Restaurant Schema Tags: Extremely important, and also extremely boring

Want to know an extremely boring, but also extremely important part of making sure your business is searchable online? They’re called schema tags, and schema.org has an entire section dedicated to local search and specifically establishments that serve food. Is it boring, granular and completely mind-numbing? You bet.

But it’s probably the most important thing to do correctly when you’re trying to make sure you’re thorough about your business. Schema tags aren’t there for you, or really readers of your website. They exist so search engines know how to assign your information and index it.

Here’s something your customer might see if they’re on your website: “We’re open Monday – Friday, 10AM-9PM.” To you, that seems pretty simple, but a search engine has no idea what that means, because a search engine doesn’t read sentences. In order to make a search engine understand your hours, you need to wrap your hours in schema tags.

This is what you actually need to put on your site in order for a search engine to recognize your hours, and display the correct information…

<time itemprop="openingHours" datetime="Mo, Tu, We, Th, Fr 10:00-21:00">We're open Monday - Friday, 10AM-9PM.</time>

Not to get too deep into “SEO Land”, but there is an entire schema section, just for menu items. Why is that important? Because it’s not good enough to simply say, “Here is our vegan/vegetarian” section. It’d be nice if search engines were smart, but they’re not.

Because even if you’re trying to do it right, you’re probably still doing it wrong. You may have a tag on your menu that says “asterisk designates vegetarian options” — and that would be a non-starter.

This is what you see:

Vegetarian Street Tacos
(Vegetarian)

This is what is actually happening on those schema tags…

<div vocab="http://schema.org/" typeof="MenuItem">
   <span property="name">Vegetarian Street Tacos</span>
   <span property="RestrictedDiet">(Vegetarian)</span>
</div>

Is this whole process incredibly tedious? Hell yes. But this is how search engines know to tell people about things that you probably just assume are happening, when they’re not. There are plenty of reasons people may search for specific food items, whether it’s due to voluntary choices, such as being a vegetarian, or religious reasons. You want to be able to inform search engines about everything, from your hours, to menu, to parking information.

When we make you a website, we do tedious, time-consuming schema tags for every single page of content, and that means your site has a better chance of getting the correct information indexed.

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