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The Search Agency Study: Which mobile SEO factors are affecting the performance of restaurant businesses?

The Search Agency Study: Which mobile SEO factors are affecting the performance of restaurant businesses?

by Ben Wittams-Smith8th October 2014

In its latest wave of research into the manner in which leading businesses are constructing their mobile experiences online, The Search Agency (TSA) has identified the SEO factors which are contributing to certain companies in the restaurant and dining industry attracting more business than others.

The TSA’s “mobile experience scorecard” applied a multitude of criteria judging factors to various businesses in the dining industry, such as geo-location API and style of mobile website, in order to make stronger and more concise value judgements about the causes of their success or failures.

The TSA also produced a scorecard for SEO factors as well, which analysed:

  • Absent Title Tags (Contributing to 20% of a sites final scoring)
  • Absent Meta-description tags (Contributing to 25% of a sites final scoring)
  • Click-depth alerts, signifying that a website has certain pages which are buried further than 3 clicks away from its homepage (Contributing to 10% of a sites final scoring)
  • Large Page Size warnings which exhibit source code over 250k (Contributing to 45% of a sites final scoring)

Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 16.39.05

The study analysed the performance of 25 websites in the restaurant industry, which were chosen on the basis of information from Hitwise that ranked websites by the total quantity of mobile visits they received each month.

Each rating criterion is scored on a points-basis where the highest achievable mark is five. The table below illustrates which businesses in the restaurant and dining industry received the highest SEO ranking from TSA, based on the aforementioned rating factors.

Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 16.46.27

The TSA outlined that the figures from the SEO ranking scorecard convey a “continued inconsistency between reformatted mobile experiences and proper implementation.”

The study report elaborated that “while missing Meta descriptions and click depth warnings may not directly affect page load times, large page size warnings do, and of the RWD [responsive Web design] serving sites tested, 50 percent showed errors of this nature.”

Using the study to improve your marketing

Considering that the study only rates the SEO of the most used restaurant websites, its data and conclusions have huge explanatory value about the best ways to create mobile experiences which attract mobile browsers.

If you are currently looking to raise your level of business from your mobile advertising campaigns, and want to create a site experience for smart-phone users which is truly effective at converting, the TSA recommend that you should consider using the following strategies:


Consider using Responsive Web Design (RWD)

  • Responsive Web Design (RWD) is the official website format suggested by Google. Utilising RWD reinforces the SEO value of a website to a singular URL and domain.
  • RWD removes the necessity to continually assess and monitor different versions of a website, and reinforces its traffic & link value to the canonical version of the site.
  • RWD also makes sure that every backlink on a website is directed to a ‘properly rendered website’, which enhances its user experience and website engagement.
  • RWD websites are more adaptable to converting to different device types in the future.


Make sure your site provides the optimal user experience for its targeted Demographic

  • Ensure your sites user experience is optimised on the mobile by putting what consumers regard to be your most useful and vital information above the fold. This will enable your site users to easily navigate it on their mobile devices utilising a search box to sign-in or carry on browsing.
  • You can also improve user experience by adding in easy-to-use, click-to-navigate buttons and an interface which is user-friendly, particularly when displaying highly visible calls-to-action, like click-to-call and click-to-navigate buttons.
  • Location detection should also be utilised to automatically display nearby locations to site users.
  • Make sure that the mobile version of your website serves to be one component of a consumer decision journey, which can involve multiple device types as customer research and interaction with your website.

Optimise your load times

  • Ensuring this is of paramount importance to the success of your mobile marketing campaigns because the reality is that on-the-move mobile web browsers will often be subjected to poor internet connections. As such, ensuring that your websites load times are rapid is integral to retaining engagement with site visitors and encouraging them to browse your site until they make a purchase.
  • In order to evaluate and improve the load times of your sites various pages, use one of Google’s various tools and conduct an audit on a daily basis.

For a more in-depth analysis of the findings in the report, you should go here and download your own copy. Its findings have huge value for improving the effectiveness of your restaurant marketing strategy, and I strongly advise reading it and making some notes if you are someone who works or advertises in the dining industry.

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About The Author
Ben Wittams-Smith
Ben Wittams-Smith is a content writer for Just SEO and the Company Director of JSEO LTD. As a specialist in SEO, SEM and digital marketing, Ben regularly contributes content and provides analytic insight in these areas.

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