55% of local searches are for food-related businesses on Google.
87% of local searches for restaurants are done on Google Maps.
35% of restaurant customers leave reviews online.
When it comes to operating a localized business such as a restaurant, your visibility online can make or break your ability to turn over a profit every month. Here we will go over a few ways you can easily manage to stay on top of the local competition and keep the patrons coming back.
We understand that restaurants operate a bit differently from most business, so we have constructed a short guide to help you navigate the complex and time-sensitive restaurant business. While you may not be the best with digital marketing, we hope these tips will get you on your way to a more optimized online environment.
Dominate the local markets.
Because most people look for new restaurants using Google searches, keeping your head above water here is critical. Every other restaurant will be trying to claim the top spot but you must work to ensure that you are at the head of your genre. While ‘Restaurants’ in general might draw many different search results, ‘tacos in downtown’ might be just the nice you need to get ahead.
Make sure that you are bidding on realistic keywords that you have a real chance of dominating. If your business is thriving otherwise then you should definitely see a rise in visitors associated with your stepped-up online presence. Local searches are dominated by keywords, so if you have a restaurant that specializes in pizza for example, then it would be smart to make sure that customers associate your business with that kind of food both online and in the real world.
Know your different audiences.
Because your restaurant might attract one type of customer over others, or if your local area has certain peculiarities concerning your local audience, you might want to come up with several defined strategies to cover all your bases and appeal to as many audiences as possible. Laying out a specific strategy for each demographic is vital to having a varied strategy to capture each audience.
In this way, it might be easier to first conduct research on the different audiences in your area, and find out what communities you need to integrate yourself with to build up a name for your brand and a presence online. One of the best ways to go about this is to use social media tools like hashtags, where you can find which tags are the most popular in your area and then use them in your posts. Social media requires that your approach stay fresh if you want to make it effective in the long term. One of the biggest mistakes that many establishments make is that they assume their strategy doesn’t have to change or be updated as often as it should be.
Encourage others to return the favor.
Perhaps the most important thing you can learn to harness in the restaurant industry online is the effect that reviews have on your business model. Because reviews can determine the success or failure of a new restaurant, it is important to take the time to learn damage control techniques and how to foster good reviews.
Interact with customers positively and they will be much more likely to write a good review after they’ve left. Another great way to get more interaction is to use social media to advertise specials or discounts. This will prompt your online followers to want to contribute to your business by leaving a review. Social media remains the best way to get attention and foster reviews because all public reviews are done on sites like Yelp or Google, and are integrated with other applications.
Create positive experiences.
Because the restaurant industry requires that you have an up-close and personal presence with your customers, keeping those interactions positive is a must. Engaging your patrons in the location will lead to better interactions online. No matter how much work you put into your online presence, if customers do not feel welcome in your restaurant, then it will be nearly impossible to cultivate positive reviews and online merits that get searchers to choose your establishment over others.
When it comes to taking the reigns of your online public image, the first thing you can do is to make yourself accounts on every social media site that you find relevant. This will keep your image consistent and drive more visitors to your location. Having multiple accounts also give you more exposure and makes it easier to find your brand in general. Live chat is a fantastic way to engage with customers because it is instant and occurs right on your company’s page, making it easy for customers to come directly to the restaurant if they have a question or an issue.
Create Attractive Content
Make posts that want to be shared.
On your social media accounts it is important to pay attention to what media you’re creating and the effect that has on your patrons. Make sure that you are attentive to the interests and feelings of your customers, and create attractive and quality content that caters to those interests. This way you can keep your presence fresh and responsive, making it dynamic and easy to interact with. This ease of interaction will lead to more interactions in general, thus improving your public image as a whole.
Boost Your Visibility
Get noticed around town.
Here at Digital Resource, we specialize in getting your business noticed and putting a good word in around town. Restaurants can be a tricky business but we have the skills to get the job done. Don’t hesitate to give our office a call if you have any questions about SEO for restaurants.
Tyler was born in Ocala, Florida, and raised in Miami. Tyler has earned a bachelors degree in English from Florida State University, and is an Internet Marketing Specialist for Digital Resource. As an experienced musician and writer, Tyler has a wide range of abilities to bring to the table in the most professional way possible.