Last week Ignite spoke at the Digital Innovation Forum at London’s Soho Hotel hosted by Restaurant Magazine and Big Hospitality. The day was filled with insightful talks and presentations from various industry leaders, kicked off by Charlotte Sutton, Industry Manager for Food & Restaurants at Google UK.
She gave a fascinating presentation on ‘Reaching Restaurant Goers’ and, as Google Partners, we would like to share with you some of the top tips from her presentation.
- Understand Your Audience
There are millions of Google searches every day, which generate tons and tons of data; the key is being able to make the most of it. One handy tool which is available to you is Google Trends. Google Trends allows you obtain valuable insights into consumer behaviour, particularly consumer intent.
One way to use this platform is to look up rising trends. You can see how search queries impact your restaurant’s activity and how it sits among trends within the industry. If you look within your category you can spot trends in searches for different types of food, for example, and start incorporating it into your menus.
Takeaway: Use Google Trends to see what your customers are searching for and stay ahead of the curve.
- Reach Them Where They Spend Time
One thing Charlotte really stressed during her presentation was that businesses need to position themselves online where customers spend time.
Since 2011 there have been 34 x more searches for ‘near me’ as consumers begin to trust Google more and more with location accuracy.
There are 2 ways your restaurant can appear in local results:
- Ad Space in Search Results
Managed in Google AdWords and you only appear when someone searches for something relevant to your restaurants.
- Local Results
These are free local results you need to claim.
The biggest change Google has found is in the use of mobile and ‘on-the-go’ searching.
The restaurant industry was the first to have over 50% of its searches come from mobile devices.
This means that people are expecting a mobile friendly experience as standard and if your website isn’t optimised for mobile, customers aren’t prepared to be pinching and zooming – they’ll move on to another website that is ready for them. Google have found that consumers are demanding a more personal experience and over 50% of users will only visit one restaurant website a month. In order to achieve loyalty and keep that person coming back to you, it’s becoming increasingly more important to have a smart website or mobile app that has the user’s information pre-populated to correspond with their regular activities such as time of booking and number of guests.
Takeaway: Claim your Google local results and make sure your website has a good mobile user experience.
- Give Them What They’re Looking For
One of the best pieces of advice Charlotte gave in this talk was to give customers what they’re looking for with your website. The restaurant industry in particular is guilty of having a website full of beautiful imagery, company history and other elaborate information. While this is all good content and looks pretty, a lot of sites lack the practical information customers are looking for.
The top 4 things a customer is looking for when they visit your website are:
- Opening Hours
Don’t make this information hard to find, it only means that people will start calling you to ask anyway! The best way to find out what your website may be missing or what you need to make easier to find, is to take a note of your telephone enquiries – what do people keep calling you to ask? Save yourself time and get it on your website.
Takeaway: Customers aren’t interested in what you think is interesting; make the practical information they’re looking for easily accessible.
Ignite have been official Google Partners since 2013. Google’s stringent criteria for acceptance into this prestigious scheme includes:
– Highly Optimized Google Adwords Client Accounts with high Quality Scores, high Click Through Rates and low Cost per Click
– A team who have qualified as Advanced Google Professionals by passing Google’s exams
If you’re keen to increase visitors to your website and take advantage of our advanced services in digital advertising just get in touch to discuss how we can help your business succeed online.