For example, if you want to do just one restaurant marketing activity that will take approximately 10 minutes of your time and yield the most customers for 0 cost, optimizing for local search is the one thing you should do. Immediately.
Some quick restaurant SEO (search engine optimization) statistics to inform this conversation:
Your location matters any time a person is trying to find a product or service close to where they are or based on its proximity to a location.
Instead, you are competing with a much smaller local pool. And the conversion — meaning your website-viewer converts into a customer — is much faster: In the restaurant industry, around 30% of searches convert to paying customers immediately, 60% convert within an hour, and 80% convert eventually (according to this Google study).
30% conversions immediately and 60% conversions within an hour.
These aren’t window shoppers. These are people that are immediately seeking to become customers.
These searches are happening in Google Maps on any browser, or the Google Maps app on iOS or Android.
Results are pulled from your Google My Business information.
At one time, Google had a service called Google Places.
Over time, Google Places has been sidelined and increasingly merged with Google+ functionality, which was also sidelined, to form Google My Business.
To be clear, this is not website search engine optimization — which involves making the content and copy on your website more accessible or optimized for search engines to crawl and index.
Instead, this is off-site optimization that positions your restaurant as the best choice for local queries.
Local optimization centers around giving Google the best information possible about your business in their “yellow pages” directory, keeping the profile updated and active, and enabling Google to match queries with the best results.
And when the query is a local or location-based search, Google will use this information before using standard search engine results (which is where your restaurant SEO might be a factor).
Google My Business needs to be a prominent piece of every local restaurant marketing strategy and search strategy.
Integrating data like this for marketing is essential to best optimize your customer experience. As the local search market grows, local businesses need to maintain a presence within local search results through online marketing efforts and ideally integrate with an online ordering for restaurants, and this is where your Google My Business listing comes into play.
Google Local Search clicks to the website were responsible for 52% of all of the Google Search traffic to the website, and 31% of the total traffic to the website. If we sum the driving instructions and phone calls as “goal conversions” (as those for a restaurant generally imply a firm movement toward a sale), this is an equivalent of an 8.5% bonus to the goal conversions of the website, as their goals have been fulfilled before the user even visits the site.
Looking at the differences between the Google Webmaster Tools data, we can deduce that the Local Search displays are providing an additional 184% bonus search exposure to the business beyond the standard Google Web Search.
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