in town.” You can use features on Google’s search engine results page (SERP) like “People Also Search For” to identify what users are searching for.


An excellent (free) tool is Google Search Console. It only requires a gmail account and you can connect Google Search Console through the DNS settings of your website to see what search queries your website shows up for.

Optimizing Your Website

Ensure your website is quick to load, mobile-friendly, and full of relevant content using those keywords you’ve researched. You can use Page Speed Insights to measure your website’s speed and get suggestions for optimization.


One tip to increase speed is using a PDF file for your menu - it will load super fast and won’t have additional HMTL or JavaScript that could slow down your site.


Remember, Google prefers websites that provide a great user experience.

Content Marketing

Regularly update your blog with posts about your coffee origins, brewing techniques, or local community events. Much of your website traffic will likely be from local folks, so using geographic keywords in your SEO strategy is advantageous.


This not only helps with SEO but also establishes your shop as a knowledgeable leader in the coffee industry. Don’t forget that users aren’t just going to your website to learn about coffee, they also enjoy reading about your company, staff, and new upcoming projects. Use these emotional, social topics to engender favor.


An additional tip is to inform your staff of the info on your website and have them direct in-person customers to the site when possible.


For instance, when a customer asks about a certain brewing method, the barista on shift can explain if they are available and follow up with “check out our website to learn more” – even better if there’s a QR code nearby to scan quickly.

Building Links

Get reputable websites to link back to you.


This could be through reviews, local news sites, or food bloggers who cover coffee shops in your area. Each quality link back to your site is like a vote in your favor in the eyes of search engines.


This one can be difficult, but it is worth it. Reach out to media publications about upcoming events and send a sample paragraph about the event that they can “plug in” to their article.


Make it easy for them and you’ll have better luck.

Social Media Integration

Use social media to drive traffic to your website.


Share your blog posts, menu updates, and special events. Engage with your followers to create a community around your brand, which can indirectly boost your SEO by increasing direct searches and traffic to your site.


I see a mistake here OFTEN.


That coffee shop owners build their social media following, but don’t focus on driving traffic to their website. Then, when the algorithm changes or their audience moves to a new platform, they start on the treadmill from scratch.


Use your website as your digital foundation – not a Facebook page or social media account. Your website and email list are extremely valuable – YOU own the audience and have direct access to them.


Guard it preciously and use it wisely.

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