Best SEO practices for restaurants- How to Rank Higher on Google
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What is SEO and Why Should I Care About it?
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s unpaid results—often referred to as “natural”, “organic”, or “earned” results.
On the other hand, an SEO strategy is one kind of internet marketing strategy that users will use as part of their online marketing campaign to increase the number of visitors to their site.
Another way to think about SEO is that it’s the words people use to search for your business. If users find you, users visit—and users spend money! So if users can find you in their searches easily, they’re more likely to choose you over a competitor. It may seem time-consuming and difficult at first, but the user searching for your business will be users who are ready to buy.
The 4 Main Benefits of SEO to your Site
-Increasing web traffic
-More visitors to your website and more potential customers
-Increased user confidence in your site
The Importance of Keywords in Your Restaurant Website
Restaurant websites have SEO in common with most business sites as they want visitors and lots of them.
What SEO practices can you adopt to make your restaurant website rank higher on Google?
Well, it’s all about keywords! It is important to choose your SEO keywords carefully and do keyword research when designing your website.
There are specific SEO practices that you need to employ in building a restaurant website if you want it to top the search engine results pages of Google for your target market. You would want people who are looking for restaurants like yours and related businesses to find your site.
Some Best SEO practices for restaurant websites can apply to increase their rankings on search engines are as follows:
1. Keyword Density
Keyword density simply refers to the number of times you use your keyword in a given article, for example, the body content of an HTML page. Some see engine optimizers say that you need at least 2% keyword density in your SEO copy to be able to rank higher. An SEO-friendly practice is to insert SEO keywords at the bottom of your web pages as well, which will further increase SEO rankings.
2. Website Structure and Open Graphs
You might want to consider structuring your site in a way that makes it SEO-friendly. The SEO page structure that saves the SEO copy and meta tags in a separate file would be one such SEO structure to consider.
Open Graphs are important too, which refers to SEO meta tags that allow social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc. to display your SEO information such as your site’s name, description, and images.
3. Site Content
Make SEO copy for each SEO keyword you are targeting and insert them into your content. Include SEO keywords in the page’s headings as well to increase SEO ranking.
Make sure to use H1, H2, and H3 tags carefully, they will give your SEO site an SEO-friendly structure which is an SEO best practice.
4. Title Tag
You want Google to pick up your SEO titles and put them in the SEO title tag of their search results pages so that you can maximize your SEO visibility. It is important to write SEO titles that are short and relevant to the SEO keywords you have targeted.
5. URL Structure
You might want to use SEO-friendly URLs, like names or products in your SEO copy, and have all your SEO URLs start with an SEO keyword.
Restaurant SEO: Use Keywords in the Title Tag, Meta Description, Headings, and Copy Text
If you’re a restaurant owner, it’s important to do keyword research and optimize your website for search engines. After all, more online exposure means customers coming through the door. One easy way to increase traffic is to use keywords in the title tag, meta description, and headings on your site. You can also incorporate click-worthy words into your copy text.
Keywords in the Title Tag Help Rank Higher in Search Engines
When people search for restaurants, they’re usually looking for a specific location, or they want to see a list of results in their city.
So, if you can use the address, or neighborhood name in your title tag, it will help searchers see your website more often. Also, make sure your title tag includes brand-related keywords, such as your restaurant’s name to optimize your rankings.
Keywords in the Meta Description Help Engage Users and Get Them Clicking
With so many restaurants popping up every day on search engines, it can be hard to stand out against other restaurant owners.
The meta description is one of the most powerful ways to compel customers to visit. If you can use keywords in your meta description, which describes your page and encourages people to click through, you’ll stand out from the crowd of restaurants.
Make sure that the first few words are keyword-heavy so that your website shows up as a result of those searches.
Keywords in Headings Help Break Up Text and Create Categories
When people browse restaurants or go for online ordering, they usually look for a specific food type. For example, if someone wants to find Mexican restaurants in Nashville TN, that person will likely look for Mexican restaurants in Nashville.
If you can use keyword-related headings, such as “Mexican food” and “Restaurants”, it will be easy for people to find restaurants with specific types of food.
