Increasingly, consumers are turning to the internet first to direct their dining decisions. In fact, 90 percent of consumers research a restaurant online before dining; but with all the restaurant options out there, how do you make sure yours is the first to be found?
According to Moz, SEO or search engine optimization, is the practice of increasing the quality and quantity of website traffic. Put simply, optimizing for search helps your restaurant attract more people who are more likely to order from your restaurant website.
How does SEO for restaurants work?
Like any practice, SEO takes time and content to see results and cultivate growth.
Quantity of organic traffic is driven by optimization factors like:
- Page speed
- Activity (e.g., reviews, likes, event calendars, etc.)
- External links
- and ADA conformance
Increasing the quality of website traffic and exposure to your brand is dependent on your website including content that people are searching for—like what you serve, where you’re located, and your hours of service.
This is why your menus, location address (linked to Google Maps as an added bonus!) and hours-of-operation are three of the most important factors on your website.
Google and SEO for restaurants
Google is hands down the #1 driver of traffic, so it’s important to “keep Google happy.” A website that makes it easier for guests to navigate and find relevant information will always rank higher on Google than one that does not.
How Popmenu drives SEO for restaurants.
Popmenu’s platform was designed with SEO for restaurants in mind. Our platform prioritizes location-specific content ensuring it’s easily identified by guests and search engine crawlers to improve results rankings.
Remember those optimization factors? We make sure your website and menu has them all—with beautiful food photography, real-time activity like ‘pops’ (likes) and guest reviews, and individual web pages for each dish so Google not only ranks your restaurant in results but also specific menu items.
More about our SEO secret sauce—the interactive menu.
There is no interactive menu technology on the market like Popmenu’s. Our interactive menus display stunning photos, mouthwatering descriptions and real-time reviews from past guests—so potential guests have everything they need to make a dining decision right on your restaurant’s website. What’s even better is these features go hand in hand with optimizing your search engine results rankings and visibility.
With Popmenu every dish is displayed as its own website page in the eyes of a search engine and each dish is positioned to collect an ever-growing supply of reviews and ‘pops’ (likes). With each review left by your guests, Google will recognize that activity on your website on an ongoing basis, and determine if the new content (i.e., reviews) helps generate the best answer to the question being asked in the Google search (e.g., best breakfast near me).
SEO for restaurants in action: Culhane’s Irish Pub
They show up as the ‘best’ for local branded results in Google searches like:
- Best Irish pub in Jacksonville, FL
- Irish restaurant in Jacksonville, FL
- Best Irish in Jacksonville, FL
What’s more? Culhane’s most reviewed dish—with 35 reviews and growing—is their delicious shepherd's pie; and it comes up in search engine results when someone goes to Google looking for “best shepherd's pie in Jacksonville, FL.” The result displays with a photo thumbnail captured directly from their website.
Pretty cool, huh? What you are seeing in the results is Google displaying a preview of the dish with a photo thumbnail and star rating based on average reviews and ‘pops’ (likes) generated on the Popmenu platform. Check out another example from Milk & Honey:
Guest behavior is continuing to shift and expectations have been reset—especially in response to COVID-19. The restaurant experience now starts at the search bar; it’s important that your web presence is optimized for the “search for whatever you are hungry for right now” model.*
Things to remember about SEO for restaurants
You will not be at the top of search engines overnight.It takes time, engagement, and persistence to rank well in search engines; butPopmenu can help you get there faster.
Google My Business Integration
Google is the #1 driver of traffic to your website; it’s important to keep your restaurant’s business listing up-to-date. Popmenu's Google My Business integration makes it easy for you to control your Google listing right in your dashboard—so you can keep the information on your Google listing and website consistent.
Popmenu’s events feature promotes the latest of what’s going on at your restaurant, specials you’re highlighting, and any upcoming events (virtual or in-person), right on your website and Google My Business.Events display as individual pages, similar to dishes, and include markup to help appear directly in Google Search results for customers to easily discover.
The more times your website comes up in response to people's questions and searches in Google’s search engine, the stronger your organic search engine rankings. Blogs are an excellent opportunity to display your brand personality and generate your own content to show up in search engine results, organically.
External links on a website help boost SEO for restaurants. A press page not only builds credibility by showcasing the publications your restaurant has been featured in, it also amplifies your SEO with inbound, or external links. Inbound links are termed the currency of the Internet and help establish a website's reputation on search engines.
Invest in the platform that puts restaurants first
Popmenu’s platform is uniquely equipped to transform visitors into guests at all stages of the dining cycle. So, when guests search what they’re craving, they’re enticed by your delicious dishes in the results, leading them to your website to engage with dish photos and reviews directly—all that’s left to do is order online!
Popmenu has all the tools necessary to build strong SEO for restaurants—come learn how we can drive more traffic to you!