SEO Analysis: Mt. Tabor Brewing

An in-depth look at the effectiveness of the SEO strategies of a local business, with advice on how to improve overall performance.

Indexable Content

Mt. Tabor Brewing’s website does a sufficient job of ensuring that the
general information on the restaurants are proper indexable content. The site description, tap
menus and information on both locations are all in HTML text. Important headings for
information provided on the homepage are properly represented in the code by the use of h1 and
h2 tags, which is helpful for crawlers to locate important information according to Google’s SEO
starter guide. However, this website fails to include any of the information on food options for
either locations in Vancouver and Portland. When following the links to the menus, users open a
PDF version of the menu instead of a dedicated web page. Information regarding all food options
(including the children’s menu), happy hour, and catering options will be inaccessible to search
engine crawlers. This is only an issue for food information as the beer options have their own
dedicated web page and the content is in HTML text. Images are also used throughout the
website. While these images do not contain any essential information, alt tags are used in the
website’s code to allow them to have a text description to allow search engine crawler
readability. Moving forward, ensuring that the food options are represented in HTML rather than
in a PDF file is an essential step towards improving overall search engine optimization.

Crawlable Link Structure

The crawlable link structure of this website is sufficiently simple.
Since the majority of the website is meant to serve as a supplementary piece to the restaurant
location, there is little need for a complex series of links. There are dedicated pages to the
different locations of Mt. Tabor Brewing. Links to these pages are provided frequently
throughout the website from the search bar and separate sections on the bottom or sides of the
webpage. As previously mentioned, some of these links will be redundant to search crawlers
because they only lead to PDF files. Other than that, the website keeps the link structure simple.

Keyword Optimization

Keyword optimization is one of the most important factors of search
engine optimization. A search engine crawlers ability to relate the keywords that search engine
users input to the keywords available on a website will absolutely dictate where the webpage will
end up on the results list. While the website for Mt. Tabor Brewing is in the right direction in
terms of keyword use, there are still certain aspects that are potentially seriously affecting the
optimization of the website in a negative way. The most obvious example of this is the decision
to link to PDF files rather than creating dedicated pages for important information. At the
moment, when crawlers search the website for keywords relevant to the restaurants products and
services, only information of the brewery’s exclusive list of beers are available. While beer is
arguably the most important factor when someone is searching and determining what brewery
they will go to, any searches about food, drink or other services will not be considered in the
search. This puts the brewery at a significant disadvantage in comparison to competitors that
make important content more accessible to crawlers. Another that Mt. Tabor Brewing could
improve their website would be to include more location specific keywords. Despite having
locations in both Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington, the website for the brewery is
unable to rank on the first page of any listings of breweries, bars, pubs and brew pubs in both
cities. In order for the website to make it to the first page of search results, users would have to
search specifically for breweries within the Felida area of Vancouver. This is an interesting
scenario, especially since Vancouver is mentioned 16 times throughout the website’s homepage,
while Felida is not even mentioned once. Felida is used once, in the description of the Vancouver
pub in the location’s dedicated webpage. From the information available on Mt. Tabor
Brewing’s website, it seems that this business also emphasized locally-sourced ingredients for
the food and drink that they make. However, when searching for local beer and food within
Vancouver or Portland, the website still fails to even make it on to the first page of results. In
order for the website to make it to the first page, users would have to explicitly search for
“locally sourced” beer in the Vancouver area. Using the term ‘local beer’ in the area still would
not suffice. This is problematic because when people search for something, they are usually
prone to entering as little as possible. This is an unnecessary barrier that has a large impact on
the search performance of this website. In order to fix this, it is recommended that the website
substitutes “locally-sourced” with “local” in any references to the beer or food. There is also only
a small description on the home page of the website that talks about the food and drink available
at the pubs. Instead of using this description, this section could be split into two that go into more
detail on the food and drink available. This will not only increase the amount of indexable
content, but will provide more relevant keywords for search engines to work with.

Title & Meta Tags

The title of Mt. Tabor Brewing’s website when browsing results listings on
search engines includes references to both the Vancouver and Portland locations. Instead of
promoting both locations, the title tag should include some important keywords about the food
and drink that are available. The site’s current meta description could also be improved in order
to provide better information on the brewery. Currently, the website does not include a set meta
description. Instead, the meta description seems to display text from the homepage that includes
keywords that users enter during their search. For example, when searching for “Vancouver wa
brewery”, the meta description for the website only includes the address of the Vancouver
location and the hours of operation. While this information could be useful for people who
already know that they want to go to Mt. Tabor Brewing, it can be useless to people who have
not yet decided where they want to go to eat or drink. Instead, it would be better to use the
description that is displayed on the homepage of the website, which is:

“At Mt Tabor Brewing and Pub, enjoy locally-crafted beer & wood-fired food heaped with local
ingredients at our Vancouver Pub or simply grab a pint at our Portland tap room. Brewed locally,
made locally, and enjoyed locally!”

This description is short, sweet and includes important information on what the brewery offers. It
includes references to the products available and does a good job of communicating the brewery’s
emphasis on local ingredients and wood-fired food. If a user searching specifically for “Mt. Tabor
Brewing” on a search engine, this passage is actually displayed as the meta description. It seems
that users have to be very specific during their search process in order for the correct keywords to
be referenced in the website. It seems that search engines are having a hard time connecting the
keywords that users are entering in their search to the indexable content on the brewery’s website,
and a non-specific meta description may be a factor in this.

Duplicate Content and Canonical Tags

According to the Moz SEO Guide, canonicalization is
the occurrence of “two or more duplicate versions of a webpage” appearing on different URLs.
Search engines have a hard time deciding which version of the webpage to show in results listings,
which could negatively affect the optimization of a website. In the Mt. Tabor Brewing website,
canonical tags are included on every page on the site. These tags identify that particular page as
the version that should be represented in search result listings. The linik and content metrics of any
other versions of that page with duplicate content on different URLs will default to the version that
includes the canonical tag. The Moz guide explains this as an advantage, stating that “when
multiple pages with the potential to rank well are combined into a single page, they not only stop
competing with each other, but also create a stronger relevancy and popularity signal overall. This
will positively impact your ability to rank well in the search engines”

Keyword Analysis

After analyzing Mt. tabor Brewing’s webpage and defining possible keyword search
terms, it seems that the current optimization strategies are failing to allow the brewery to rank
very high in search listings. It seems that on average, when searching for any sort of restaurant or
pub within the Vancouver, Washington area, Mt. Tabor Brewing isn’t even making it on the first
page of results. In order to Mt. Tabor Brewing to make it to the first page, searchers must enter in
very specific keywords on both location and services provided. The concept of being a local
brewing business seems to be an emphasis for Mt. Tabor Brewing, but requiring searchers to
specify that they are looking for a local pub in the Felida area potentially prevents a lot of
potential customers from becoming aware of the pub. In general, brainstorming possible
keyword combinations was difficult because despite using relevant combinations, Mt. Tabor
Brewing would still often rank below the second page of search results.

Download Keyword Spreadsheet
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