Are You Driving in the Dark Without Headlights? - Websites without Analytics

If your restaurant uses comment cards, or if you have ever filled one out yourself, odds are, you have found yourself answering the question “How did you hear about us?”  This little piece of information can be amazingly helpful by providing guidance in your decisions for marketing and advertising.  Now, with so much of marketing and advertising done online, an individual simply placing a checkmark in the “Online” box gives you a picture of how your customers find you, but it is as detailed as my 3 year old son’s finger paintings.  However, there are tools that allow you to have pinpoint details about how your customers find information, and I am shocked and surprised how many restaurants fail to utilize those tools to maximize their online presence.  If your restaurant has a website, which it should, tracking software should be one of the first things you implement on your site.  If you plan to make any changes to your restaurant’s website, do this: choose and install analytics tools on your site that allow you to track, in detail, the success of your marketing campaigns.

There are several analytics tools on the market.  Google Analytics (www.google.com/analytics) is one of the leading tools for website analytics.  They offer both a free and paid service, but most smaller businesses and restaurant groups find that the free offering is sufficient for their needs.  StatCounter (www.statcounter.com) is another great analytics tool.  They offer both a free account as well as paid accounts that start at $5 a month.  Both of these analytics tools are relatively simple to add to your website, and your web design or system administrator should be able to have an analytics tool installed and running within a day.


What can these tools track?  Everything.  You can see how many people visit your site, where they came from, and what they are seeing.  You can see what operating system is used the most, what browser they are using, and you can see where they go after they leave your site.  You can see what area of the country, state, or even city the customer views your site from, and you can immediately see if tweets or facebook posts are effectively driving traffic to your site.

Now that you have it, use it.

Use custom landing pages for campaigns

When running a specific marketing campaign, whether online or offline, use specific landing page addresses to track the success of that campaign.  For example, if you decide to advertise in your urban paper a new happy hour, instead of simply putting your website URL in the ad, create a uniqute URL for that campaign (www.yourrestaurant.com/happyhour).  With your tracking software, you can now see how many of your website hits came from that print source and use that information to determine how successful the campaign was.  

Find What Is Working

Analytic tools allow you to determine exactly what website referred the customer from.  This includes social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and email campaigns.  If you find that a large percentage of your website viewers come from Facebook, make sure that you continue the dialogue created by facebook.  More importantly, when you find a communication method that is not working, don’t jump ship.  Determine first if the content is keeping customers from finding you, and fix it!  

Drive Traffic To Your Site

Your website should be the treasure chest of information about your restaurant.  Use social media and advertising campaigns to not only drive customers to your restaurant, but also to your website.  The key is to keep your website dynamic and interesting.  Do not allow Facebook to be the source of new information for your restaurant.  Instead, use Facebook to drive the customer to the website to get more information.  

Answer Your Own Questions

With analytics, you can track where your customers go after they have viewed your site.  With some analytics tools, you can even determine if they used a search tool to get information.  If you find that a large number of your customers are searching for information or explanations of something about your restaurant, consider adding that content to the site.  For example, if you specialize in international cuisine, provide a quick explanation of your dishes if you find that many of your customers search for what something is or what it tastes like. 

 The less your customers have to do to get information, the more likely they are to visit your restaurant.  Use your website to educate and excite your potential diners about your particular culinary offerings.

Website analytics tools are extremely powerful in helping you determine what marketing and advertising methods are successful, both online and offline.  Without analytics data, many of your marketing efforts will be like driving in the dark without headlights.  Stop guessing what your website visitors are doing and start converting them to customers.  


Views: 149

Comment

You need to be a member of FohBoh to add comments!

Join FohBoh

Comment by Jon Rock on June 5, 2012 at 5:57am

Great blog! I liken websites or ad campaigns without tracking to flying in an airplane with no windows.

Customized landing pages with Google Analytics is critical to understanding the success of your campaigns and traffic. It can also be helpful to add Google tracking to inbound URLs in-bedded in email campaigns or other inbound links. Info. on this at: http://support.google.com/analytics/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=...

Advertisments

 

DEPARTMENTS

Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries

Smartbrief

Taco Bell takes on fast casual with U.S. Taco Co.

