You already know diners use OpenTable to make reservations. But they also use the OpenTable search function to get ideas about where to go out to dinner next and discover new restaurants. Remember, your profile page is more than a list of vital stats about your restaurant. It’s a preview of the dining experience you offer. Plus a robust profile helps your SEO and rank on Google search. Making your profile page search-friendly can really add up to more business because OpenTable is optimized to drive conversion, turning browsers into diners.
Luckily, optimizing your profile for better search results on OpenTable has a lot in common with making it more useful and attractive to diners. Use these low-effort but high-impact tips to make your profile irresistible.
Start with an eye-catching profile photo
Your profile photo creates an instant impression for people arriving on your page from a search. You want that picture to be a great one. Whether it’s an appetizing food shot or a look at your restaurant’s interior, you want a well-lit, in-focus photo. You’ll need to make sure your image file is at least 1280 by 720 pixels, and you need to use a JPEG or PNG file format.
Don’t assume you need to hire a professional photographer to take shots of your restaurant. Many restaurants have found that to be worth the investment, but many others restaurants have eye-catching profile photos that were snapped with a good eye, natural light, and a smartphone.
Once you’ve got your shot, give that file a descriptive file name. (Think “Precita Park Cafe Burger.JPG” not “IMG00005.JPG”)
Write a detailed description
Your description should bring your restaurant life for diners. Describe, in as much detail as you can, the food, the drinks, and the atmosphere. Mention the style of cuisine you serve and any signature dishes. Use your name and the chef’s name.
Before you write up this important paragraph, ask yourself what your ideal diner would put into an OpenTable search when seeking out a restaurant. Identify some questions potential diners might have before making a reservation. Your description should answer these questions and queries. Don’t be nervous though—you’ll be able to change up this description at any time.
Now add some keywords
You don’t want to make your profile description all about keywords, but once you’ve written it, you can do some basic keyword research. Then, go back over it and see where you can naturally work them in. AnswerThePublic is a popular free research tool.
Special diets are often big keywords, so if you have a vegan or gluten-free menu you should say so. Dog-friendly, keto-friendly, and Mediterranean are some other frequently-searched terms. And the pandemic has made rooftop, outdoor dining, and patio keywords worth including if you offer any of these coveted amenities. Beware the temptation to jam in keywords just for the sake of improving your search ranking. You want it to read well and make sense for human beings first, search engine algorithms second.
Post your menus
You probably already have your menus posted on your website, and it can be tempting to simply add a link to send your OpenTable profile page visitors over there. But it’s important to add those menus here, too, so people can find the information they’re looking for quickly. Plus, you don’t want diners to wander off the page and end up not making that reservation because they got distracted or click-happy. Don’t forget to add your happy hour menu, brunch menu, or any other special menu. It can all help improve your search ranking.
Get seen more in search
As mentioned, a robust profile helps improve your search ranking in OpenTable search by giving diners information that helps them make an informed dining decision. OpenTable restaurants have even more control to amplify exposure in search results by running a digital marketing campaign to target specific shifts or days when you might be slower.
Respond to reviews
OpenTable user reviews are high-quality information. Reviews are allowed only from diners who have actually been seated at your restaurant. In other words, there are no meaningless venting sessions disguised as reviews written by people who’ve never dined with you. OpenTable checks over all reviews to ensure they meet a certain standard.
When a review does include some critical feedback, it’s a good idea to respond to the review and consider if you should address it. This can help provide more relevant content and information to people looking at your restaurant profile.
Detail your COVID safety precautions
Obviously, COVID safety has been a hot topic for a year now, and though things are improving, this remains a concern. OpenTable has made it easy for you to address these concerns by completing a quick and painless checklist that promotes what you’re doing to keep staff and diners alike safe.
Update your profile description often
Your potential diners want the most recent and accurate info, yes. And fresh content is also important for setting diner expectations. There’s no limit to how often you can give your description a quick update, so anytime there’s a change or something new to share is a good time to do it. You can also adjust your keywords to target of-the-moment trends at any time. Be wary of being too specific when setting your cuisine type; for example, consider using a broader cuisine type like “Asian” over something like “Pan-Asian.”
Consider adding some backlinks
A backlink is simply a link from one web page to another. Consider linking to your OpenTable page on your website, on your social media pages, and any place you keep a blog or write on the web.
Linking to your OpenTable profile page from your restaurant website will help people and search engines understand the relationship between OpenTable and your business. It allows easy navigation between OpenTable and your website, so users can do further research on the restaurant website or quickly see reviews on OpenTable.
Now that you’ve given your profile a little love, mark your calendar for this time next month with a reminder to set aside 15 minutes to do a mini version of this exercise again. Add fresh photos, respond to those reviews, and make sure all the information on your profile is up to date.