Lately a number of the restaurant blogs that I read are talking about ways to utilize social media. Some are talking about how Pinterest is the next big thing (it’s not) and others are minimizing the need for social networks. All of these posts are presenting a very small piece of the internet marketing puzzle. I do not anticipate people giving up Google and returning to phone books any time soon. You need to adapt to online marketing. This is not a fad. This is the future.
What I rarely see anyone talking about is search engine optimization for restaurants. I think this is partially because it is such a complicated issue. This is also in part because it doesn’t attract as much search engine traffic. Most people understand Facebook. Most people don’t know much about search engine optimization. To use a car analogy, Facebook is putting air in the tires and search engine optimization is rebuilding an engine. Given the choice of tasks most people would rather put air in the tires, but if your car won’t start it is a futile task.
If your goal is to market to new customers, search engine optimization is what you need. Facebook has its role, but it is not built to find new guests for your restaurant. In fact, recent changes have made it more difficult to do this through Facebook. More importantly Facebook (and to a greater extent Pinterest) are not where people go to find a restaurant. They go to the biggest site, and by far the biggest search engine, on the internet: Google.
In today’s post, I explain the difference between SEO and social networks. They each serve an important purpose and create a synergy when used together. You can watch the video here and find it explained in greater detail in How SEO and Social Networks Reach Potential Restaurant Guests Online.