Mobile Marketing a Key Opportunity for Restaurants

According to recent analytics, over 50% of all website traffic will be coming from mobile devices by the end of 2013. Furthermore, restaurants happen to be the most searched for industry on smartphones, greatly outperforming other highly searched industries. The vast majority of consumers say they often choose a restaurant based on how it shows up in search results and whether or not they are able to get the information they are looking for from their mobile devices.

When you consider that more than 56% of American adults are smartphone users (about 125 million people), these statistics highlight an important point: having a mobile-friendly website for your restaurant has become critical to your establishment’s online marketing success.

Three Main Options to Make Your Restaurant Website Mobile-Friendly

Obviously, the most critical step a restaurateur should take in creating a successful mobile marketing strategy is to have a mobile or mobile-friendly website that lets users find exactly what they’re looking for, instantaneously. There are three main ways to do this. First, you can build a ‘responsive design’ website which adjusts the layout of your content to display optimally on any device. This is a choice typically best suited for content-driven websites like blogs or publications.

Second, you could add a plug-in to your existing traditional website which will scale your content down, but won’t optimize its layout for mobile devices.

Third, you can build a separate mobile website, designed specifically for mobile screens. For businesses with a local presence like restaurants, this is often the best choice because you can streamline content that will help convert mobile searchers to actual customers. Since the odds are good that someone searching for a restaurant on a mobile device is quite likely looking for someplace to eat right now, it only makes sense to have pertinent information such as menus, prices, availability and a click-to-call button easily available for them to view.

SEO Matters More than ever in Restaurant Mobile Marketing

Search engine optimization, or SEO, has always been critical if you want to be found online. As of September of this year, it’s more important than ever because Google announced that it was going to start ‘demoting’ websites in mobile searches who don’t have a mobile site to direct people to or who have one that isn’t configured properly.

Mobile SEO is akin to traditional SEO – make sure your mobile site is optimized with the right keywords and is listed in appropriate directories such as Yelp, online Yellow Pages, Google +, etc. Make sure your listings and keyword terms are accurate and consistent.

Start Small with Restaurant Mobile Marketing Maneuvers

Developing a savvy mobile marketing strategy can be inexpensive and simple to implement. You can easily design a basic mobile website featuring your most pertinent information using templates that are readily available. Beyond having a mobile-friendly web space, you can ‘mobilize’ other marketing efforts that you’re already doing, such as birthday coupons or monthly special discounts for your online followers.

Optimize your emails to be read on mobile devices. Consider a text-marketing campaign. Add a QR code to your printed marketing materials. After you’ve done all of the above, toy with the idea of developing a snazzy app that will add extra value and enhance your customers’ experiences. Above all, do not ignore the mobile movement. It’s only going to get more prevalent and more relevant to your restaurant’s overall online marketing success. Learn more at

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