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Online Strategy for Restaurant Companies Background The internet has become the primary method for searching services offered by local businesses, including restaurant locations. Here are some interesting search engine marketing facts: 73% of all online activity is related to local content. (Source: Google) 82% of local searchers follow up with a phone call or show up at your place of business. (Source: TMP/Comscore) 74% of internet users use local search to find products and services (Source: Kelsey Group) 66% of Americans use local search to find local businesses. (Source: Comscore) 54% of Americans have replaced phone books (Yellow Pages & Business Directory) with internet and local search. (Source: Comscore) 43% of search engine users are seeking a local merchant with the intent of buying offline. 41% of consumers use a location (city, county, state) in their search – “Orange County website design”, “California website design”, etc. Very small percentages of businesses are happy with their local search marketing results. Consistent with the overall trends, internet has become a dominant medium for searching restaurants. Here is some restaurant-specific information: Online media influenced 40 percent of recent restaurant visitors, with restaurant web sites having the most influence. 14% of restaurant visitors said they were influenced by search results. (Source: Ad-ology Research). • 89% of consumers will use the Internet to search for local restaurants and 57% will visit a restaurant’s website to view menus, photographs, directions and read consumer reviews. This trend has become more marked with the use of smart phones. (Source: Restaurantworx.com). •

2512 Chambers Road, Suite 206, Tustin, CA 92780. 714-731-9000 www.gmrwebteam.com


78 % of adults say they would like to receive restaurant gift cards or certificates on gift occasions. 52 % of adults say they would be more likely to patronize a restaurant if it offered a customer loyalty and reward program. (Source: NRA fact Book).

33% of respondents seek out fellow consumer reviews online and base their restaurant selections on the ratings of fellow consumers. Twenty-nine percent of respondents based their decisions on newspaper reviews. Consumer reviews carried the greatest weight in the Midwest and Pacific Coast. (Source: NRA).

There are over 50 million searches every month related to the restaurant industry. (Source: word tracker).

Search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and others do not distinguish between “mom and pop” stores vs. established chain locations. All businesses catering to a geographically targeted customer base are considered “local” and are treated equally. Thus, a “mom and pop” casual family restaurant can easily topple a large chain restaurant competitor for “casual family restaurant” search in their target location. For example, if someone in San Diego searches for “family restaurant”, one or more of the San Diego family restaurant locations should show up on the search engine, while the same search in Carlsbad should result in the Carlsbad locations on the first page. If a family restaurant location in San Diego does not show up when someone is using “family restaurant” or other related keywords, the restaurant does not exist for the person searching, and the business will go to the listing that shows up on the search engine. Search engines cannot differentiate between different keywords or key phrases that people use when searching for a local business. Thus, a searcher could see different listings when searching “family restaurant” vs. “Italian restaurant”, even though the same location found for “Italian restaurant” could also be considered a “family restaurant”. All restaurant locations need to identify target keywords and key phrases, and make sure that it is found when their customers are looking for a restaurant in their target location. Here is the approximate number of restaurant industry related searches: 2512 Chambers Road, Suite 206, Tustin, CA 92780. 714-731-9000 www.gmrwebteam.com


Restaurant and related keywords

40 million

Deli and related keywords

2 million

Bistro and related keywords

2 million

Bakery and related keywords

2.5 million

CafĂŠ and related keywords

8 million

Delicatessen and related keywords

1.5 million

Source: word tracker Here are some examples of restaurant related key phases and monthly search count: -

Family restaurant: Restaurants family: Dining Restaurant: Family dining: Dining out: QSR: Fine dining restaurants: Steak restaurants: Fast casual restaurant: Chinese restaurant: Mexican restaurant: Italian restaurants: French restaurant: Thai restaurant: Indian restaurant: Seafood restaurant: Brazilian restaurant: Japanese restaurant: Steakhouses: Spanish restaurant: Greek restaurant: Restaurants coupons: Printable restaurant coupons: Restaurant coupon: Restaurant gift cards:

60,500 27,100 12,100 9,900 22,200 22,200 14,800 49,500 8,000 368,000 301,000 301,000 60,500 165,000 201,000 110,000 33,000 201,000 1,830,000 27,100 74,000 201,000 60,000 147,000 45,000

2512 Chambers Road, Suite 206, Tustin, CA 92780. 714-731-9000 www.gmrwebteam.com


Source: word tracker

There are hundreds of key words and phrases used to search restaurant facilities. Restaurant facilities that show up on page 1 of the search engines for most keywords will have a competitive advantage over ones who do not show up.

