Online Ordering for Restaurants in Google search
Using a search engine such as Google to do research is an automatic habit for many people. This includes learning about local restaurants, and more specifically how to order from those restaurants online. These people may be newcomers to the area, or locals looking for a change from their usual dining routine. The restaurants appearing near the top of the search results will likely get the attention as well as the business of these restaurant researchers. The difference between restaurant websites near the top and those hidden further down in the search engine results is largely due to their search engine friendliness, something you have the power to control if you know what to look for.
A search engine friendly website uses search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to make it easier for Google to assess the website’s content at a glance (so to speak). This allows Google to send more of the right type of visitors. One of the main driving principles of Google is that they wish to be the best at offering the most pertinent data to searchers. If you haven’t incorporated SEO into your restaurant website design, and your site isn’t near the top of the search results for local searches, you stand to gain increased business by following the five SEO tips discussed below.
Include Important Keywords
If you have a seafood restaurant, the word “seafood restaurant” should appear as text in a number of places. If the word appears in your website header image, Google won’t recognize it because search engines can’t actually see images. They can only read keywords in the form of text. You should include keywords within your description of your website as well as in your meta description tags, title tags (where it makes sense) and meta keyword tags. Be careful not to engage in keyword stuffing, where a single keyword is repeated over and over within your meta tags or your web content for any single web page. Repetition doesn’t work, annoys visitors, and can incur a penalty from Google where they will actually squash your ranking to the back of the line.
Focus on Your Visitors
While focusing on your visitors is obvious, it’s nevertheless mentioned because some websites make the mistake of focusing exclusively on the search engines. This defeats the purpose of getting more visitors if they take one look at your site and leave. In addition, a restaurant website should mention their dishes and other topics that are typical for them. Google knows what these related topics are and will use them when ranking the website.
Use the Image Alt Tag
Restaurant websites have lots of images. Be sure to include an appropriate keyword in the alt tag of every image. This is another way to tell Google what your site is all about. It has an additional benefit of bringing in image search traffic.
Include a Sitemap
Google periodically “spiders” your website to discover newly published web pages. Usually, this doesn’t present a problem if your navigation system links to every page. However, sometimes web pages get isolated from others for various reasons, and a sitemap ensures that Google finds all of them. While there are online sitemap generators that will create one for your website, remembering to update your sitemap every time you publish a new web page can be a problem. In this case, there are sitemap plugins that do this automatically. These plugins are available for websites using popular content management systems such as WordPress.
Make Your Website Fast and Mobile Friendly
Page loading speed and mobile friendliness are both important ranking factors in Google. The reason is that the visitor’s experience is important to Google, and it doesn’t want to send its users to slow loading web pages or to websites that are difficult to view and interact with on a mobile device. Even without the SEO benefit, complying with these two ranking factors makes perfect business sense. No one wants to wait around for a slow website, and people prefer effortless browsing, which isn’t possible for mobile traffic on a site that doesn’t accommodate their viewing devices.
Depending on your website, making it mobile responsive can either involve a simple plugin addition (if it’s a WordPress site), or require more involved work. Either way, the effort will quickly pay itself off with more traffic and business.
Hosting Your Restaurant Website and Building it Right
Speeding up your website requires hosting it on a fast server, keeping your database queries to a minimum with caching, and compressing your web page files. Image file compression is especially important because restaurants rely heavily on imagery, and large images can result in big files. Get them compressed and you won’t have any problems. You can quickly identify other website speed issues using Google’s PageSpeed Insights.
Attract more search engine visitors to your restaurant website using the above SEO tips. More visitors means more customers and profits. Be sure to use the proper keywords for what you are trying to do. If you are looking drive more online ordering for your restuarant, then focus on those keywords specifically as well on dedicated pages within your site.
If you don’t have time to build an SEO friendly website, 9fold can help. We design restaurant websites and create them in an SEO friendly format built with the purpose of driving online ordering in house to your own system. The big players at commission based third party systems have mastered the techniques, it’s up to you to get it back. For more information on this, contact us at https://9fold.me/restaurant-website-design.