Create an SEO-friendly restaurant website

Get discovered by diners online

Showing up first in search results on Google can lead to more clicks to your website and more diners at your tables. This checklist is designed to help you get there.

To make the most of this checklist, you’ll need to know—

What is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimise, or optimise your chances of showing up in someone’s internet search. In other words, SEO helps drive organic traffic from search engines to your website.

 

Why search rankings matter to restaurants

When diners are searching for a restaurant, you want to rank high in search on Google to drive traffic to your website and ultimately your restaurant. A key part of that is optimising your website so diners find it easily on search engines. For example, if you have a pizzeria in Notting Hill, London, you want to show up when someone searches for “pizza in Notting Hill.”

How to make your website discoverable

Driving potential diners to your website and to your OpenTable profile page has a big upside: bookings through these sources have lower cancellations than those made directly from a Google search result page. Use the real estate on search result pages to send people to your platforms, rather than having them book via Google’s knowledge panel or Google Maps. That’s where search engine optimisation comes in.

Remember to include your location, cuisine, hours, menu, directions, photos, and booking link on your website, and keep them up to date. Posting photos and offers to your profile is a great way to inspire diners to come in for a meal.

Checklist for an SEO-friendly restaurant website

SEO:

  • Make your site mobile-friendly. People search for restaurants on mobile devices more than ever. In fact, 56% of bookings on OpenTable are through mobile.* Don’t lose (or annoy) potential guests by having a site that takes too long to load or, worse, can’t be seen clearly on a mobile screen.
  • Keep your navigation simple. Create an easy-to-understand website structure that allows Google to identify pages easily. For instance, include the word “menu” in the navigation (and have it lead to a page featuring your menu!).
  • Create relevant pages. Google looks for things its users look for. Create pages on your website focused on the topics guests want to see. Baseline: include both Menu and Reservation pages on your website. Other common pages that can boost listings are About Us, Contact Us, and Directions.
  • Tag your pages. Use page titles and meta descriptions to accurately describe each page so it’s clear that your pages address these searched-for topics.
  • Use relevant keywords. Google crawls sites for words people search for—you want the relevant words on your site. For instance, including your city and neighbourhood, cuisine, and meals can help you rank for more relevant searches.

Google My Business Profile:

  • Keep contact information up to date. Practical information such as location, hours of operation, menus, and photos can help diners decide to dine with you.
  • Make it easy to reserve. Use a reservation link that’s one click away from booking.
  • Highlight your specialties. Call out your cuisine type(s) and any occasions you specialise in to attract diners.

*Based on OpenTable UK reservations from October 2018 to October 2019

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