Client Stories

Winking Lizard: SEO for Restaurants

Skip the web agencies and contractors; get a fully-designed restaurant website that looks good and brings more guests to your digital front door. 

Your restaurant website should have beauty and brains. As an owner, you know that a key part of growing your business is bringing in new customers; your website is a key player in helping accomplish that goal—or it should be

A website is only as strong as its SEO (search engine optimization); that’s what makes you “find-able” when guests search things like ‘burgers near me’ on Google. Unfortunately, many of the most popular website builders aren’t made to serve the unique online needs of a restaurant which means many restaurants are missing key opportunities to strengthen their relationship with Google. 


There are three key optimization factors that search engines pay attention to:

Is the content relevant? 

One key signal for search engines is how relevant your website is to the question that’s been searched. For example, let’s say someone is searching for “Nashville hot chicken”. Your restaurant website has a URL, header, and images all containing the same words that were searched, plus it shows that it’s nearby through your location address. These key pieces of information tell Google that your page is likely to successfully answer what that person was searching for and will rank it higher in the search results.


Is the content up-to-date? 

Another way that Google identifies your restaurant as a key source of information and a rank-able resource, is by ‘looking’ at how often the information on your website gets updated. Just like guests, search engines want what’s fresh. When search engines ‘look’ at sites, they review how recently the information was updated; this ensures they aren’t serving outdated information to new searches. 


Is the content more than just text?

Lastly, restaurants can boost their SEO by including images or videos with alt text—or descriptions that are readable by search engines. This not only helps search engines have one more piece of data they can look at for search results, but it also helps restaurants gain traffic from Google Image searches. 


Making sure your website hits all these optimization factors can feel overwhelming and like a lot of work. Popmenu’s website and menu structure is designed to hit them all. With rich text descriptions, photos, and location-specific content, our restaurant websites ensure Google finds your content relevant and has more than just text, plus real-time activity like ‘pops’ (likes) and guest reviews count as updates and keep your website content fresh.  


How does Popmenu optimize SEO for restaurants?

Going back to the three search engine questions above, Popmenu has built our websites to specifically address restaurant optimization: 


Expand your digital footprint

Each dish on a Popmenu site is built with its own URL and with headers and descriptive text. When a dish lives on its own web page, it helps search engines easily find that relevant info by placing key information exactly where search engines need it so it can be found. For example, someone searches for a burger, Google finds your burger dish page and presents it in the search results. 


Regularly update pages

Whether you update your menu with new dishes regularly or have crowd-pleasing favorites that are on the menu year-round—Popmenu has the tools to keep your site up-to-date. If you’re adding new dishes regularly, that’s more pages for search engines to crawl. Meanwhile, the longer a dish is on your menu, the more reviews & pops the dish will receive. Each pop (or ‘like’) and each review that is published to a dish renews its listing with search engines.


Photos that do more than entice

While the text portions of web pages are key for SEO, your restaurant can gain even better standings by providing images with alt text on your menus. Alt-text is a short written description of an image in case the image can’t be viewed. Adding alt text to your images also helps with your website’s ADA compliance.


The Power of Popmenu SEO

Winking Lizard, a seventeen-location, family-owned restaurant group in Ohio, has quickly increased its visibility and ability to attract guests looking for a family-friendly bar where they can grab a brew and watch the big game. Check out these results after just three months with Popmenu: 




**“Before Popmenu” stats provided by the Winking Lizard team for their last full quarter on their previous website platform. “With Popmenu” stats were collected from March 1st-June 30th, 2021.**


The increase in traffic, users, and time spent on the site are all key indicators of organic growth, as no ads were running during either time frame. In other words, more people found their website through Google without any digital advertising cost to Winking Lizard. With 94,000 more hits to their home page and nearly 60,000 more views of their locations page—it’s a huge win to see how many more guests are finding their way to Winking Lizard’s digital front door through the Google search bar. 


Ready for your restaurant to get these kinds of results? See what Popmenu can do for you by completing the form below.