Here is some interesting information for restaurant owners and business owners that have physical locations.
Yes, even with the Internet there is still a need for physical locations. The website doesn’t solve all problems.
June 2012 research from call tracking solutions provider Telmetrics and mobile-local ad network xAd found that looking up location was the No. 1 mobile restaurant search activity among smartphone and tablet users in the US, followed closely by looking up directions to that location.
There are a couple points here to make.
First, it’s becoming more important to make sure your business can be found online. This is basic online marketing. It starts with a presence on the web. I recommend your own website. Google will swipe your basic information and try to charge you for the referral, but you can get by with people finding your website.
Make sure your presence includes your location information, contact info and a basic description of the food (or services) you provide. This what people are looking for when they’re on the move and looking for food (or other local services).
Second, if you read more of the article linked above you’ll find that people visit a restaurant based mostly on the type of food offered. This is above price and good reviews. Location was second, but people are focused on the merchandise.
This is where you can win over potential customers with content.
Local Businesses Can Win Customers with Content
Content does two things for your local business.
First, when customers are looking for a restaurant they can either search for a specific brand or they can search for something more generic. In both cases content can win you the attention and the business of the customer.
Content will drive the discovery that leads to the branded search. Think about it. If someone is searching for your brand they needed to discover the brand somewhere else. They likely asked someone for a referral or they performed an earlier, generic search. The content on your site will determine if your brand is there when people search.
People will likely refer restaurants and businesses because of the product or service, but you can encourage a little more word of mouth with good content. Think of a person sending a friend a link to a blog post on a restaurant website that discusses and shows images of a new food offering.
Second, content sells your business to the customer. Since the type of food is most important reason people choose a restaurant you need to make sure people know how amazing your food is. You also need to effectively tell your customer what kind of food you have so they can make a good decision.
How you accomplish this will be part of the determination for customers. There are some that will choose you just because you offer a certain type of food, but others will want a little more convincing.
The place the customer is in their decision process seems to be important.
A good thing for companies that blog is that content is important at all parts of the decision process.