Restaurants are among the many businesses that can benefit from inbound marketing. This type of strategy attracts diners rather than “go after them.” It’s about persuading prospects to visit your place through connections and content that they’re looking for. By engaging your target market by pulling instead of pushing, you may see more diners come through your restaurant doors.

Try these two inbound marketing strategies to start:

  1. Keep your digital channels updated

Customers rely heavily on online channels to influence their dining decisions. According to Restaurant Insider’s 2018 end-of-year symposium, 90 percent of customers search for information about a restaurant online before dining. And 57 percent checked out different restaurant websites to help them make a decision.

So it’s crucial to keep your channels updated to ensure that potential guests can search your restaurant online. This includes all social media pages and your website. Include all the important details you think would be important in their research, such as opening and closing times, customer reviews, locations, delivery options, reservation booking, appealing photos of your food, and of course, your menu.

Provide a downloadable menu in PDF format on your website. This allows customers to have your information on their mobile phones for easy viewing whenever they’re searching for restaurant options. Also, make sure your channels link to each other to make it easier for the guests to look at your other pages.

Lastly, put all the promos, special deals, and new offers on the areas of your site that offer the most exposure, such as the home page. Discounted offers and events can entice guests to visit your restaurant more often.

  1. Optimize your pages

Ordering food online using the smartphone

The digital sphere is teeming with businesses and dining options, so you have to compete for your share of space to make sure potential guests can see you. Make sure your restaurant is at the top of the list by optimizing your pages. If you don’t have an in-house marketing team, you can outsource SEO services from trusted experts.

One of the ways you can make your restaurant more searchable is to optimize for local searches. Search Engine Land says that 82 percent of shoppers use their smartphones to conduct “near me” searches. Google affirms that these searches lead 50 percent of mobile users to visit the store they found within a day.

Another strategy is to use powerful keywords. Note that main keywords that cast a wider net, like “Mexican restaurant,” are just as important as specific longtail keywords, like “vegan-friendly Mexican restaurant Wichita.” Using these two allows you to capture customers at different stages in their purchasing journey.

Main keywords target those who are still in the early stages of decision-making and are trying to look for different options. Meanwhile, longtail keywords can be the deciding factor for customers who already know what they want and are trying to narrow down their list of restaurant choices.

Couple these two strategies with a constant digital presence. Use your social media pages to post regular, relevant content to keep potential guests and your patrons updated with your brand. Also, an important step in inbound marketing is taking care of the relationships you’ve built with your customers. Deliver valuable email marketing and automation content, so you can nurture these relationships and eventually take it to the next level: to produce evangelists who will take the initiative to champion your brand to their peers.