The problem is that the internet is constantly changing the game so that it is near impossible for the professionals to keep up, let alone an individual restaurant owner. The rules of engagement are changed so fast by Microsoft, Google, and other tech giants. Different algorithms, calculations, and factors come into play. It's similar to the how Facebook frequently changes their Newsfeeds, frustrating users who have to get used to another new look.
Most restaurants don't have the money to hire an expert and don't have the time or expertise to do it themselves. So what are you to do? Here are the easiest strategies.
Focus on the yourself first
The two most important restaurant website presences are your own webpage and your Facebook page. So important, in fact, that these are areas where it pays to have someone build them correctly. For websites, check out The Anatomy of a Good Restaurant Website.
For Facebook, be sure to create a business page, not a personal page. Post a lot of pictures of your food, establishment, and happy customers on a regular basis. An easy thing to do is to set a schedule to do it first thing every morning or just a couple of times a week. A good rule of thumb is to post at least twice a week as a minimum.
With Google being the lead in internet search engines, it's important that you set up your business properly under their parameters. Create a Google Business account for your restaurant. It will then walk you through creating a Google+ page and getting verification. Once complete, a Google Business listing like the one to the right will be created to show up when someone searches for your business.
Move on to aggregate sites
The next area to focus on are well known, restaurant listing sites such as Yelp, Trip Advisor, Dinnerwire, Zomato (formerly Urbanspoon), etc. Many of these sites allow you to "claim" your restaurant's profile so that you can edit and update as you like, adding pictures, amenities, and sometimes even video. Generally you can relax after you've edited them, only updating them if some major change occurs.
Utilize social media
Using Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and more doesn't mean you have to create new content for every one of them. In actuality, re-posting material from others can help boost your own social media and SEO presence. Re-post articles, photo, or tweets from others that match with your own restaurant's theme and values and you will still register valuable SEO points. Even better, create engagement where fans re-post your own content or respond to your questions or polls.
These are simple strategies that keeps you in the SEO game without breaking the bank or taking a lot of time.