Wauwatosa has a more than 100 restaurants located in a small geographic area. To help promote these businesses, five years ago the Chamber of Commerce created “10 Days in Tosa,” a promotion that encourages diners to visit local restaurants.
In July I was asked by the Chamber to redesign the 10daysintosa.com website. Using the latest “cloud” technology, in just a few hours I energized the look by creating a fresh, contemporary design that includes a revolving slideshow featuring mouth-watering menu dishes as well as a user-friendly map pinpointing restaurant locations and specials.
But site appearance was only half the challenge. After 20 years of building websites, I know that trusting the slogan: “If we build it, they will come” is a huge fallacy.
As I wrote content for the Home page, I identified the target audiences as restaurant owners and their customers/prospects.
How do I attract both of these groups to this website?
As a Wauwatosa resident of almost 40 years, I know that dining at local eateries is a popular activity. My thought was to examine just how popular and then use that information to attract diners to the website as well as sign up restaurants to participate in “10 Days in Tosa.”
The solution: search engine optimization for local search
The best way to increase the site’s visibility and traffic is by using organic search engine optimization (SEO) to identify popular keyword phrases and use them in site content to build visitor traffic via search.
If you’re familiar with the concept of “long-tail marketing,” then you understand that a small target audience can be a potential gold mine of new customers. The most receptive prospects are at the narrow end of the tail because their need is very specific and easily converted into a sale.
I researched those keyword phrases that: 1) are niche-oriented; and 2) part of a local search. Think about it: If I can identify a small but active group of prospects, I can use those search phrases they’re using to optimize the website and “pull” those people in to 10daysintosa.com.
That’s exactly what happened. Using Google keyword research, I discovered that on average over the last year, 1,900 people per month are searching for “Wauwatosa restaurants.” That may not seem like a big number, but it really is a lot! By contrast, only 210 searches per month were for “Tosa restaurants.”
Do you see the big difference in search numbers for this a tiny variation? Doing your homework is critical! It’s always best to identify the most popular keyword phrases for use in content development.
Once optimized content is in place, the website “feeds” the search engines with high-volume keyword phrases, resulting in: 1) higher local search engine rankings; and 2) more potential customers finding the website.
How do you think effective site optimization could affect your website traffic? Your sales and profits? Can you imagine what a difference it would make by using two to three sets of popular search phrases to attract customers to your restaurant? How about capturing those customers who often make spur-of-the-moment searches for “Wauwatosa restaurants?”
If you’d like more information, feel free to contact me.