You need a restaurant menu builder for your website instead of linking to a PDF menu or an image. FoodieBuild’s easy-to-use restaurant menu builder lets you manage your menu’s courses, items, prices, and descriptions. Search engines are also automatically notified when your menus change.
Simply linking to a PDF or image-based version of your restaurant’s menu may actually hurt your website’s SEO and frustrate potential customers, causing them to find somewhere else to eat. Here’s what you should be doing to market your restaurant’s menu items:
1. List Every Menu Item
At the very least, every item you serve should have a name and price associated with it. You should even write a brief description for your items whenever possible. Believe it or not, people enjoy reading about what they order and your descriptions can become keywords for search engines. Your website might be the first result when someone searches for “Italian pasta near me” because you added descriptions to your menu items.
There are numerous restaurant menu builders available online, but FoodieBuild’s menu builder is one of the easiest to use. It allows you to add a name, price, description, and customizable tags to each menu item.
2. Group Menu Items Into Courses
Group your menu items into categories, courses, or whatever you like to call them. Your choice of courses should make sense conceptually. However you decide to group your items, make sure you structure your menu so it’s easy to read and quick to find items. You don’t want customers scrolling up and down your web page trying to find an entree and a side. Group items together in a way that makes sense. For example, don’t put your breakfast course between your lunch and dinner courses. Also, people typically order appetizers first so those make sense at the beginning of your menu.
A restaurant menu builder, like the one FoodieBuild provides, makes it quick and easy to set up courses and drag and drop menu items and courses to reorganize them. There’s no excuse for having a poorly structured online menu.
3. Don’t Use PDFs or Image Menus, Use a Restaurant Menu Builder (like FoodieBuild)
Almost every internet browser can open PDF files and images, so traditionally, they’ve been popular choices for displaying restaurant menus. However, using a PDF or an image as your menu isn’t the best approach to marketing your menu online. Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t use those methods:
- Search engines, like Google, may not index images embedded in a PDF and may not index the text that’s in an image.
- It may take longer for search engines to get around to indexing PDFs than regular web pages.
- Customers have to download and open the PDF files on their device.
- PDFs and images can take a while to load, especially on mobile devices.
- PDFs aren’t mobile-friendly or responsive.
- While images can scale to any screen size, it can be difficult to read text within the image on a small screen.
Aside from bad SEO, using a PDF or image menu makes your job a little bit harder because whenever you need to update your menu you’ll have to lay the content out how you want it, export the menu as a PDF or image, re-upload the file to the web, and wait for search engines to index your menu.
The FoodieBuild restaurant menu builder has you covered if you’re still not convinced to ditch PDFs and image menus. The restaurant menu builder allows you to upload a PDF or image in case you prefer that. But I’m sure once you see how easy the menu builder is to use, you’ll never go back to PDFs and images. Here’s a screenshot of the menu builder in action:
4. Put Your Menu On Your Website, Not a Third-Party Restaurant Menu Builder
I know it’s quick and easy to use a third-party service to build your menus out. There are a couple of problems with that.
- You’re giving that third-party website your valuable web traffic.
- Customers now have to switch between your website and the third-party’s website to find the information they’re looking for.
When a customer is using your website, you have complete control over their user experience. You can control what they see, how they see it, and guide them to what they need to see. Let’s imagine someone is viewing your menu on your website. Wouldn’t it be cool to show a popup box asking them for their email address so you can send them marketing emails later on? How about showing them promotions and coupons for certain menu items? You lose those luxuries when customers are viewing your menu through a third-party site.
Additionally, if customers have to switch between your website to view information and a third-party website to view your menu, they’re getting a bad user experience. You want your customers happy so that your business is happy.
5. Follow Schema.org Guidelines for Online Menus
Schema.org is an initiative founded by companies like Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Yandex to standardize structured data online. Why is this important? Well, search engines are capable of looking at this structured data and pulling out important pieces of information that are beneficial to users such as a restaurant’s address, contact information, logos, articles, reviews, pictures, and yes…menus. Each bullet point of this article has been leading up to this point. Structured data helps search engines understand your website’s content, which they can display to users in the form of rich snippets to add extra information to your search engine result entry.
The purpose of this article isn’t to delve in to how to use the MenuItem schema. There are a ton of other blogs and resources that do cover that. But with the FoodieBuild restaurant menu builder, there’s no need to worry about building menu schemas. It’s all done for you automatically. Your schema updates instantly and search engines will be automatically notified when your menus change.