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Food for Thought - Rapids' Blog
The holiday season between Thanksgiving and New Years can provide considerable extra revenue for restaurants, bars, and caterers. Putting together your marketing plan now will serve to maximize your efforts and profits.
Digital Marketing Efforts to Increase Holiday Bookings Includes Two Strategies: Paid and Organic
Organic marketing is the free traffic you get from search queries that the search engines direct to your website. The search engines crawl your site looking for keywords within your content, urls, title tags, and section headers that relate to the query. If you do not have content on your site about what your business can offer for holiday parties, then the search engines are not going to send organic traffic to your site.
Paid marketing is PPC or Pay Per Click Marketing Online. PPC Campaigns are the fastest way to increase your business visibility online. Because the search engines place ads above organic results on the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page) nothing is going to beat paid search to develop leads for booking your holiday parties. Having your ad in that top spot is a way to gain instant visibility with your audience regardless of whether or not your organic efforts are paying off.
How to Gain Organic Traffic to Your Restaurant's or Catering Business's Website to Maximize Holiday Party Bookings:
- Add content about holiday parties to your website and optimize the content, the page url, the title tags, and the headers with keywords related to your holiday offerings. Localize your keywords or key phrases by qualifying them with your town and state. For instance, "Book Your Holiday Your Town, Your State at Name of your Restaurant." Additionally, to localize the search, make certain the name of your restaurant and address with city, town, and phone is in the footer or header of your website. To really nail down the localization aspect of your optimization efforts with search engines, mark up your address and contact information with schema. Google loves schema. Your optimization efforts only work if the search engines know where you are located.
- If possible, include testimonials from previous holiday customers.
- Add photos within your new content that relate and make certain you fill in the image alt tag of the photos. This is how the visually impaired get their information about the content of the photos, so be descriptive in your alt tags. Search engines crawl the alt tags and use that information to place the photos in their image indexes, so this is a very important step in your optimization efforts.
- Make certain you add a booking form that is easy to find in your new content. My suggestion is to place a button for the booking form at both the top of your new content and the bottom. Your booking form can be a simple inquiry form, asking the preferred date and number of people, along with contact information. Just enough to give you a lead to follow up with.
- Make certain your new content about holiday parties, as well as your embedded inquiry form, is easy to navigate to from your home page. The best scenario is to add a navigation tab on your homepage to your new page or section on holiday parties.
- Remember, it can take a search engine 4-6 weeks to crawl and index your new content, so time is of the essence. Once you complete this website project though, it will serve you year after year.
How to Gain Paid Traffic to your Restaurant or Catering Website to Maximize Holiday Party Bookings
Before you set up digital PPC campaigns, make a plan by defining your target audience and your budget. Search Engine Campaigns and Facebook Campaigns can be targeted using keywords or key phrases, geo location, gender, demographics, even hobbies and interests.
Prepare a great landing page for your website, or at the very least a Facebook page that is relevant to your ad. If you've done your organic work for this project, then you already have a great website landing page.
Types of Paid Campaigns You Should Consider in your Holiday Booking Marketing Plan
- Text ads or search ads which appear on the Search Engine Results Page. Where they appear on that page depends on how much you are willing to pay the search engine for a click.
- Display ads which use images of your choice and appear not on the Search Engine Results Page, but on websites that have advertising banners and towers within the content of their website.
- Remarketing ads that will keep your business in front of an audience that already expressed interest in your product.
- Social network advertising such as Facebook and Pinterest.
Use the tools provided within the search engines and Facebook to show your ad impressions just to your target audience. This will cut down on clicks by an audience that really has no interest in your product.
If you lack the time or the skills needed to create your holiday booking campaign, then hire a digital marketing agency to do the work for you. However, before you call a professional, have a plan in place that at the very least defines your keywords and key phrases, budget, and target audience. I guarantee having your marketing plan in place before you call an agency will help them maximize your profits.
Once you have your marketing plan in place, ensure you have all of the equipment, smallwares, and tableware you need to expertly service the new holiday parties you are going to book by shopping with Rapids.