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Optimize the legacy website for search engines

When building a restaurant website from scratch, please know that a website is useless without visitors. And the most important source of traffic for any website are the search engines. Now, the challenge is to get on the first page of the search results.  When it comes to sales, page 2 is almost as good as page 100. First page is the one that counts.

It’s all about the keywords

When searching for a place to eat, people google for things like: “pizza delivery downtown” or “chinese food takeout nyc” or “indian restaurants near me” and so on. These are called keywords, and are usually variations of cuisine/ type of food, service and location. Find those keywords that potential clients would use to find the restaurant and then cleverly use them throughout the website.

There are some key-elements where Google looks to understand what the website is about. No matter what, make sure these are done right.

  • Domain name: When buying the domain, don’t be upset if the exact restaurant name is taken. It’s actually an opportunity to add location related keywords right in the url name. Some examples: pronto-nyc.com or joespizzany.com
  • Page title: Google will display around 55 characters. This is perfect for combinations like Restaurant name – Cuisine – Location
  • Meta description: 160 characters for describing the business. Again, use the keywords, but make sure the result sounds nice and inviting.
  • Headlines: On the main page, use the Restaurant name in City combination for the H1. For H2 describe your restaurant in terms like: “Authentic Thai Cuisine” or “Pizza Delivery”.
  • Image alt-tags: The website contains images and those images have an alt-tag that Google reads to understand their content. Make sure to write something in there using the keywords.

Local SEO

Local SEO is about results related to a specific location. When someone searches for – let’s say – “indian restaurant near me”, Google will return places known as restaurants with Indian cuisine located around the user’s detected location. Local SEO is tightly connected to the social profiles and restaurant listings. Here’s what to do:

  • Create a Google My Business account
  • Create or claim the Facebook page for the restaurant
  • Claim the TripAdvisor restaurant page and install the TripAdvisor Facebook app on the restaurant’s Facebook page
  • Spot which are the top 3 most popular restaurant listing / review directories in the city and claim the restaurant profile there as well
  • Add all these social links to the website and also have include the website in all those social profiles/listings
  • Important: Make sure the contact information (name, address, phone) are absolutely identical on every website
  • Make sure to not have duplicate listings

Other ranking factors

Once the keywords part and the local SEO are covered, Google will trust that it is a legitimate business, relevant for the customer’s search. But there are also factors related the website performance that will influence its ranking in search results.

  • Mobile friendliness score: Restaurants are in the industry most searched on mobile, so having a mobile friendly website will help generating more sales (test the website here).
  • Page speed: 40% of people abandon a page that takes more than 3 seconds to load, so speed is taken seriously by Google (get your website scored here).
  • Security certificate: Spend few dollars on an SSL certificate. Ask the webmaster to help with this and the website will bear that “green locker” icon in the browser address bar.
    make your website secure

Can you provide a restaurant website for me?

Our online ordering system includes a service to instantly build a mobile friendly website that’s highly optimized for sales and search engines. Domain name is included and everything is designed to generate more online orders.

Read more about this service here.