Keywords in Copy Text Help Increase Traffic and Encourage People to Visit Your Restaurant
If you want to use keywords for SEO purposes, the copy text on your website is the place to do it. One tip is to write about restaurants in Nashville TN, using popular local search terms like “best Mexican food” or restaurants on Broadway Nashville.
That way, people will be searching Google for “best Mexican food” and your website will show up as one of the top results. To further improve your SEO include, write in the first person and testimonials in reviews from customers.
You can also summarize what people love about your restaurant by including keywords that describe your most popular menu items.
When you use SEO techniques to optimize your website for restaurants, search engines will be able to find you more easily. That means more customers looking for restaurants in Nashville TN, and more business coming through the door.
Creating a Sitemap for your Restaurant Website
Creating a sitemap for your website will allow you to organize the information on your website in order.
This is important because it will help Google and other websites understand what content you have on your site and make it easier for them to find the content that they are looking for.
Creating a sitemap for your website is also important because it will help you keep track of all the different pages and organize every webpage of your site.
If you want to properly create a sitemap for your website you will want to make sure that you include the following:
Your site’s most important pages should be listed on the sitemap’s first pages.
The relative importance of each page on your site to each other should be indicated by its location.
Each page on your site can imply a link to another with the information that is on the page.
Every webpage on your site or a link to it should be in the sitemap.
A properly created sitemap for your website will make it easier for search engines to access the content on your site.
It is an easy way to get a bird’s-eye view of your website. It lays out the navigation and content structure, which will help you make updates more efficiently.
You can also use a site map to keep track of new pages on your restaurant website that need special attention or promotion.
Optimize your Restaurant Website for Mobile
Recent studies have shown that the majority of people using the internet from their phones are doing so for restaurants and online ordering. In fact, smartphone use is expected to overtake PC use in the next few years.
What does that mean for your restaurant website? It means you need to make sure you’re optimizing your restaurant website for mobile phones.
Optimize the UI design of your restaurant’s website for a responsive experience
When it comes to restaurants, Google has made an effort to prioritize pages that are optimized for the screen size of a cell phone.
If your homepage is designed with a desktop in mind and Google has to reduce the size of the screen down to fit a mobile device, that may be enough for Google’s search results not to show your website high up in their rankings.
Restaurants can rank higher in Google for more traffic by using Material Design and responsive design.
Content Creation for Restaurants
Be sure that when you’re creating new content, your restaurant website is optimized so that these documents are easy to read and follow on a small screen.
Take your time making sure that you’re writing concisely and clearly so that users don’t get frustrated scrolling up and down constantly.
What content should you be creating for restaurants? Be sure to create the first page of your most popular dishes, so that users can easily find what they’re looking for.
It may also be helpful to create pages that list different types of restaurants in your area, such as pizza or fast food options since many people will search these rather than the name of the specific restaurant.
Another resource you can create for your users is a list of restaurants that are open late. People will often search for restaurants.
Optimize Your Restaurant Social Media Accounts for Mobile Users
If you want to rank as high as possible, it’s important to optimize your social media accounts and website’s first page on the major platforms — like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest, and other websites— for mobile users.
The platforms have made it easy to log in with your phone number or email address so that you can post status updates, contact information, and images more quickly.
Content creation also can happen from your phone. You should be using the social media platform’s analytics to watch what types of content are most effective before posting it on mobile devices.
If you find that people respond best to pictures, create a strategy for creating more “mobile-friendly” visual content for your restaurants on these platforms.
Other Social Media Platforms
Additionally, you’ll want to make sure your restaurant is active on other social media platforms as well.
There’s no such thing as too much social media activity in local business, and with the growing use of mobile devices for internet access, the regularity at which you update your restaurant’s social media accounts for mobile devices is even more important.
Create a Blog with Fresh Content regularly
The purpose of the blog is to provide fresh content regularly. Not only will this enhance your rankings in Google search, but it will also help you gain website visitors who are interested in learning more about your restaurant and its offerings.
