Guide to improving restaurant on-page SEO
May 17, 2017
Today, we are continuing our topic on SEO with a how-to on improving your on-page SEO. If you missed our original article, Intro to Restaurant Website SEO, click on the link.
There are 3 major categories in on-page SEO, that you’ll need to take a look at. The first and most important, is content.
Content, content, content
You’ve probably heard it before: “Content is king.” Bill Gates made this prediction in 1996 and it’s as true as ever today.
Because a Google search engine customer is happy when he finds the result that serves his needs in the best way. Google always tries to give you the best possible experience by directing you to the greatest content it can find.
This means your number one job, to do well with SEO, is to produce great content.
SEO is no different than any other skill – the great results will always come from big effort. Just like the best marketing in the world won’t help you sell a bad product, super advanced SEO will be useless if your content sucks.
So you may be asking, “Well Guys, what exactly makes ‘great’ content?”
Glad you asked! Here are factors in Google’s eyes that make up great content:
- Quality – Position yourself as an authoritative figure in the space. Provide useful and meaningful content that is valuable to readers.
- Keyword research – Doing your keyword research up front is a crucial part of great content. Out of all on-page SEO factors, this is the one you should spend the most time learning. What terms are your customer using to search for your restaurant? How would YOU search for the site? What SHOULD it be?
- Use those keywords – Google has gotten smarter over the years. While you should, of course, use your keyword throughout your content, jamming your keyword into your text as much as possible will hurt your rankings, rather than improve them. As long as you make sure your keyword is present in strategically important places (like headlines, URL and meta description), there is no need to mention it tons of times in your text. Just focus on the reader and seamlessly integrate your keyword a few times.
- Keep the content fresh – Posting frequently will drive higher search results. But that does not mean creating new content every single day or week. Take old content and update it – include new sources, updated data and links. Even push your content out on other blogs to help keep new eyes coming to your content.
- Answer directly – Finally, one of the more recent updates provides searchers with direct answers. If your content is written clearly enough for Google to recognize it as an answer to a particular question, it will show up directly beneath the search bar.
The next big chunk you have to take care of, once you’ve made sure your content is evergreen, is HTML.
You don’t have to be a professional coder or get a degree in programming to make sure the HTML is speaking the same keyword-rich message presented on your webpages.
Let’s take a look at the parts of HTML you should optimize for each and every single piece of content you produce.
- Title tags – Title tags are the online equivalent of newspaper headlines. They are what shows up in the tab of your browser when you open a new page. The HTML tag used for them is called title, but in case of blogs it often becomes an h1-tag, which stands for heading of the first order. Every page should only have one h1-tag to make the title clear to Google.
- Meta description – Meta descriptions are what shows up as an excerpt when Google displays your page as a result to searchers. It’s easy to spot who’s done their SEO homework and who hasn’t by the meta description. Optimized meta description results will never be cut off and end with “…” or seem like they end mid-sentence. They also often mention their keyword up front.
- Subheads – Not only do they help format and structure your content and give your readers easy reference points, but they also affect SEO. Compared to your h1-tags, h2, h3, h4 and further subheads have less SEO power, but still matter and should therefore be used.
The third and last part of on-page SEO, that we will cover, is site architecture. While this part gets super-techy, super fast, there are a few simple things everyone can and should take care of, to improve SEO rankings.
A good website architecture leads to a great experience for the user when he navigates your page, through things such as fast loading times, a safe connection and a mobile-friendly design.
When building the structure of your website, remember this tip: The more accessible your website is to Google, the better it will rank.
Here are some factors that will help your website rank higher in regards to the site architecture:
- Search Engine ‘Crawlability’ – Google uses programs called spiders/crawlers that index your webpages. Depending on how well the spiders can index all the pages on your site, they’ll be more likely to report back to Google that you are a good result. The thicker the web of links between pages of your site, the easier it is for the spiders to reach all of them, giving the search engine a better understanding of your site.
- Refresh content – We discussed this above, but a common mistake is to think everything on your page should be original. Re-posting your content on other websites or publishing your guest posts again on your own site, doesn’t hurt your SEO.
- Be mobile-friendly – If your site is not mobile-friendly, you have already lost. We cannot state how important this is.
- Page speed – No one likes waiting 20 seconds for a page to load. NO ONE.
- Keywords in URLs – This seems like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised how many sites do not include a keyword in their URLs. Is your site one these culprits?
We hope that this has been helpful and encourage you to use this as a starting point to improving your restaurant’s on-page SEO.
Be sure to join us next week as we tackle optimization for off-page SEO.
Need to pass the time between our next post? Then check out Custom Business Solutions for all your restaurant technology needs!