SEO Tips to promote allergen friendly services

This blog post comes from Billie Geena Hyde at Uptake Agency

Advertising your restaurant or catering business on Google can feel like a minefield. Big chains with large budgets tend to dominate the search engine results pages. Knowing where to start and how to show your business in its best light takes a lot of work. In this article, we’ll explore the steps you can take to better advertise your allergen-friendly services through SEO and bring in more diners with food hypersensitivities. 

What is SEO? 

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. It is a marketing practice that examines your site both technically and content-wise, ensuring that Google and potential diners can find your website and clearly understand your offer. 

Are there any disadvantages to SEO?

Unlike social media advertising, ranking in Google can take quite a while; many experts advise that it will take at least six months to see significant results from SEO. SEO is a long-term strategy that requires consistent effort and patience. However, once a website or page is ranked in Google, it will likely bring in consistent traffic for months, sometimes even years. When creating a new post on social media, you will get immediate results, but it will likely stop gaining traffic after a couple of days.

Why should I care about SEO?

Creating a well-optimised website is a vital investment in your restaurant’s success. It’s one of the first things diners will look at when deciding where to eat. We recently polled 100 diners with various food hypersensitivities and found that 87% of participants stated they always check a restaurant’s website before choosing to dine somewhere.  In the same study, we found that 71% of participants say they always search on Google when trying to find somewhere to eat, which shows the opportunity to connect with new diners you can get from Google Search. In the UK, there are over 44,000 monthly local searches for terms containing “gluten free near me,” which shows how lucrative ranking on Google can be!

What can I do to promote my free from services?

Target the Right Keywords:

When Google examines a website to decide whether it should appear in Google searches, it will try to understand the context and content of your page and identify keywords it can connect with to help people search the internet. This process is based on the concept of ‘user intent,’ which refers to users’ specific needs and goals when they search.


By understanding and targeting user intent, you can make your SEO efforts more effective and attract more relevant traffic to your site and your business. You can use this by clearly stating what your business does through menus, reviews, and informational content (like an about us page). You could do this by;

  • Include relevant keywords throughout your website content, such as “gluten-free,” “dairy-free,” “nut-free,” “vegan,” “food allergies,” “celiac disease,” etc.
  • Using long-tail keywords that target specific dietary needs, like “gluten-free pizza in [your location]” or “vegan restaurants in Sheffield.”


If you don’t clearly state what you do and who you cater to on your site, Google won’t know how to connect you with the right people.


Optimise Your Menus:

A potential diner will use your website to look at your menu; it’s vital that Google understands it and accurately represents what you do. You can have multiple menus to cover various dietary requirements or list them in one menu but mark allergen-friendly options. For example, you can create a separate section on your menu for allergy-friendly options and include a disclaimer about preparation methods. This will help Google understand your menu and provide valuable information to diners with food hypersensitivities.

  • Have your menu listed in clear, plain text on your site for better search engine readability. Google can download PDF files and read images. However, it can make mistakes and can’t understand them as clearly.
  • Mark menu items that are naturally free from common allergens or can be easily adapted for dietary restrictions.
  • Consider a separate allergy-friendly menu with detailed ingredient information.

Content is King:

Clearly explaining what you can cater to and your actions to ensure a safe dining experience is essential to both Google and your diners. 

You can highlight what you do by publishing pages on your website that;

  • Share your experience and expertise in what you do. If you have a personal connection with your food or cater to a specific allergen, you can share it to build trust with potential diners.
  • List what training or certifications your staff have completed
  • Explain your kitchen protocols for safe food preparation to build trust.
  • Share success stories from satisfied customers with dietary restrictions.

Local SEO:

You might have a solid local clientele who love your business, but you’ll often need more than just their regulars to be profitable. Make sure you can find in local Google searches to draw in more expansive crowds; this is particularly important if you are based somewhere more seasonal, like the seaside. 

  • Claim and optimise your Google Business Profile.
  • List your restaurant in relevant online directories.
  • Encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews mentioning your allergy-friendly options.

Additional Tips:

You can make your allergy-friendly establishment stand out in countless ways – it’s about finding where your potential diners are and showing what you do. It’s important not to pigeonhole yourself in one advertising method; you can also connect with diners by; 

  • Promote your allergy-friendly offerings on social media platforms.
  • Partner with local allergy awareness groups or organisations.
  • Consider offering online ordering with clear allergen filtering options.

This article just scratches the surface of how you can rank on Google. It contains easy, actionable steps that you can apply to your website without needing the support of an SEO professional. A regularly updated website and an active social media presence can help your business grow massively. 

Google cannot make assumptions; if you don’t clearly explain what you do, Google can’t effectively advertise you. 


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