Content on the blog does not have to be super detailed or long just make sure that there is enough information to make it interesting and relevant for the reader.
Use Keywords on Your Blog Posts:
Keywords are very important when creating blog posts about your restaurant, but too many times people will include keyword stuffing which can actually hurt your rankings in Google search. Since you won’t be ranking with just 1 or 2 keywords, use as many keywords as you can without making it seem like word vomit. People want to know more about your restaurant and what services you offer, so let them know!
Reputation is Everything:
This is not only the truth for restaurants but also true in SEO. Having a great reputation with people reading your blog will go a long way towards increasing your search engine rankings and google search and the number of people that want to visit your restaurant after reading about it on your blog. It’s not just about the food, but also about the service and how enjoyable it is for each customer.
Start a Social Media Campaign:
Social media networking sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.… are constantly being used by people every day as they check up on what their family and friends are doing. If you have a Facebook page for your restaurant, keep it up to date with unique photos of your food items and online ordering services as well as any promotions that you are running at the moment.
Mention Your Blog on your Website:
If you have a website for your restaurant, make sure that you mention the blog in the section about what’s new at your restaurant. People are always looking for up-to-date information and this is key for having people visit your blog more often.
Your website and blog are two very important marketing tools for restaurants, so take the time to make both of them as informative as possible. The more information that you can give people about your restaurant’s offerings, the better and higher ranking that you will be in Google search results. To use the old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words”, lots of text works too!
Maintenance on your website and blog should be done regularly as well. Be sure to add new content so that Google and others will continue to rank your site higher.
Don’t Forget About Videos!
Videos are a great way to increase the amount of traffic that your restaurant website will be getting. Whether it’s a cooking video or one showing how you make those yummy drinks, chances are that people will love seeing it. Make sure to add plenty of keywords and descriptions so that video-sharing sites can easily identify them for other users.
Give Away Free Tips:
A good SEO tip is to give away something free on your blog or website and much more so that people will want to return again and again! Local customers love getting free stuff, so keep it coming, and they will return!
Once you start giving away free stuff, the blog will gain more traffic and more people will eventually learn about your restaurant. The best thing to do with a website or blog is to pick one niche and focus on that aspect for SEO purposes.
Web Design & Branding:
The main purpose of a restaurant website is SEO, but that doesn’t mean that your restaurant website design and brand have to suffer! Make sure that your users can get the same professional look as what you give other people.
Build Links from High-quality Sites to your Site
Any SEO company will tell you they can get your restaurant to rank high in search results by building links from sites that Google likes, but what does this mean? Are there only certain sites that Google likes?
Building links is a long-term strategy. It takes time for SEO to work. The process can take months or longer to see gains from SEO.
SEO is a long-term solution for getting your restaurant listed higher in search results, but it takes time.
One of the key mistakes smaller SEO companies make is purchasing links on search engine optimization link-building sites. These links harm your rankings with Google search. Google doesn’t like to see links that look unnatural.
The following list of sites are high-quality sites that Google likes and will link your website from since they produce quality content:
When you build a link to your website, make sure that the links on high-quality sites are no-follow links. This will show Google that you are creating natural-looking links, and it won’t harm your rankings.
When using the above sites to build links from, make sure you choose the best ones for your restaurant based on what type of food business you have (e.g., French bistro, Chinese restaurant, etc.). This will help the links you build to have a better chance of not harming your rankings.
SEO services can help you rank high in Google, Bing, Yahoo!, AltaVista, Dogpile, and local search. This is especially useful when your restaurant’s website often ranks at the bottom of the first page for all related searches.
When people search for restaurants, they look for places that are similar to ones they’ve eaten at before. If you want to get found online by these people, then you need to have a unique name/address combination across all of your website, Facebook page, Yelp page, TripAdvisor page, OpenTable listing, and Google My Business Listing.
It’s okay if you have the same name/address combination on different sites. For example, if you have three restaurants in New York City, it’s okay to use the same name/address combination on all three restaurant’s websites and Google My Business Listing if the addresses are different.
