Running a restaurant is a tough way to make a living. According to Concordia University at Saint Paul, approximately 60% of restaurants fail within their first year. Why? Well, there are a number of small reasons that typically feed into the demise of new eateries, but in the end, they all come down to one thing: competition. As statistics from IBIS World show, there are over 200,000 single-location restaurants in the United States. If you were to factor in chains, that number would jump exponentially.
In 2014, competition in the food industry is no longer simply about your product, restaurant ambiance, and customer service. Indeed, if you want to thrive in the Internet Age, you have to take online marketing techniques, like search engine optimization, seriously. With these three simple tips, you can do just that.
How to Improve Your Restaurant’s Online Marketing
- Make Search Engine Optimization a Priority
- For Any Restaurant Social Media Marketing is Crucial
- Synergize Your Offline and Online Campaigns
Search engine optimization, particularly local search engine optimization, is crucial to the success of any restaurant in 2014. Optimizing your web design, blog content, and even your onsite menu with your restaurant’s name, location, and contact information will make it more likely to pop in local search results. Consider, according to Search Engine Land, 43% of Google’s total monthly searches — that’s approximately 430 million searches — are looking for local businesses like yours.
Local search engine optimization isn’t terribly difficult. It works something like this: say you run Billy-Bob’s Crab Shack in New York City. On your website, you’d want to include your name, your location, and your phone number. Doing so, a search for “crab New York City” will cause your page to pop in search results, increasing traffic to your website and the potential revenue coming into your restaurant.
As Food Service Warehouse writes, social media, whether it’s Facebook or Twitter, can be a powerful tool for growing your user-base. Offering deals through status updates, asking your followers what sort of changes they’d like to see to your menu, and running follower exclusive contests will demonstrate that you value your customers, thereby improving public perception and increasing your revenue.
Too many businesses assume that they need to keep their digital marketing and real world marketing campaigns separate. However, if you tie them together, you have the potential to make both more effective. Share your social media URLs in-store and you drive more traffic to your online pages. Likewise, by offering coupons for your physical stores on your social media pages, you drive more traffic to your retail locations. Synergy is the name of the game.
By following these marketing tips, you can greatly improve your chances of surviving in an ever more crowded American food industry. If you can’t follow these tips, find a corporate branding and marketing firm that can implement smart web advertising techniques for you. After all, no matter how you do it, being more visible online means a more sustainable, profitable restaurant offline. Get more here.