If you’re in the restaurant business, chances are you know more about food than search engine optimization. In fact, many restaurant owners don’t even give SEO a second thought: they figure that if people can find their restaurants, then that’s enough.
But it’s not. There are hundreds of millions of websites competing for content and visitors from Google and other search engines like Bing and Yahoo! and without an optimized website to match your delicious dishes and provide useful information to diners (including directions), you’ll be competing hard for those coveted top spots on the list of search results.
It is really important to make sure your site is optimized for the search engines as this could be the difference between getting new business or not. If you own a restaurant, and you don’t know how to optimize your website for search engines, then you’re missing out on a big money-making opportunity. It’s easy to get started with SEO for restaurants if you use the right tools and follow proven guidelines.
Tips for Restaurant SEO
1. It’s all about the keywords
The first thing you have to do is choose the right keywords to target. If you don’t know what keywords are, they’re words used in web searches. You won’t be able to rank well for “restaurant” or even “pizza” or any other broad term whatsoever, so you need to narrow down your niche and serve a specific type of customer. Is there a local food specialty that people order a lot? Like pizza with anchovies? Then go ahead and target that keyword! It will make your job much easier.
2. Choose your keywords carefully
Once you’ve figured out what kind of food you’re going for, then you need to use the right keywords. The first thing to remember is that there are lots of different ways to say “pizza” and “restaurant,” so if you intend to target the broader “restaurants” keyword, then go ahead and do that with your primary keyword. But if there’s a specific type of restaurant (like pizza with anchovies), then make sure you target this properly. You’ll have better chances at ranking in the top 10 for those terms because they’re considerably shorter than others.
3. Keep your focus on the keyword
The next thing to remember is that you can’t just put any keywords wherever you want. If you want to rank high for “pizza with anchovies,” then make sure that particular keyword is included on the page. In fact, it’s even better if it’s within the H1 title tag, as well as a few other places throughout the page. That way, Google will be forced to recognize that you’re targeting those keywords and won’t penalize you or ignore your pages altogether.
4. Make sure your pages are keyword optimized
Once you’ve set up your search terms correctly and used them in the right places, then you need to make sure your pages aren’t using inappropriate keywords. For example, if you have a bakery that specializes in cookies and cupcakes, but you haven’t found a way to target something like “pizza cupcakes,” then they’re taking unnecessary risks and could potentially end up hurting your overall rankings. That’s one of the reasons why it’s important to make sure you’re using the right keywords for your business.
5. Make everything relevant
The more relevant your content is, the more likely Google is going to rank it highly (and the higher in its search results). So make sure you’re focusing on the most relevant keywords for your business instead of stuffing every single page with everything under the sun. You don’t want to take up too much space on Google’s SERPs, so the last thing you want is a bunch of irrelevant content.
6. Make it easy to find
Part of what makes a good website is making sure that all of it is easily accessible and simple to read. For example, a restaurant with lots of reviews can be easily found on Google by writing “restaurant reviews.” If you have lots of different types of food on your menu, then you should make sure they’re easily identifiable in terms of what they are and their length. For example, “pizza” is better than “pizza, salad, pasta, and dessert” because it keeps your focus on the keyword.
7. Make sure you’re using HTTPS
Google has made it clear that they prefer HTTPS to HTTP connections. Simply put, HTTPS makes sure all your information can’t be gathered accidentally by someone who’s snooping around on the network. So whether you’re using mobile or desktop devices, make sure you’ve made this switch if you haven’t already done so! It will also help to boost your rankings and get more attention from Google.
8. Make sure your users can reach you from any device
Google is also using mobile devices to determine where you rank on the search engine results pages (SERPs). That means if you can make it so that all of your content is responsive and mobile-friendly, then you’re going to have a much better chance of ranking high.
9. Make your content available
Having lots of information and content on your website is one of the best ways to rank high for certain keywords. However, you need to make sure that all of it is available 24/7 and know what needs to be updated or added. For example, you can’t advertise that you have a new menu item or whatever it is if there’s not enough information for Google to look at. So think very carefully about what needs to be updated on your sites and make sure you’re doing it as often as possible.
10. Make sure your content makes sense
There’s nothing worse than seeing a website with a bunch of words on it that aren’t entirely clear or make sense. If you’re using keywords that are hard to understand, then they’re probably going to get you nowhere. Google wants people to be able to read and understand what your page is all about, so if you can’t do that, they’re not going to rank high anymore. That’s why it’s important to make sure you know exactly what keywords you want to use and how well people will be able to understand them when they see them.
11. Make sure your content is unique and genuine
This is one of the biggest areas that you can really use to help improve your rankings. If there’s a lot of duplicate content on your website, then Google is going to recognize it and see you as a spammer. And that’s not going to get you anywhere besides the bottom of the SERPs. That’s why it’s so important to make sure that all your content is original and not duplicated from Wikipedia or someone else’s blog, website, or other location. However, it should also be noted that sometimes there are ways to use duplicated content in order to get more attention for a low-ranking page. This will help boost those rankings in the long run.
12. Add more images
The more images on your website, the better. That’s because Google uses them as anchors for your pages and they’re going to help make it easier for people to find what they’re looking for. That’s why it’s so important to make sure that you use as many images as possible and that they really stand out from the rest of your site. There are a lot of services out there that will help you do this and also help you add keywords and descriptions to the images to help boost your rankings even further.
13. Try using videos on the front page
In some circumstances, video is one of the best ways to get a lot of traffic from Google or Facebook in particular. They both love to rank videos well and will make sure that they get more viewers because of how well they’re ranked. That makes it a great idea to add some videos to your website in order to help get a lot more traffic from those sources as well.
14. Make sure that your URL is short
The shorter the better, this is important for all websites, as it will help Google figure out what your site is about in a much easier way and show it in Google search results pages. This means that anyone looking for your site out of Google will find it just as easy, even if they have never heard of you before.
15. Add more new releases or products to your existing ones
You should add as many new releases or products to your existing ones in order to be competitive in the online market. When there is a new release, it will give you an advantage in the market and may help you drive more traffic to your website. You should try to add at least three new releases or products to your website in order to make it competitive with other websites. Whether it’s a new dinner menu or products in your shop, you’ll be sure to benefit from the updates.
16. Add videos with subtitles
With YouTube, there are hundreds of thousands of videos that can be used on your page. You should get videos that are in English and have subtitles so that people who may not be fluent can understand the information you’re providing on your website. Many people watching videos without the volume on, and enticing food dishes with titles help your newfound customers decide what to get the next time they order off the menu.
17. Install social media buttons
You should add a “follow” or “like” button next to your content on your page in order to get a boost from social media traffic. Whenever you have these buttons installed, you’ll be able to increase the number of likes you get from Facebook and Twitter as well as engage more people with your content and products.
18. Use images in your content
Images will help you to rank better on search engines and will also help make sure that your pages are easy to read for users on mobile devices. When it comes to choosing images, you should try to get high-quality ones because they will help draw more traffic as well as enhance the quality of the website itself. Food pictures always sell.
19. Get an SSL certificate
An SSL is a security certificate that will help make sure that all your information is protected as well as get rid of the green bar that appears on your website when you type the URL. When people see this, they are less likely to trust your website and may not visit it at all. That’s why it’s important to get rid of this green bar as soon as you can so that you don’t end up with a lot of lost traffic.
With these tips for restaurant SEO, you get the chance to get more views and more customers, which is all you need to keep your business going strong. If you have questions, contact us. We’re happy to help.
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