Taco Bell will test a new fast-casual concept called U.S. Taco Co.  -More

Avocados From Mexico: All New Recipe Brochure
Looking for the sweet spot between indulgence and fresh appeal? Say yes to fresh Avocados from Mexico, all year long. So rich and creamy, use them as a substitute for mayo to create a craveable crab salad sandwich that will make others green with envy. Discover more culinary inspirations and recipes here!

Ronald McDonald gets a makeover for social media debut

Ronald McDonald is giving off less of a clown vibe with a makeover that keeps the color scheme but adds a blazer, a yellow ve -More

Animal fats ramp up flavor

Chicago hot spots are serving up savory dishes flavored with animal fats such as Stephanie Izard's confit goat belly at Girl  -More

JOBS & CAREERS

Posting a job or finding a job starts here at FohBoh. Call us about special $25 posting packages to syndicate across all major jobs boards.

National News

Dunkin' Brands Reports First Quarter 2014 Results

Dunkin' Donuts U.S. comparable store sales growth of 1.2% - Added 96 net new restaurants worldwide including 69 net new Dunkin' Donuts in the U.S. - Revenue increased 6.2%

Hurricane Grill & Wings Signs Franchise And Multi-Unit Development Agreements For Additional 22 Units

Hurricane Grill & Wings, a restaurant franchise known for its never-frozen jumbo wings and more than 35 signature flavors, announced today the signing of five multi-unit development agreements, representing 22 new locations. The Florida-based brand opened two locations in early 2014, with plans for a total of 14 new units by the end of the year.

Dunkin' Donuts Announces Plans For 20 New Restaurants In South Orange County And The San Fernando Valley

Dunkin' Donuts announced today the signing of multi-unit store development agreements with two new franchise groups to develop 20 new restaurants in South Orange County and the San Fernando Valley area over the next several years.

Brinker International Reports Increases In Third Quarter Fiscal 2014 EPS And Comparable Restaurant Sales

Earnings per diluted share, excluding special items, increased 16.7 percent to $0.84 compared to $0.72 for the third quarter of fiscal 2013

Togo's Inks Deals In Idaho And Utah To Develop 13 New Restaurants

Togo's Eateries, Inc. announced it has signed franchise agreements to develop five restaurants in Eastern Idaho and eight locations in Salt Lake City, Utah. In 2014, the brand will also mark its entry into Colorado, Idaho, and Utah with restaurant openings planned over the next few months.

CROWD FUNDING

If you are looking for capital to start or grow your restaurant, create the next 501c3, develop and launch the next app for the restaurant industry,or want to help your peers in some meaningful way, we want to know about it.

TED TALKS VIDEO

TED: James Patten: The best computer interface? Maybe ... your hands - James Patten (2013)

"The computer is an incredibly powerful means of creative expression," says designer and TED Fellow James Patten. But right now, we interact with computers, mainly, by typing and tapping. In this nifty talk and demo, Patten imagines a more visceral, physical way to bring your thoughts and ideas to life in the digital world, taking the computer interface off the screen and putting it into your hands.

TED: Hamish Jolly: A shark-deterrent wetsuit (and it's not what you think) - Hamish Jolly (2013)

Hamish Jolly, an ocean swimmer in Australia, wanted a wetsuit that would deter a curious shark from mistaking him for a potential source of nourishment. (Which, statistically, is rare, but certainly a fate worth avoiding.) Working with a team of scientists, he and his friends came up with a fresh approach — not a shark cage, not a suit of chain-mail, but a sleek suit that taps our growing understanding of shark vision.

TED: Michel Laberge: How synchronized hammer strikes could generate nuclear fusion - Michel Laberge (2014)

Our energy future depends on nuclear fusion, says Michel Laberge. The plasma physicist runs a small company with a big idea for a new type of nuclear reactor that could produce clean, cheap energy. His secret recipe? High speeds, scorching temperatures and crushing pressure. In this hopeful talk, he explains how nuclear fusion might be just around the corner.

TED: Sarah Lewis: Embrace the near win - Sarah Lewis (2014)

At her first museum job, art historian Sarah Lewis noticed something important about an artist she was studying: Not every artwork was a total masterpiece. She asks us to consider the role of the almost-failure, the near win, in our own lives. In our pursuit of success and mastery, is it actually our near wins that push us forward?

© 2014   Created by FohBoh.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service