Google’s algorithms in search engine rankings have become increasingly complex.   With a main goal of serving its searchers with the most popular and best in class sites, how does your restaurant land the impressive first page of the search ranking? It’s accomplished via a series of search optimization strategies. Although Google’s system accounts for over 200 factors taking effect, we have rounded up the most important for the restaurant industry. After all, the success of your business may depend on it. SEO is an important pillar of marketing that should not be avoided.

First and foremost, you must have a mobile fri

endly website. Search engines want cross-platform sites that work across desktop and mobile phone.

User Friendly Website Navigation:

More important than the design of your site, navigation plays one of the single most central elements. Your users should be easily able to access menus, photos, addresses and locations by effortlessly locating a tab button and clicking onward to a new page. Google looks for bounce back rates (the rate of users exiting your site after just arriving) and then flags the site. Search engines want to know users find your restaurant site enticing to navigate.   Try to predict the user behavior when organizing content and web menus. Position links where the user expects to see them and keep tab names simple.

 Searching Friendly URLs

URLs identify unique addresses of a web page. Each URL should contain the keywords used in the page’s titles. For example, if the restaurant site has a page on corporate events, the URL should read Marios.com/corporate_events not Marios.com/bookyourprivateparty. Some web building pages like WordPress generate automatic URLS that are incomprehensible such as TedsToast.com/page3_9843_. You’ll need to go in and customize the URL of each page.

Tag Title and Meta Tag Descriptions

The tag tile and meta tag are brief descriptions or otherwise concise summaries of your page. A tag title should include the basics such as the business name, location and main services. A meta tag tells users about the topic of the page. These are the descriptions that show on the Google ranking pages.   You need to lure the user into clicking onto your site with a one line description.   Let Google know you know the rules by limiting your characters to 50-150. Make sure this is added on every page and that each page boosts a unique description. See below for examples:

Tag Title: Restaurant in Central Chicago| Cleavers

Meta Tag: Upscale restaurant with a large terrace and classic British recipes

 

To ensure you’re doing the job right, use this free tool SEO site checkup to see if each of your webpages list the appropriate tag tile and meta tag per page.

Images and Speed

Professionally taken food photography can often come in large files. Photos must be optimized for quick loading time. Google refuses to highly rank sites that do not meet their standards of load time. When was the last time you clicked on a top ranking site that led to loading problems? To ensure you hit standards of loading time, prevent posting any photographs that exceed 150KB.   Slow loading pages make users exit increasing bounce rates mentioned earlier. Name each file name as descriptively as possible. Images should be uploaded as file name “Margarita Pizza” instead of “IMG-135454.JPG” If your site already contains imagery, use Google PageSpeed Insights to review sizes.   You can also use Gtmetrix.com to find out which pages are not loading on time.

Heading tags

Each page contains a heading tag, letting search engines know the order of importance on your pages. To see your headtags, press ctrl+shift+C on Windows or Cmd+shift+C on Mac. It will open up the HTML code of the page where you will look for heading signals labeled: <H1> to <H6> The higher the number, the less important the page. With what seems as an infinite number of webpages on the web, Google wants to recognize your most important page first.

Content

With good content comes natural social media sharing.   Often, it’s the reason why some restaurants contain blogs.   Perhaps, they post recipes or continually source the ingredients they are using. You want to write exciting, useful, helpful or thought provoking content that encourages the user to share your link. Every website link that is shared improves your SEO. It signals that users find your site appealing and want to showcase their interest. Google trusts social sharing.

While this guide provides an outline of basic principles, a starter guide to SEO is extensive. Google doesn’t want to hide its tactics, but rather help users understand its behavior that allows trustworthy methods to scour the web in search of the best websites out there. You can read more in the Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide for webmasters released officially by Google