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

Kids LiveWell atwitter over Twitter party

In its continuing effort to promote more nutritious and flavorful children's menu options, the NRA will hold a Twitter party  -More

Starbucks could become top on-premise wine seller in U.S.

Starbucks is planning to slowly expand its evening sales of wine, beer and small plates to thousands of selected stores throu -More

The evolving nature of snacks

Snacks have shifted from an after-school treat to a meal alternative as meal times become more fragmented.  -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

Wahlburgers Announces Expansion Plans Including Franchise Agreement in Philadelphia

Wahlburgers has signed a franchise agreement with Hingham Associates, LLC that will bring five Wahlburgers to the metropolitan Philadelphia area over the next several years. The franchise group is actively looking at sites and is targeting a late 2014-early 2015 opening for its first restaurant.

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. First Quarter 2014 Revenue Up 24.4%

Comparable restaurant sales increased 13.4% - Restaurant level operating margin was 25.9%, a decrease of 40 basis points

Jamba Juice Announces Grand Opening of New St. Louis, MO Location

Jamba Juice Company announced the brand’s continued expansion in the St. Louis market with the opening of a Jamba Juice® store at 11477 Olive Blvd. on April 16, 2014.

Expert in Real Estate Analytics Joins Luna Grill

Luna Grill, the San Diego-based Mediterranean restaurant chain, is welcoming retail real estate industry veteran Greg Thorburn to its leadership team. Thorburn has been brought on board to fill the newly created position of Vice-President of Real Estate.

Rita's Italian Ice Awards Area Development Agreement for Kansas

Rita's Italian Ice has awarded franchise and area development agreements for Kansas and the Kansas City area, which extends to the Missouri side of the city, to franchisees and local residents Jay Miller, Jeff Miller and Pat Reilly.

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: Matthew Carter: My life in typefaces - Matthew Carter (2014)

Pick up a book, magazine or screen, and more than likely you'll come across some typography designed by Matthew Carter. In this charming talk, the man behind typefaces such as Verdana, Georgia and Bell Centennial (designed just for phone books -- remember them?), takes us on a spin through a career focused on the very last pixel of each letter of a font.

TED: Jeremy Kasdin: The flower-shaped starshade that might help us detect Earth-like planets - Jeremy Kasdin (2014)

Astronomers believe that every star in the galaxy has a planet, one fifth of which might harbor life. Only we haven't seen any of them -- yet. Jeremy Kasdin and his team are looking to change that with the design and engineering of an extraordinary piece of equipment: a flower petal-shaped "starshade" that allows a telescope to photograph planets from 50,000 kilometers away. It is, he says, the "coolest possible science."

TED: Norman Spack: How I help transgender teens become who they want to be - Norman Spack (2013)

Puberty is an awkward time for just about everybody, but for transgender teens it can be a nightmare, as they grow overnight into bodies they aren't comfortable with. In a heartfelt talk, endocrinologist Norman Spack tells a personal story of how he became one of the few doctors in the US to treat minors with hormone replacement therapy. By staving off the effects of puberty, Spack gives trans teens the time they need. (Filmed at TEDxBeaconStreet.)

TED: Jennifer Senior: For parents, happiness is a very high bar - Jennifer Senior (2014)

The parenting section of the bookstore is overwhelming—it's "a giant, candy-colored monument to our collective panic," as writer Jennifer Senior puts it. Why is parenthood filled with so much anxiety? Because the goal of modern, middle-class parents—to raise happy children—is so elusive. In this honest talk, she offers some kinder and more achievable aims.

© 2014   Created by FohBoh.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service