Maintain an Active Social Media Presence
In order to successfully run a restaurant, you must maintain an active social media presence.
-Use hashtags in your posts so people can find your content easier and more quickly; -post food pictures to get customers excited about their next meal; -let your employees know the importance of using social media for work purposes, so they are well-informed about what needs to happen when posting; and finally, do not neglect other platforms like Instagram or Pinterest as they have large audiences too!
Tweet relevant content on Twitter
When you tweet, make sure that the tweets are relevant to your restaurant and are not just self-promotional.
You should be tweeting about new food items or promotions that you have, but you also want to interact with other users and answer their questions about your restaurant.
Create a Facebook page
In order to succeed with Facebook, you need to have a strong understanding of how the platform works. You want to talk about food and recipes, but you also need to interact with your customers by responding quickly if they leave a message or post on your wall.
Be sure that your posts are high quality without being more self-promotional than helpful.
Engage with users on Instagram
Instagram allows you to share photos and videos of your restaurant, so make sure that each photo is high quality without anything inappropriate in the images.
You should be posting at least two times per day and interacting with other users as much as possible by leaving comments or liking their posts.
Encourage user-generated content
One of the best ways to engage with customers is to show real-life photos and videos on your website, including user-generated content. You can encourage your customers to submit their images by holding a weekly or monthly contest where they upload those images for a chance to win something from the restaurant.
Create an active YouTube channel
You want to post videos that are relevant to your restaurant and your customers. You can ask for help from amateur videographers who want an opportunity to get free food in exchange for helping you create a few videos.
Use relevant hashtags on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook
When you share your content on social media, make sure that you use the right hashtags so that more users can see those posts in their timelines. For example, if you are a seafood restaurant, it is best to use #seafoodlover or #lobster on your posts. Avoid using too many hashtags so that you do not look spammy.
Build a website that is easy to read and browse
When it comes to search engine optimization, you want your restaurant website to be as easy to read as possible.
That means using simple language, clearly defining text headings, using bullet lists instead of paragraphs, and ensuring that all the content is properly linked so that users can easily understand what you are trying to say.
Social media is now a major part of the way that people interact with their favorite brands, so if you want to get customers in your restaurant or café, it’s important to have an active social media presence.
Getting Reviews from Customers on Yelp, Facebook, or TripAdvisor
Do you want more reviews for your restaurant on Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Facebook? Here’s how to make that happen! We’ll show you the best way to get all your online reviews from customers on Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Facebook. It will take just a few minutes of your time.
1. Ask customers to review with a caption on each receipt
There is no better way to get customer reviews than by asking for them on the check or at the end of every meal. Each time a customer leaves you a review, make sure that you thank them and encourage other patrons to leave feedback as well. That will help your ratings appear higher in search results.
2. Post updates on social media asking for reviews
You want to constantly remind your customers that you would like them to leave reviews on platforms like Yelp or TripAdvisor so that those rankings will increase over time. It is also a good idea to offer incentives such as discounts or free food if they leave a review within the next two weeks.
Using Social Media to Market your Restaurant and get More Customers in the Door
A great way to get customers in the door is by using social media. Posting things on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other sites will bring in more people.
Posting about daily specials, new menu items, and even contests will provide you with a lot of traffic to your restaurant and increase sales.
If you aren’t sure how to create a social media presence for your business, contact the Social Media Marketing Institute (SMMI). They have experts who can get you set up on all the different social media sites you need to be using. They can also show you how to post and how often for the best results.
This way, everyone who sees you might be reminded of a need to come by for a meal and will also have the contact information that they need to get there.
You don’t want to ignore any opportunity for marketing your business. One way you could do this is by using social media apps and website addresses on each of your posts so people know exactly where they will find your business when they come in.
Here at Infintech Designs, we will help you improve your restaurant website’s reputation through our professional SEO experts. Our SEO includes keyword research, content optimization, and meta optimization–all done under the best search engine practices. Our search engine optimization expertise is comprised of deep, in-house knowledge in virtually every industry and niche type.
We offer a number of efficient and affordable social media services for your restaurant.