Strategy for Capturing Your Share of the Online Restaurant Search Market: Here are the three components of an online strategy for a restaurant location: 1. Identify the most relevant keywords used for your restaurant. For example, if you own an Italian restaurant in New York, the most important key phrase would be “Italian restaurant”. There are literally 100s of key phrases used to search restaurants. You can identify those key phrases through tools like “Word Tracker”. 2. Make sure that your location shows up high on page 1 of the search engine for those keywords. Your Italian restaurant has to make sure that when someone types ‘Italian restaurant” on a search engine in the New York area, your restaurant shows up high on page 1 of search engines. If your restaurant is not found when searched, it does not exist for the searcher. You can accomplish this through local search marketing to bring the store location to the first page of search engines for relevant keywords and key phrases. 3. Maximize Sales After Prospects Find You from Their Search Once your restaurant is found when a prospect in the target geography is searching, using the identified keywords, the prospect would typically do online research to find more information about the restaurant before deciding on visiting 2512 Chambers Road, Suite 206, Tustin, CA 92780. 714-731-9000 www.gmrwebteam.com


your restaurant. This is done by typically searching for information online by using restaurant name and location as the keyword on search engines. What they find about the restaurant on the web will help them decide to either call/visit the location or keep on looking. You can help convert visitors to your website by managing your brand online. Here is the online brand management strategy that will help you convert most of the searchers into customers: •

Brand management : o Create profiles on social media networks like Facebook, Linked-In, etc. and generate a following. o Continuously communicate with your followers on the social media networks. o Use the followers to propagate your brand’s unique value proposition.

Brand reputation: o Create profiles on review sites like Yelp. o Encourage satisfied customers to write positive reviews.

Call to action – offer web visitors reasons to visit your restaurant by: o Offering online coupons. o Listing web specials. o Offering to sign up to your email list.

Continuously increase visit frequency: o Build opt-in consumer database with online and offline activities. o Use local search marketing and the social media presence to add new prospects to your database consistently. o Email/SMS marketing to customer database. o Online frequency program.

2512 Chambers Road, Suite 206, Tustin, CA 92780. 714-731-9000 www.gmrwebteam.com


Effective execution of local search marketing strategy requires basic knowledge of how search engines rank websites, initial setup to optimize the website to meet search engine requirements, and ongoing work to move the site to page 1 of search engines for all related keywords, and keep it there. It typically requires a trained web marketing expert 50 hours of work upfront, for researching the web trends, identification of keywords and phrases, optimization of the website for the selected keywords, listing the website on all relevant directories and forums, and changing website codes to get the website ready for best results. Successful local search marketing also needs ongoing work of 25 hours of search engine marketing activities every month to make sure search engines rank the website high and keep it there. Business owners wanting to do it themselves would require: Proficiency with basics of website coding. This is needed for optimizing a website for search engines. Minimum of 100 hours of upfront search engine optimization and marketing training to start working on the project. 75 hours for set-up. 40 hours a month of ongoing work on the website. 5 hours a week to keep up with the latest internet search trends. Below are the steps needed to get 1st page placement on search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing & others:

One time 1. Analyze and Select keywords 2. Analyze competitors 3. Claim/optimize business page in all three search engines Category–keyword match selection Geotagged picture upload Description-keyword match 4. Claim business on review sites. Some major sites include Yelp.com Citysqaure.com Foursquare.com 2512 Chambers Road, Suite 206, Tustin, CA 92780. 714-731-9000 www.gmrwebteam.com


Hotfrog.com 5. Claim on paid site like Angies’s list or other niche sites 6. Identify suitable social media sites and create profiles

Ongoing 1. Site Optimization Tweak website for keywords Metatag Loading time optimization Content optimization 2. Social Media Optimization Selection of suitable geo-specific groups (up to 5) Association of those profiles with keywords Regular updates 3. Social Media Marketing Identification of up to 3 influencers & build an association with them. Increase brand awareness Can include paid listing options 4. Offsite Optimization Activity Link Building via content Link Building via directories

2512 Chambers Road, Suite 206, Tustin, CA 92780. 714-731-9000 www.gmrwebteam.com


GMR Search Marketing Solutions Local Search Marketing: 1. Market opportunity analysis to identify the number of relevant searches for the business. 2. Identification of key relevant keywords for search engine marketing. 3. Search engine marketing activities to bring all store locations to page 1 for selected keywords. 4. Maintain the locations on top of search engines for the selected keywords. Reputation Management: 1. Create/enhance social media presence. 2. Develop program for generating reviews. 3. Monitor reviews. Increase Visit Frequency: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Develop program for creating customer database. Develop email/SMS campaign for the customer database. Execute the program. Develop frequency program. Manage frequency program.

2512 Chambers Road, Suite 206, Tustin, CA 92780. 714-731-9000 www.gmrwebteam.com

Online Strategy for Restaurant Companies  

The internet has become the primary method for searching services offered by local businesses, including restaurant locations.

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