SEO For Restaurants – Comprehensive Guide

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" SEO for Restaurants in 2020 is easier than you think. What it does involve is writing great and unique content, following some guidelines and doing keyword research. Restaurants looking to capitalize on SEO can use some of these tools to ensure they stay relevant and ahead of the competition. "

SEO for Restaurants in 2020 is easier than you think. What it does involve is writing great and unique content, following some guidelines and doing keyword research.  Restaurants looking to capitalize on SEO can use some of these tools to ensure they stay relevant and ahead of the competition.  Here are some things restaurants can do to increase their online presence and get more orders online for free.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is free and easy to install. This indispensable SEO tool will tell you all the analytics you need to know about your restaurant’s website. This includes page views, user site behaviour,  where your users are coming from and a whole lot more.  This is important if you are doing any sort of online marketing for your website. With Google Analytics you will be able to segment the data as you see fit.  View which marketing channels and campaigns bring the most visits or lead to the highest conversions on your site.  If you are scared of data or want help analyzing the data into more understandable insight packets, there are alternatives like Oribi.

Google Search Console

Google search console shows you the exact keywords that you rank. This includes the number of clicks and impressions for each keyword query.  In addition, it can point out any technical SEO issues on your site that could diminish your ranking in Google Search. You can get started with the Google Search console right here.

Spent Some Time With Technical SEO

Technical SEO can refer to having things like meta tags and on your website. However, it can also mean ensuring that your page is not too slow. Other aspects of technical SEO include making sure you have no broken links (404’s).  Finally, have proper SEO images and alt tags for social sharing to boost your CTR (click-through rate).  If you are using WordPress, Yoast is a good plugin that helps insert these meta tags on your site.  In addition, image optimization whether done with a plugin or other online tool will greatly speed up your site and increase user experience. Other technical SEO strategies include optimizing your site’s meta title and description tags for what users want to see when they are searching.

Keyword Research

Keyword research involves finding niches people are searching for that are related to your restaurant and where the competition is relatively low.  For example, something like “Best Tacos in Edmonton” might be a very competitive keyword so you might want to focus on a specific niche like “taqueria fish tacos Edmonton”. If you are just starting out, focusing on a lower competition niche is a better strategy as Google is more likely to give your new site a chance to rank on Google search so you can start to gain some authority and trust. 

Content Writing (what should you write)

 If you are a local specialty restaurant you already have a pretty good niche. Capitalize on that by writing articles relating to the ingredients on your menu. Good SEO content for restaurants include recipes for popular dishes and a specific page for each of these items.  As a restaurant, create unique and interesting content related to your brand. Your brand should be central to each piece of content on your restaurant site. Share information on your roots. For example, why you started a restaurant, where you source your ingredients and where you draw your inspiration from for your recipes. 

Content Writing (Make it easy to read and engaging)

If your content is neither easy to read nor engaging then people will leave your site and your website bounce rate will be high.  Further, having a website that is easy for the user to navigate and find what they are looking for is also crucial. An important component for any restaurant website is the ability to order online.  Ensure that your online ordering menu is clearly visible on your site. Nudging users to complete a specific action on your site is important. Your order or phone now button is your main call to action.  Negative space, colour and design can help all help increase button clicks especially if naturally embedded in your content.  

Name Your Menu Items

Naming your menu items goes back to overall branding and marketing. For example, take A&W. They have come up with creative names for their burgers like the “Uncle Burger” and “Teen Burger”.  These names make it more memorable for their customers.  This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to name all your menu items but names and descriptions are a critically important aspect to your overall brand.

Keyword Optimize Your Content

This is actually a lot easier than it sounds. When Google indexes content on your site its algorithm places more emphasis on the first 100 words of your page. Make sure important keywords are placed higher up on the page. In addition, bold these keywords by placing them in strong HTML tags so they can stand out both visually for the user and in Google’s search algorithm. Further, these keywords should be placed at the beginning of your page’s meta title and description tags.  Last, of all, slugify your keywords by creating unique pages for them and ensure these keywords are in the URL.  Google favours URLs that are shorter because they are more human-readable. 

Ensure Your Site Is Mobile-friendly

It is 2020 and most users are searching on their mobile device.  Google’s index is also mobile first which means it will rank poorly if your page is not mobile friendly or too slow on mobile. You can see if your site is mobile friendly for your restaurant by plucking your url into https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly This will tell you a yes or no but it will also show any page loading errors or issues that you might need to fix.This 

The Order Guys

The Order Guys

Alex Hoy is an account executive and partner at The Order Guys helping restaurants set up online ordering, optimizing and creating websites, and delivering SEO and online advertising.

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About The Author

Alex Hoy is an account executive and partner at The Order Guys helping restaurants set up online ordering, optimizing and creating websites, and delivering SEO and online advertising.

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