restaurant online marketing

3 Steps to Successful Online Restaurant Marketing

One of the things that stops us from creating effective restaurant marketing campaigns for our businesses is "noise". What do we mean by that?

The internet is awash with places you people tell you to focus your time and money on. Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, PPC, etc... There's so much choice that it's really hard to know where to get started.

We'll we're here to tell you it doesn't have to be that hard. In fact we're going to recommend only 3 websites / areas to focus on. Do each of these correctly and you are almost guaranteed to increase the number of customers visiting your establishment.

1. Google Restaurant Marketing

There is no disputing that there are 2 kings of the internet. We'll cover the second one next, but in this part we'll discuss Google. If people are searching for something online, most of them will be using Google to do it (around 80% of all online users). We already know that lots of people search for restaurants online (see our post here on 5 Problems with your Website and how to fix them), so how do we get our bar or restaurant in fron of those people?

Step 1: Google my Business

Google My Business is Google's way of listing and categorising businesses so if one of their users searches for "Thai Restaurant in Nottingham" Google can return the most accurate results.

Here's  their video explain how it works:

You can learn more about how to sign up and verify your Google My Business Account here:

Google My Business for Restaurants - Your Secret Weapon

Step 2: Google Adwords

Adwords, otherwise known as Pay Per Click (or PPC) is Google's paid advertising platform. When someone searches for a business or product on Google you are able to pay to appear at or near the top of their search results. If someone then clicks on your advert, you pay Google (hence the term Pay Per Click).

Watch the video below for an introduction to Google Adwords:

You can sign up for adwords here:

Step 3 - Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a bit more an advanced tool and we don't recommend you start using it until you are comfortable with steps 1 & 2. Once you are, however, this can be a really powerful (and free) addition to your marketing arsenal. Essentially Google Analytics tracks who comes to your website and how they behave when on your website. You can also link it in with your Adwords account so you can accurately measure the success of your PPC campaigns.

This video from Google introduces Analytics. It is long (just under 30 mins) so you might want to come back to it later... or grab a nice cup of tea of coffee and settle in!

Here's the sign up URL for analytics

And now we move onto the second King of the internet and undisputed ruler of Social Media... Facebook!


2. Facebook Restaurant Marketing

Step 1 - Facebook Pages

You're probably on Facebook already, but have you created your business page? These let you create a mini-website on Facebook dedicated to your bar/restaurant. Aside from the usual bits (like name, location, photos) you can include menus, reviews and even add aps (an advanced feature which we'll discuss in a future post).

Facebook give us the lowdown in this video:

To find out more about Facebook pages please click the link below...

Step 2 - Facebook Advertising

Once you've got your Facebook page created you're going to want to send some traffic to it to get targeted potential customers to "like"  you page so you can market directly to them in the future. Facebook make this nice and easy with their intuitive advertising system (which also has outrageously good targeting). So if you want to show your advert to Men and Women with birthdays coming up in the next month who live in Bath and like eating out and enjoy Italian food, you can do it really easily!

Here's their introduction to their Advertising platform:

If you want to learn more or get started, here's their link:


Finally we're going to have a look at review sites, and in particular Tripadvisor


3. Restaurant Review Sites

There's no getting away from it - online reviews can make or break your business. The daddy of all review sites in the UK is Tripadvisor.

If you search in Google for any type of Restaurant or Bar in any location in the UK then you'll get these guys appearing near the top of the results.

The first thing you need to do is claim your listing. You do this by signing up with their management centre:

Here's the link...

Once you've signed up you can update your listing, add photos and, most importantly, manage your reviews.

Expert Tip: make sure you respond to all reviews (both positive and negative). When looking for places to eat no-one expects perfection in your reviews, but they do look for a nice, friendly and professional establishment. Responding to negative reviews in a calm, positive manner can boost your visitor rate significantly.


So there you are... take these 3 platforms and get yourself set-up today. You won't regret it and it will bring you in more customers.

Access the 5 Critical Steps You Must Take When You Set-Up an Adwords Account

This is the exact checklist we use every time we set-up a new Adwords account for our private clients.

Click here to access the 5 Critical Steps


Rob McNicoll is the CEO and Founder of The Restaurant Marketer. With over a decade helping businesses grow, he has added over £16.9 million and counting in additional revenues using his marketing techniques.A sought after marketing consultant and business mentor, Rob's strategies have been implemented in businesses ranging from PLCs to single entrepreneurs. There is one common theme  - these techniques are straight forward, easy to implement and give results.

Rob McNicoll
CEO - The Restaurant Marketer

Let us know what you think!