SEO will be a crucial part of your restaurant’s website in 2023 now that the pandemic is well behind us but with new customer habits and behaviours.
Yet we see so many restaurant owners who haven’t invested the time or expertise into getting their website SEO sorted. And this can seriously limit how well your restaurant ranks on Google.
If you’re not operating in a competitive market, that might be okay. But if you’re a pizzeria in downtown Chicago, that’s a huge problem.
So today we are going to look at a checklist that you can use to make sure your restaurant’s SEO allows you to rank as well as possible.
If you’d rather someone else handle your SEO checklist, check out the Advanced SEO Service by The Digital Restaurant.
10-Step Restaurant SEO Checklist
Are you ready to sort out your website’s SEO? Sit down, set aside a couple of hours, and let’s get your SEO sorted in ten simple steps.
Step 1: Choose your primary and related keywords
For each website page, you’ll need to identify a primary keyword to target. You can also target a secondary related keywords that is closely related to your primary keyword.
What method do you use to locate these keywords? Google Keyword Planner, KeywordTool.io, Ahrefs, Moz, SEMRush, and Ubersuggest are just a few examples of online tools. Alternatively, you can use NGAZE Platform for keyword research.
Let’s take a look at an example using a pizzeria in Chicago. Here’s how we would pair keywords with the pages of their website.
|Primary/ Related Keywords||Web page|
|pizza chicago /deep dish pizza chicago||Homepage|
|pizza menu / pizza menu specials||Menu page|
|pizza specials / pizza deals||Specials page|
|order pizza online / pizza delivery||Order page|
|restaurant reservations (near me) / dinner reservations||Reservations page|
|pizza catering (near me) / pizza catering deals||Catering page|
|banquet halls (near me)||Banquet page|
|deep dish pizza (near me)||About|
|Additional keyword||Contact page|
Step 2: Optimize page titles
You’ll need to optimize your page’s title after you’ve associated each page with a primary and possibly secondary keyword.
The primary keyword should be first in the title of each page, followed by the secondary keyword (if relevant) and separated by pipes (|).
Your company name should only appear on the homepage and your contact page.
The title of each page should be no more than 70 characters long. So be it if that means only having one term in the title.
Finally, make certain that each page title is unique.
Step 3: Optimize meta descriptions
After we’ve optimized the page titles, we’ll need to focus on the other piece of metadata that users will see in Google: the meta description of your page. This is the brief description that appears at the bottom of each Google page. These can be a little longer—maximum of 160 characters—but they should still be concise and to the point.
Make sure your keyword or phrase is included in the description, but most importantly, make it appealing. It must entice people to visit your website.
Step 4: Optimize URLs
With this step, there comes a word of caution. We do not advise changing your current URLs. This is more likely to have a negative impact on your rankings than a favorable one.
Keep in mind the following points when creating future URLs: keep them brief, include the keywords, and separate each word with a hyphen (-).
Step 5: Optimize heading tags
We’ve almost reached the halfway point. The header tags on your page come next. Only one H1 tag should be used on each page of your website. This is the page title for most WordPress pages. The H1 element should include (as close to the front as possible) your keyword and appropriately describe your page.
Step 6: Check keyword density
Some people try to cram their keywords into the content of their pages. This must not be done! Use your keyword a handful of times naturally throughout your material, but no more than that.
If you believe you are overusing a keyword, don’t be afraid to reduce it if possible.
Step 7: Add a clear call to action to pages
We are nearly home and dry, just a few more steps to go! Here, we are going to make sure that there is a call to action on every page above the fold. What this means is that there is a command for a user to take that they can see without scrolling.
In most cases, this will be “order online”, but it could be “reserve a table”, or “place an order by phone”.
Step 8: Add internal links
For each page on your website, look for opportunities in the content where you can link out to the other pages of your website. So on your menu page, you can link to your online ordering page, on your online ordering page you can link back to your menu page. You should have links to all of your major pages on your homepage.
When you create the internal links, make sure that the part of the sentence that you link to contains the keyword of the destination page.
Step 9: Optimize images
Your images should be optimized for your primary keyword, too. On each page make sure that the main image on the page has an alt tag which contains that page’s keyword.
The title of the image should also contain the keyword (it can be the same as the alt tag) and the image should be as small as possible without sacrificing quality.
Step 10: Check pagespeed
That’s it. You’re done! The only thing left to do now is to check your on-page optimization. First, check each page with Google’s PageSpeed Tool. Then, check each page with The Digital Restaurant SEO Checker. Both Google’s and our own tool will tell you just how well your page is optimized and exactly what you can do to improve it.
Maximize Restaurant SEO with The Digital Restaurant
If you really want to maximize SEO for your restaurant’s website, it’s time to reach out to The Digital Restaurant. You won’t just get access to the NGAZE restaurant marketing tool, you’ll also be able to reach out to us for help and commission us to do the work for you. Can’t wait to get started, get in touch today.
Need help with SEO for your restaurant? Learn about our Advanced Restaurant SEO Service »