Tips To Convert Customers That Discover You Online

By Emily NeudorfAug 11th, 2015

Customer Mobile Search

70% of consumers use smartphones or tablets today, according to the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Industry 2015: Technology Trends report. With a mobile device within arm’s reach, everyone’s a bona fide researcher.

We learned at Connect Mobile Innovation Summit last year that mobile searches related to restaurants have a 90% conversion rate. Meaning, when someone is looking for you, they’re ready to be your customer.

The question for you as a restaurant owner then becomes, “what am I doing to make sure I’m ready for them?”

Here are four popular discovery outlets where customers are searching for and finding your restaurant online, and how to make sure you’re set up to convert their search into a transaction — whether it be an email newsletter signup, a dine-in reservation, or an online to-go order.

1. Yelp: Consumers generally search on Yelp to help narrow down their decision, or to get an opinion on a spot before trying it out. Start by claiming your Yelp page to ensure your business info is accurate. From there, upload your menu and some great looking photos of your best dishes to pique the interest of customers that find you there.

  • Tip: To monetize your Yelp page, you can add on features like reservations and online ordering, which will allow your visitors to make a transaction right then and there.

2. Facebook: Consumers can get to know your restaurant and your regulars in a social setting via your Facebook page. If you don’t have a Facebook page set up, follow these steps to get started. We recommend focusing on posts that contain images (of your food and atmosphere), linking to your restaurant’s website in each post, and adding a “Facebook feed” to your website once you’ve built a following.

  • Tip: Make your Facebook page a transactional platform by posting a link to a secure fill-out form where visitors can share their email address. Each time you collect a new subscription, email the customer a thank-you discount to get them to come in for a visit or place an order online.

3. Google: Consumers that Google your restaurant name from their mobile device will see a section containing all of the need-to-knows about your business. Use Google My Business (for free) to manage your business information that shows up in their search results.

  • Tip: If you have, or are thinking about, an online ordering or booking system, you can turn customers’ searches into dollar signs by going into your Google My Business dashboard and enabling order/appointments. Google will connect with your existing systems and a “Place an order” link will appear for the customer in their search results.

4. Food Blogs: Word of mouth is oldest form of discovery. Today there is a network of “influencers” on both a national and local level. Get to know your local food writers, invite them in to try a new menu item, and let them do what they do best — spread the word about your concept in a spotlight or blog post. Ask that they include a link back to your restaurant’s website, and make sure your website is ready for the new traffic.

  • Tip: Work with your webmaster to make sure your website is mobile-optimized, you have a mailing list widget on your home page, and your online ordering button is placed prominently so it’s easy for new visitors to learn about you and take some type of action that will grow your business.

ChowNow’s partner network allows you to add direct online ordering to your Yelp, Facebook, Google, and more. So when a customer finds your restaurant in their search — you’re ready for business.

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