Chapter 5

Tavernify Academy

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Improving your Restaurant SEO is crucial for getting more traffic to your website. It makes your restaurant appear on the search engine whenever your customers are searching for you. Sadly not many places offers Restaurant’s specific guideline to follow. 

If you are serious about increasing your website traffic, then you need to pay attention to the Restaurant SEO best practices.

In this guide, we will share the top SEO tips to help you improve your restaurant SEO and get more organic traffic.
 

You might have heard experts saying that WordPress is SEO friendly. This is actually why a lot of people choose WordPress to start a blog or a website.

While WordPress makes sure that the code it generates follows the SEO best practices, there is a lot more you need to do if you want to maximize your SEO efforts.

We have a number of actionable steps that you need to take to properly optimize your Restaurant SEO.

In this tutorial, we will be using Yoast as the SEO Plugin.

Yoast SEO is the best Restaurant SEO plugin on the market and offers the most comprehensive set of tools to optimize your website.

However, many beginners are not familiar with SEO lingo and find it difficult to decide which plugin options they should turn on.

In this guide, we will walk you through a complete Yoast SEO plugin set up in a restaurant website and give your website an SEO boost.

Features

Yoast SEO is the most comprehensive Restaurant SEO plugin with many built-in tools and features. Here is a quick overview of some of those features.

  • Change post’s SEO title and meta description on a per post basis.
  • Title and meta description support for taxonomies (e.g. category and tags).
  • Google search result snippet previews.
  • Focus keyword testing.
  • Meta Robots configuration:
    • Easily add noodp, noydir meta tags.
    • Easily noindex, or nofollow pages, taxonomies or entire archives.
  • Improved canonical support, adding canonical to taxonomy archives, single posts and pages and the front page.
  • RSS footer / header configuration.
  • Permalink clean ups, while still allowing for Google Custom Search.
  • Breadcrumbs support, with configurable breadcrumbs titles.
  • XML Sitemaps with:
    • Images
    • Configurable removal of post types and taxonomies
    • Pages or posts that have been noindexed will not show in XML sitemap (but can if you want them too).
  • XML News Sitemaps
  • .htaccess and robots.txt editor
  • Ability to verify Google Search Console, Yahoo Site Explorer, and Bing Webmaster Tools

How to Install Yoast SEO Plugin

First, thing you need to do is install and activate the Yoast SEO plugin. 

Installing Yoast SEO is easy, just follow these simple steps:

  1. Click on ‘Plugins’.
    On the left-hand side, you will see a menu. In that menu, click on ‘Plugins’.
  2. Search for ‘Yoast SEO’
    Click on ‘Add New’ near the top of the screen. Type ‘Yoast SEO’ in the search bar.

  3. Install the plugin
    Searching will give you a page of search results. The plugin should be visible now. Click the ‘Install Now’ link to start installing the plugin.

  4. Activate the plugin
    Once the installation has finished, click the ‘Activate’ button. It has appeared where the ‘Install Now’ button was previously located.

Upon activation, you will notice a new menu item in your restaurant website admin bar labeled SEO with Yoast SEO logo on it.

Now that you have installed and activated the plugin, let’s take a look at how to properly setup this powerful plugin.

How to Setup Restaurant SEO Plugin by Yoast

You should remember that the settings that we select are the ones that we recommend. Other experts may have their own preferences and discretion, so advanced users can ignore anything that they do not like.

If you are a beginner, and you want to use Yoast’s Restaurant SEO plugin as we do, then please follow along with the steps carefully.

Step 1. General Settings

Clicking on the SEO icon takes you to the settings page for the plugin. Switch to the ‘General’ tab and you will notice a button to open configuration wizard. We want you to ignore this wizard, because we will be taking you step by step through each option.

Step 2. Features

Yoast SEO comes with a lot of features. This page allows you to easily turn those features on and off. By default, all options on this page are turned on.

We’ll talk about some of them later in this tutorial. For now, let’s take a quick look at each item and what it does.

  • SEO analysis : Shows the SEO score and analysis for your content.
  • Readability analysis : Shows the readabity analysis and score for your content.
  • Cornerstone content : This feature allows you to mark and filter cornner stone content. These are your most important pillar articles.
  • Text link counter : This feature shows the number of internal text links to and from and article.
  • XML sitemaps : Creates XML sitemaps for your website.
  • Ryte integration : Ryte is a third-party service, it will weekly check your site and notify Yoast SEO if your site is deindexed.
  • Admin bar menu : Shows Yoast SEO menu in the WordPress admin toolbar.
  • Security: no advanced settings for authors : Hides advanced SEO settings from authors to improve security.

Step 3. Webmaster Tools

Popular search engines allow site owners to add their sites using webmaster’s tools area.

Yoast SEO makes it easier to verify your website with all top search engines. In order to do that you need to sign up for a webmaster tools program for each search engine.

After that, you’ll be asked to add a meta tag to verify your ownership of the website. Simply add the meta code that you received from the search engines in the respective fields.

