How To Optimize Your Restaurant’s Website

Restaurant SEO

Optimize your restaurant’s website and bring in more customers.

What exactly does “optimize your restaurant’s website” mean? This refers to two things: search engine optimization and performance optimization. These work together to drive customers to your website and eventually to your restaurant.

An optimized website increases your brand awareness and leads to long-term positive results in your profit margin. Search engine optimization increases your site’s ranking on search engines, while performance optimization ensures your website is quick, smooth and easy to navigate.

The purpose of optimization is to create a seamless user experience and communicate your intentions to the search engines so they can recommend your restaurant’s site during relevant searches.

Search engines are looking for content, performance, authority and a good user experience. (tweet this) In this blog post, we’ll discuss some steps to help you successfully optimize your website.

Choose a Good Domain Name

Usually, a succinct .com domain is best for restaurant websites. Follow these steps to pick the perfect domain name:

  • Make sure your domain name is as close as possible to your restaurant name.
  • Keep it short and memorable.
  • It should be professional and easy to type.
  • Leave punctuation out.
  • When naming your website pages, use keywords you’re trying to rank for to help your overall efforts. For example: www.restaurant.com/fried-chicken.

Include Meta Tags and Title Tags

The Meta tag is behind-the-scenes in your code, so it isn’t visible on your website. The Meta tag is for search engines and other bots. Meta tags include your keywords, page title and your page’s description.

The Meta keyword tag reveals the most important keywords for each of your pages. The Meta description tag reveals a short description of your website; this description shows up in search results. It is best to keep Meta description tags between 150 and 160 characters. Don’t duplicate descriptions.

The Meta title tag is the unique title you give each one of your restaurant website’s pages. Don’t duplicate titles. Keep your titles under 55 characters to ensure that at least 95% of your titles will display properly. According to a SEO guru, use valuable keyword phrases in your page title or a call to action to increase your site’s optimization.

Use Keywords Carefully

You’ll want to research keywords for your restaurant website paying careful attention to avoid keyword spamming or keyword stuffing. Keyword rich content and keyword phrases are the key to performing well in searches. Use keywords in your page’s body text, in header tags, title tags and Meta tags. Use keywords as the anchor text to describe links. Use keywords to name new pages.

Practice writing the long-tail keyword. These are the three and four key word phrases that are very specific to your restaurant. Whenever your customer is searching using a highly specific search phrase, they tend to be looking for exactly what you are offering. Using long-tail keywords ensures they’ll find you.

Use Alt Tags to Describe Your Images

Pay attention when you upload your images. Change or rename your image if needed, using one of your keywords to name it. Keep the description accurate, but always include information for the alt tag.

Create a Sitemap for Your Site

Sitemaps list every URL on your website. According to Google, “A sitemap…tells Google and other search engines about the organization of your site content.” Search engine web crawlers then use this file to intelligently crawl your restaurant’s website.

Your site map provides valuable information about your site’s pages in the form of metadata. It tells when the page was last updated, how often it’s changed and the importance of the page relative to your site’s other URL’s.

You’ll also want to submit your sitemap online to Google. Just search for “submit site to Google.”

Optimize Restaurant Website

Responsive websites are great for people using their smartphone to find information.

Optimize Your Images

Slow loading sites are not working optimally, and their performance optimization is poor. When you use large, high quality images, you slow down your website. Optimize your photos for the web by clicking “save for web” when saving. Reduce your image resolution to 72 dpi and set the color to RGB.

Not sure how to optimize your images? The website tinypng.com can help you optimize your images before uploading them to the server.

If your page doesn’t load quickly, you’ll suffer high bounce rates and less search engine indexing. Pay careful attention to this step in your optimization process.

Ensure That Your Site is Responsive

Future proof your website by creating a responsive site that scales and adapts to fit any screen size and any device — even devices that haven’t been created yet!

Responsive websites are far easier to implement and maintain than building a separate mobile site and a separate desktop site. The responsive design means you only have to create one site.

What does responsive mean? Consider Legos “snapping” into place. A responsive website is a bit like that Lego – it snaps and fits perfectly any way it’s viewed. Responsive sites look great on computers, tablets, and even phones because they respond to screen size. The text and images on responsive sites automatically adjust for screen size.

Your restaurant website must be mobile-friendly to ensure the greatest number of customers can view your site with ease and comfort.

Use Instinctive Navigation

Your menu bars are not the place to get super creative. (tweet this) Your website’s navigation is critical to your site’s success. You want your website visitors to immediately see what they are looking for. Your most critical elements are the menu, reservations, contact information, location, blog, events and about us pages.

Don’t make your visitors search for the links to these pages. Feel free to add other menu navigation items, but for the most part, keep your menu uncluttered.

It’s also important to highlight your phone number and location on every page so whether your visitor landed on your site’s homepage or pizza page, they’ll find important information quickly.

Include Links to and From Your Site

Your ranking on search engine results pages is important to your restaurant’s overall success. You want to show up on page one and preferably at the top of the page. External links to your site can affect this.

Search engines don’t naturally trust your restaurant’s website. You need to build that trust. Inbound links from reputable, trustworthy websites tell the search engines you are a viable business.

An easy way to get some inbound links is to include links back to your website from your social channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. Another way to get inbound links is to add a link to your website to Yelp, CitySearch, Urban Spoon, your local online newspaper and other business-finding services.

Your website’s optimization, whether search engine or performance optimization, is fundamental and essential.

By following the above tips, you’ll position your restaurant’s website so it is easily found and performing well.

Lastly, remember that the process of optimization is not a one-time task. It requires maintenance, fine-tuning and continuous monitoring and testing. Do this, and the search engine spiders will not only find your site but rank its relevance so that it appears at the top of search engine results.

Do you want to create a responsive website for your restaurant? Restaurant Engine can help! Contact us today to learn more about our complete restaurant website package.

Images: Matthias Rhomberg & Olga Pavlovsky

Free Checklist For Your Restaurant!

5 Steps to Attract More Customers With Your Website

Get Your Free Checklist!
Restaurant Customers Dining