Hungry customers are constantly searching for nearby restaurants that will satisfy their in-the-moment cravings. In fact, these consumers search for food services more than any other business category, and they're often choosing between multiple options, meaning it's more important than ever for those in the restaurant business to stand out amongst the competition.
So, how can local restaurants and food service brands improve their local search rankings? Our own Director of Partner Marketing (and burger connoisseur), Rev Ciancio recently shared his insights on the Smart Pizza Marketing Podcast, where listeners in the hospitality industry come to learn about new trends in social media and marketing.
During the Podcast, Rev and host Bruce Irving discussed how SEO works for local businesses, how to harness the power of local search on sites like Google to drive foot traffic and increase sales, and how local search fits within a larger digital marketing strategy. Additionally, Rev touted the importance of accurate digital knowledge across the search ecosystem, as well as the importance of managing your restaurant's ratings and reviews.
"You have to respond to people," says Rev. "You have to say thanks to your five-star reviewers, and you have to apologize to the one-stars." At least that's where people start. Rev went on to say that the food service brands who truly win are those who ask their customers to leave reviews. "You can post it on Facebook, or send out a tweet," says Rev. "It's not only going to help drive people through your front door, but it's also going to help you win in search."
Rev, a former bar/restaurant owner, used to spend hours on end playing around with search engine optimization and keywords to rank high in search, and through this, he mastered digital marketing and online presence management. In his current role as Director of Partner Marketing, Rev works to ensure Yext reseller Partner success as they deploy the Yext Knowledge Engine on behalf of their clients.