Step 4. Search Appearance

Search Appearance in Yoast SEO settings controls how your website appears in search results. This includes several options for your homepage, single articles, archives, and taxonomies.

We’ll walk you through each one of them. Let’s start with the general settings first,

1. General

Here you can choose the symbol you want to use a separator between titles. The default option is a dash, you can use it if you are unsure which symbol to choose.

On this page, you can also choose the SEO title and meta description for your website’s homepage.


After that, you will find the knowledge graph and schema options for your website. You can choose whether your website represents an organization or an individual.

You can also upload an Avatar (profile picture) for the individual or a website logo for a business.

Write your Restaurant’s name inside the Organization name.

2. Content Types

You can choose an SEO title and description for each post or page that you write. Yoast SEO also allows you to set up an automatic template to use for them.

In case you forget to add them manually, these options will allow Yoast SEO to use default settings to automatically fill in those options.

You will be able to set search appearance, date snippet, and whether or not to show SEO meta box for each content type. The default options would work for all websites.

After that, you can set SEO title template and a default meta description.

However, we recommend you to only tweak SEO title and leave the meta description field blank. This would allow Yoast SEO to dynamically generate a description from the first few lines of your article.

3. Media

By default, WordPress creates a new page for each image or media you attach to your posts and pages. This page only displays the attachment media.

Those attachment pages have no significant text to provide search engines a context. Such pages are considered low-quality content by search engines and have a negative SEO impact.

Yoast SEO helps you fix that by redirecting users to the attachment file instead of the attachment page. This option is set to ‘Yes’ by default and you don’t need to change it.

4. Taxonomies

On the taxonomies tab, you can configure titles and meta for categories, tags, custom taxonomies, and post format archives.

Default template variables should work for most sites. As for descriptions, please remember that Yoast SEO picks up descriptions from your categories and tags.

5. Archives

Archives tab allows you to control search appearance options for miscellaneous archive pages on your website. This includes author, date, search, and 404 pages.

The default options will work for most websites. However, if you run a single author blog, then you need to disable author archive pages from search engines.

On a single author blog, the author archive pages are exactly like the date archive or your blog pages. This creates duplicate content which affects your SEO rankings.

6. Breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs are great for internal linking because it defines a clear path or trail to the page you are on. These breadcrumbs also appear in search results giving your site extra advantage in the search.

Make sure that you click on ‘Enabled’, this will reveal more breadcrumb settings.

The default settings should work for most websites, but if you want to change something then go ahead. Once you are done click on the save changes button.

Step 5. Search Console

Search Console section in the Yoast SEO plugin, allows you to connect your Restaurant site to Google Search Console (formerly webmaster tools).

You can also connect WordPress to the Search Console and allow Yoast SEO to fetch and display your search console data.

Simply go to SEO » Search Console page and click on the ‘Get Google Authorization Code’ button.

This will take you to Google Search Console where you will be asked to give permission. After that, you need to copy and paste the Authorization code in the plugin settings.

Google Search Console provides a ton of useful information about your search rankings.

Step 6. Social

As we said earlier, Yoast SEO is a powerhouse packed with many features to provide comprehensive optimization.

One great feature of the plugin is that it integrates your site with Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ social platforms.

Clicking on the Social link under the SEO menu will take you to set up these platforms. We will show you how to configure each of them.

1. Accounts

The first tab under the social settings is for all your social accounts. This allows Yoast SEO to tell Google about your social profiles. You need to simply add the URLs and Twitter username for the main social profiles of your site.

2. Facebook

You need to make sure that open graph metadata option is enabled under the Facebook tab. It allows Yoast SEO to add Facebook open graph metadata in your website’s <head> section.

This will help Facebook pick up the right thumbnail and page information when a post from your website is shared on Facebook.

Next, you need to provide a Facebook App ID if you have one

Below that, you will find the option to provide a thumbnail for your homepage with SEO title and description. This image and description will be used when someone shares the homepage of your site on Facebook.

Additionally, you can provide a default thumbnail image URL. This image will be used for all articles that do not have a thumbnail or any other image.

3. Twitter

As for Twitter, you can add Twitter cards into your site’s head section.

You can also choose the card type to use. We recommend using a summary with a large image.

Step 7. Optimizing Your Pages with Yoast SEO

Just installing and setting up this plugin is not enough. In order for you to really maximize the benefit of this plugin, you need to customize the settings on a per post basis.

Let’s take a look at how you can maximize the benefits by optimizing each post/page in your Restaurant site.

Simply edit any page and you’ll notice a new Yoast SEO metabox below the post editor.

You can start by adding focus keyphrase or keyword. This is the main keyword, which you think your users will enter in search engines to find this post.

After that, Yoast SEO will check your post content for SEO and Readability analysis. You can view the analysis to further improve your article.

Sometimes your post title, and your SEO title might not be the same. Every time, you should write a custom SEO description because the excerpt generator only picks up the first paragraph which might not be the most important one.

Pro Tip: SEO and readability analysis report in Yoast SEO are quite accurate and immensely helpful in improving your content. However, don’t kill yourself over it or you will be spending more time on following the analysis instead of creating better content for your users.

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